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Inside the art of making dandelion wine at Minneapolis' Urban Forage Winery

Inside the art of making dandelion wine at Minneapolis' Urban Forage Winery
Inside the art of making dandelion wine at Minneapolis' Urban Forage Winery 02:08

MINNEAPOLIS – If you've been anywhere outside these past few weeks you will have noticed that dandelions are in full bloom.

While many people consider them to be a pesky weed, Urban Forage Winery & Cider House in Minneapolis sees them as an opportunity for a tasty drink. 

A field of dandelions isn't what some homeowners want to see. But for Jeff Zeitler, it's the perfect place to find enough of the weed to turn it into wine.

"I've always liked being able to find things that are hiding in plain sight, that nobody else is using," Zeitler said. "It's an underappreciated plant, I would say that."

Zeitler and his family forage in a special field every year.

"In a typical year, we'll harvest about 10-15 gallons of pure dandelion fluff," he said.

They use the flowers to make wine at Urban Forage, which Zeitler and his wife opened seven years ago.

"I kind of learned some recipes from others, created recipes of my own and realized that you can make wine out of almost anything that contains sugar," he said.  


They forage around the Twin Cities all summer long, finding use for fruit that would otherwise go to waste.

"There are apple trees, cherry trees, pear trees all over the Twin Cities, mostly in peoples' yards," he said. "And most people with those trees are thrilled to have somebody take an interest and want to pick that fruit."

Once they're done, it's back to the winery on Lake Street. 

"Those yellow, moist petals are what we're gonna take, we're gonna put them right there in the hot water and cook them down until we get sort of a dandelion tea," he said.

Then, they get a second wash and head to the fermentation tank.

"It really tastes very floral and nectary," he said. "Most people are really curious about it and they want to try it at least once."

They only forage in areas that have not been treated with chemicals or around pets. 

If you're interested in trying the dandelion wine, they're open Thursdays through Mondays. Click here for more information.

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