cedar ridge distillery

Restaurant of the Week: Cedar Ridge Winery & Distillery

Cedar Ridge Winery & Distillery is located in Swisher, and just a few minutes outside of Cedar Rapids. This destination spot is a must-go for lovers of wine, bourbon and pizza—and who isn’t?

This winery first started back in 2002, when the focus was wine, vodka, gin and rum. It was housed in a Downtown Cedar Rapids location, until the flood of 2008 hit. That led Cedar Ridge to open its current building, which eventually expanded into what it is today, with award-winning bourbon, charcuterie boards, pizza, wine and so much more.

Cedar Ridge is peaceful, relaxing and sophisticated environment, with beautiful view of the entire vineyard. There are Instagram-worthy photo opportunities at every turn, especially at sunset. These rustic and romantic vibes are perfect for weddings, bridal showers, baby showers and more. This highly sought-after event venue has two event spaces—one smaller, private room for smaller and intimate gatherings, and the space dedicated for weddings and larger events, which is also where the live music is held on Friday nights.

This winery and distillery is the perfect setting for brunch or an evening with your girlfriends, or a romantic date night. While there is plenty of seating both indoors and outdoors. Come early on a Friday evening for some local, live music, as the whole place fills up quickly. When you first arrive, make sure to stop at the tasting bar to sample any of the signature beverages. Not a drinker? Not a problem. The menu also features delectable mocktails, like the Cherry & Earl Grey Sour. This mocktail is served with a layer of foam on the top, garnished with a cherry. The tartness of the cherry is combined with a smooth finish.

From the many wines they create, like the Rose, La Cresent, a semi-sweet white wine, and Nine Sixty Five, a dry red, to their bourbon that has numerous accolades, there is many things to enjoy at Cedar Ridge. They are proud to offer many local items on their menu; even their bourbon’s grain is locally sourced from Winthrop.

To start, the barrel house salad is light and refreshing and includes a bourbon-honey mustard vinaigrette. The butcher boards are a non-brainer, since you can customize that you want to include. Get either all meat, all cheese, or half and half; this item is great as an appetizer or a whole meal. A personal favorite is the house quark cheese that is tangy, creamy and features different herbs. The warm bread pairs nicely with the homemade golden raisin chutney.

The thin-crust, wood-fired pizzas are simply extraordinary and have many options to choose from, including weekly specials. The steakhouse pizza features a house-made steak sauce as the base, with tender, braised ribeye and pickled onions as the toppings.

Cedar Ridge also offers free tours of its distillery area, as well as an impressive brunch selection on Sunday mornings.

Cedar Ridge’s hours of operation are Wednesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  For more information about Cedar Ridge Winery & Distillery, visit crwine.com.

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