South Dakota Wine

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The severe climate of the northern plains is partly to blame for the wine industry’s slow growth here. Bitterly cold winters and dry summers make an inhospitable environment for most vine types, except for the native Vitis riparia. As a species, riparia has been of little interest to the wine world, except as phylloxera-resistant rootstock, or for its cold-hardy genes. Amazingly however, at least one producer makes wine from this wild vine. Throughout the upper Midwest, ,i>riparia’s greatest use has been in the parentage of many important cold-climate hybrids, including a South Dakotan original called Valiant. The aptly-named Valiant was created at South Dakota State University in 1967. Valiant is claimed to survive winter temperatures as low as -70 F. The other grape varieties planted in South Dakota shouldn’t surprise those who know cold-hardy grapes: Minnesota’s Kay Gray, Edelweiss, Swensen Red, St. Croix and Frontenac, along with French hybrids Marechal Foch and DeChaunac. Four farm wineries Read more »

Varietals Produced in South Dakota View all

  • Frontenac Gris

  • Valiant

    This red wine producing grape, reportedly cold-hardy to -70 F (approx. -52 C), has lived up to its name in some harsh...

  • Vidal Blanc

    Vidal Blanc has proven to be amongst the versatile varietals in North American viticulture. In Canadian vineyards, th...

  • Frontenac

    Frontenac’s overall viticultural performance and excellent wine quality are directly responsible for its success in M...

  • Kay Gray

Popular Wineries in South Dakota View all

  • Rogers Ford Farm Winery

    Step back into the antebellum south as you stroll through our 55-acre historic farm dating from 1...

  • Strawbale Winery

    The winery, made of straw bales, is nestled between a hundred year old barn and old shelter belt ...

  • North Mountain Vineyard & Winery

    Our distinctive winery building was modeled after a European-style farmhouse and constructed in 1...

  • Schade Vineyard

    Schadé Vineyard & Winery is the third bonded farm winery in South Dakota. The winery is owned and...

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