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

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

  • Vidal Blanc

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

  • Tempranillo

    History of the grape: Origins of Tempranillo are murky. It could be indigenous to the Spanish countryside, or it coul...

  • Valiant

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

  • Kay Gray

Popular Wineries in South Dakota View all

  • 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...

  • Prairie Berry, LLC

    For five generations, our family has been pioneering and producing regional wines from domestic a...

  • Rogers Ford Farm Winery

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

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South Dakota on Snooth

  •  He graduated from the South Dakota State College. Keystone, South Dakota Keystone, South Dakota, is the closest metropolis within the Black Hills to Mount Rushmore, that is positioned only three miles in gold mining history, the quaint city of Keystone was once a boomtown after the discovery of placer gold two miles east of its present location... Read More

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  • Some more catching up wines.  These we had at a small get together, BYO so ... ... was a big question mark, South Dakota born and raised.  Never heard of it before, never thought about wine from SD, but this was really good.  Fleshy and fruity, there was plenty of body with a good tannin/acid framing to warrant another bottle if I can find it.T... Read More

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  • Nice story, 101. Any more Texas vignettes? Sounds about right for what I know ... the Ozarks, or maybe even South Dakota for that matter--or does the environment have to be hotter for consumers to somehow believe the wine's being made from local grape Read More

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