A young commercial wine industry notwithstanding, winemaking traditions run deep in the Mount Rushmore State. Sodbusting pioneers like Anna Pesä and Jon Vojta defied South Dakota's harsh terrain and paved the way for Prairie Berry Winery. University biologists, including Dr. Ronald Peterson, cultivated the unique grapes needed for the climate, like the Valiant, Marquette, Brianna and Frontenac grapes. Despite subzero winters and torrid summers, strawberries, buffaloberries and rhubarb have grown on both sides of the Missouri River. Since the 1996 Farm Winery Bill passed, the state welcomed thirty vintners, including Strawbale Winery, Wilde Prairie Winery and Belle Joli' Winery. Denise DePaolo and Kara Sweet explore the heritage behind winemaking from the harvests of the prairie.
About the Author
Denise DePaolo is a media professional living in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She is a lover of wine, history and punk rock music. In her free time, she likes cooking for family and friends, learning new things and exploring South Dakota's diverse landscapes.
Kara Sweet is a veteran writing and language arts teacher in the Black Hills of Wyoming. She is also a sommelier through the International Wine and Spirits Guild and Certified Specialist of Wine through the Society of Wine Educators. She has made it her mission to know and support all things wine in the state of South Dakota through her wine-related publications. In her free time, she enjoys hiking the Hills, reading great literature and traveling to wine destinations.