A young commercial wine industry notwithstanding, winemaking traditions run deep in the Mount Rushmore State. Sodbusting pioneers like Anna Pesa 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.
South Dakota Wine: A Fruitful History
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