By Kara Sweet
Summer is a wonderful time to enjoy South Dakota wine. Events abound in all corners of the state. A summer celebration is only a winery event away.
Start your summer winery celebrations at Belle Joli’s beautiful sparkling house and tasting room just outside of Sturgis. Go every Sunday of the summer for a delicious brunch paired with a mimosa from one of Belle Joli’s sparkling wine selections.
On Saturday, June 25, 2016, attend the 2nd Annual Champagne and Oyster Party starting at 4:00 p.m. Enjoy freshly-shucked oysters and house-made Paella with two glasses of sparkling wine. Get tickets soon.
Celebrate the wine lifestyle every weekend of the summer season with Vinote Sessions, scheduled on Fridays and Saturdays at the downtown Rapid City tasting room from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Every day can be a special day at the winery with free tours of the production area each hour, on the hour, starting at 1:00 p.m.
Finally, don’t miss the upcoming Summer Solstice Celebration which will take place on Tuesday, June 21 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and feature sparkling peach wine for sipping and feature sparkling peach wine for sipping and light bites for nibbling.
Prairie Berry will be celebrating photographer Erica Lane with an artist’s reception on Saturday, June 18, at 4:00 p.m. at the Hill City tasting room. Other special treats for the summer come from Prairie Berry’s bistro kitchen. Order a flatbread sandwich or house-made soup from the delicious menu, add an absolutely delectable dessert, and pair with a glass of wine—an occasion was just made!
Make sure to also look for live music on weekends at its sister property, Miner Brewing, as well as any events at Prairie Berry East Bank in Sioux Falls.
Make every day a special event at Naked Winery in Hill City or Custer. Hill City has a wonderful patio on which to sit and sip a glass of wine any time of the summer season. Stuffed pretzels and pizzas can be ordered to make the day even better.
Have a fun summertime with these fun wines. Beer lovers can pitch in to help gather Black Hills spruce tips for Sick N Twisted’s Just the Tip brew. Also look for the newest location to enjoy Naked Winery wines this summer in Keystone!
Strawbale Winery celebrates summer with flair, starting with Sangria Sundays every week from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. until the end of September. For merely five dollars, bring a carload of friends and a picnic to enjoy live music on the grounds. On Thursdays enjoy the Summer Porch Series for more live music while browsing the works of regional artists and food vendors.
On July 30, attend the Folk Off and Rib Challenge. The Folk Off is a music competition where the winner will play the following week at the Sioux River Folk Festival. The Rib Challenge sets BBQ aficionados against one another to win the People’s Choice Award. Advance tickets are ten dollars; day-of- event tickets are fifteen dollars.
Delight in self-guided tours through the vineyard any time, or call ahead to make an appointment for a private tour of the vineyard and production facility. These in-depth visits show the process of growing grapes in South Dakota and making wines on a large scale. Wine lovers can also come to the grounds with their own basket for a picnic in the vineyard, paired with Schade wines available for purchase.
As summer winds down, come to the Annual Harvest Festival and Grape Stomp on September 10, 2016.
Open Thursday through Monday for tours and tastings, guests can also bring picnics to pair with Wilde Prairie wines. On the second and fourth Fridays until October the winery hosts the relaxing Evening in the Vineyard event from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. with live music, delicious food, and great fun for all. Customers can also enjoy a garden and vineyard tour on July 9.
Every Thursday of the summer Valiant Vineyards features its Summer Somm Series, a time for wine lovers to appreciate their own music and art while drinking cocktail creations based on Valiant Vineyards’ wines.
On August 27-28, 2016, attend the Great Dakota Wine Fest. The focus of this celebration is learning about South Dakota wines made from hybrid grapes. Cooking with wine demonstrations and amateur winemaking competitions occur in between live music and dancing.
With the Wind winds down the summer in style with its Grape Stomp Festival on September 10-11, 2016. The weekend features stomping, shopping, wine-ing, and dining. Music is also a large part of the celebration with Blind Joe from The Voice performing for the crowd on Saturday and The Sunshine Band performing on Sunday.
Until then, come appreciate a glass of wine on the beautiful wrap-around porch while enjoying the peaceful, picturesque rolling prairie of eastern South Dakota, Fridays to Sundays during regular business hours.
Summertime is a great time to enjoy some South Dakota wine!