When 605’s Alana Snyder and Taylor Hanson arrived at Belle Joli’ Winery in Sturgis, co-owner and certified sommelier Choi Jackson greeted them with a friendly smile before her husband and winemaker Matthew joined them from the vineyard.
“Matthew and Choi welcomed us like we were family, and it was fun to hear about how they met and got their business started,” said Taylor.
With that, they began a tour of the winery.
“With the tours, we wanted to be able to connect the ability to touch the fruit, see the fruit, see the actual production, and taste the product,” said Matthew.
Belle Joli’ specializes in sparkling wine made using the traditional Champagne method. The 605 team was able to try the Brut Rosé Sparkling Wine, a gold medal winner in the 2019 San Francisco International Wine Competition.
In the blind tasting at the 2019 San Francisco International Wine Competition, Choi says their brut rosé beat Moët & Chandon, one of the largest champagne producers in Champagne, France.
“It was phenomenal. We each ended up purchasing a bottle to take home for a special occasion,” said Alana.
Brut Rosé boasts black and red fruit with notes of grapefruit and citrus. It pairs well with oysters, lemon parsley mussels and clams, and tuna steak.
They offer three different categories of wine: classic for dry wine lovers, estate for sweeter palates, and port-style dessert wines.
“Champagne has to be specifically grown and made in the Champagne region in France, so in America, we call it sparkling wine. We make ours with a traditional champagne method.” – Choi Jackson
One of their more popular still wines is the Harvest Rosé, which is a Riesling blend with strawberry and rose petals on the nose. This drink pairs best with exotic cuisine, aged gouda, and seafood.
Also try the Harvest Blend, Cabernet Sauvignon, Symphony Notes, Demi Sec Sparkling Wine, South Dakota Marquette, and more.
The only ways to get Belle Joli’ for yourself is from one of their locations, online individually, or through the Port and Wine Clubs.
“That’s how members can connect with our exclusive wines,” said Choi. “We have a membership program where we can send them out to the Wine Club members five times a year. Port Club is four times a year.”
“The winery is a must-stop in the Black Hills. Make sure to sit on the patio to relax and take in the beautiful view.” –605‘s Taylor Hanson
Club members also get special experiences.
“We host some fun events for club members and other customers. We’re doing Tasteful Travels. So our chef picks a country, and then we taste the cuisine from that country,” said Choi. “We pair it with one of our wines on the last Friday of the month.”
Also try Sunday brunches between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Check the website to see if you can get Belle Joli’ South Dakota-made products shipped to your state.
“I’m originally from the [Black Hills] area,” explained Matthew. “When I went to the enology program at California State University Fresno, I realized the potential for the fruit to be grown in the South Dakota area.”
The harsh winters in South Dakota can be an obstacle, but the French hybrid grapes that they use can withstand large temperature ranges.
Belle Joli’ Winery’s Estate Reserve Brut Sparkling Wine was chosen to christen the USS South Dakota submarine in Connecticut in 2017. The smaller bottle was placed into a pewter sleeve and broken against the sub’s bow.
“What’s amazing is that when you look at everything else it takes to grow the fruit (they call it growing degree days), we’re really similar to regions like Champagne, France,” said Matthew.
Operating since 2007, the company is one of the only productions in the Midwest that uses the traditional method, which requires the beverage to ferment a second time within the bottle.
“When you taste the wine, if it’s not in cold regions, it’s too warm, and the grape itself is too ripe. Once you have a little bit of a colder region like what we have here with the limestone, you get the nicer flavors,” said Choi, noting that their vineyards are ideal for making their products.
Belle Joli’ has a winery in Sturgis, a tasting room in Deadwood, and another vineyard in Belle Fourche, where it all started for the couple.
“On top of their attention to detail with their product, they have such a close connection to the brand,” said Alana. “They’re so passionate about winemaking and each other, and they always include their daughter in the process as well.”
For more information, visit BELLEJOLI.COM.