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Five Wonderful Wineries to Tour/Taste in South Dakota

1. Belle Joli Winery. Located in Sturgis, in western South Dakota, a half mile south of Exit 32 on I90, at the entrance to Vanocker Canyon, this offers tastes of sparkling wines on an outdoor patio overlooking 5 acres of vineyard, with beautiful ponderosa pines looking in the distance. This family-run winery planted their first vines in 2000, and now produces award-winning wines grown, harvested, and bottled in western South Dakota. If you can't make it to the winery, you can also visit their tasting room in Deadwood. Some of their wines include: Cherry Dessert Wine, American Riesling, Brut Sparkling Wine, South Dakota Estate Grown Marquette, American Cabernet Sauvignon, and Demi Sec Estate Reserve Sparkling. Learn more at: Belle Joli.

2. Strawbale Winery. Located in southeast South Dakota in Renner, about 10 miles north of Sioux Falls, where visitors to this green winery can walk through rows of vines and then go for a taste in the straw-bale tasting room. Their wines are all produced, fermented, bottled, and blended in straw-insulated buildings. Grape wins are made from varietals such as Frontenac, Kay Gray, Frontenac Gris, LaCrescent, and Valiant -- both from their own vineyards as well as other local vineyards. Fruit wines are developed from fruits purchased locally. Some of the 20 or so wines you'll find include LaCrescent, Homesteader Red, Pink Hare, Kay Gray, American Frontenac Rose, American Frontenac Gris, Prairie Storm, Red Barn Red, along with fruit wines such as Black Currant Wine, Black Raspberry Wine, Chokecherry Wine, and Cranberry Wine. Learn more at: Strawbale Winery.

3. Tucker's Walk Vineyard & Farm. Located in Garretson off Highway 11, in southeastern South Dakota, about 20 miles northeast of Sioux Falls, this winery produces award-winning wines from cold-hardy grapes -- including Marquette, Brianna, St. Croix, Frontenac Gris, St. Pepin, and LaCrescent. Besides grapes, they also ferment fruits such as raspberries, rhubarb, and wild plum. The family-run businesses started growing grapes as a hobby (and experiment) in 2003 and became South Dakota's 15th farm winery in 2010. Current wine offerings include Tucker's Walk Marquette, Tucker's Walk Brianna, Tucker's Walk Cranberry, and Tucker's Farm Pear. Tastings are available most weekends. Learn more at: Tucker's Walk Vineyard.

4. Valiant Vineyards Winery. Located in Vermillion, in southeastern South Dakota, on the Vermillion River, overlooking the Missouri River. Valiant the oldest winery in the state, started in 1993. In fact, because the state had no laws on wine production, the owners helped author the state's farm winery legislation, which was signed into law in 1996. Premium wines are produced under the Valiant Vineyards and Turkey Ridge Creek brands using traditional winemaking techniques, including malolactic fermentation, barrel aging, and cellaring. Some of their wines include: Menopause Merlot, Sturgis Merlot, Artisan Cabernet, Wild Grape Wine, Rushmore Red, Turkey Ridge Creek Chardonnay, Rushmore White, Buck Naked, Pasque, and Wild Grape Port. Learn more at: Valiant Vineyards.

5. With the Wind Vineyard & Winery. Located in the very northeast corner of South Dakota, in Rosholt off of State Highway 127, this family-owned winery started in 2012 produces boutique wines from four varieties of grapes: Brianna, Frontenac, Frontenac Gris, and King of the North. All stages of the wine-making are completed on-site, including fermentation and bottling. Wines include Expanse Crisp White Wine, Expanse Fresh Red Wine, American Moscato, American Syrah, American Merlot, and American Malbec. The tasting room is open weekends and for special events. Learn more at: With the Wind Vineyard & Winery.


Bonus Winery to Visit in South Dakota

Twisted Pine Winery. Located in downtown Hill City at 124 Main Street, in the heart of the Black Hills in western South Dakota, this wine retailer (not a winery) offers a variety of regional wines, craft beers, and foods. Stop here and find wines from Schade Winery, Calico Skies Winery, Firehouse Winery, Prairie Berry Winery, Strawbale Winery, Wild Prairie Winery, and others from California and Oregon. Learn more at: Twisted Pine Winery.

Want more wine adventure? Consider taking in all of the Southeast South Dakota Winery Trail, starting at With the Wind Vineyard to the north and ending at Valiant Vineyards to the south (with 8 other wineries in between).

EmpoweringSites.com CEO Dr. Randall Hansen Dr. Randall S. Hansen is an educator, author, and blogger, as well as founder and CEO of EmpoweringSites.com, a network of empowering and transformative Websites, including EmpoweringAdvice.com. Dr. Hansen has been helping empower people to achieving success his entire adult life. He is also founder of EnhanceMyVocabulary.com, MyCollegeSuccessStory.com, and EmpoweringRetreat.com. He is a published author, with several books, chapters in books, and hundreds of articles. Dr. Hansen is also an educator, teaching business and marketing at the college level for more than 25 years. Learn more by visiting his personal Website, RandallSHansen.com. You can also check out Dr. Hansen on Google+, as well as Dr. Randall Hansen on LinkedIn.

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