The Only Wild Grape Vineyard in the Country is Right Here in North Dakota
This is the only wild grape vineyard in America...and it's right here in North Dakota
KINDRED, ND — It is harvest season in North Dakota and there are tons of corn and soybeans ready to eat.
But those are not the only crops that are ripe for the picking.
“Get a clippers in their hand, it’s really simple,” said Jason Kesselring, who is the vineyard manager. “You know, you just go one plant, in the bucket.”
We heard through the grapevine that farmers and volunteers are hard at work in Kindred.
“These are grapes that are not only local to North Dakota, but this area right from the river here, that’s probably 100 yards away,” said Curt Kesselring, owner of the vineyard.
This is the only wild grape vineyard in America, and it’s right here in North Dakota.
But that’s not the only thing that makes it special.
“A lot of it is just the interest in what’s local,” Jason said. “A lot of wineries will import their wine, even from another state or whatever, where we’re kind of keen on making wine from native grapes.”
“We’re interested in having the local wine that truly is local,” Curt said. “It is native to this area and no one else can really say that. We like being unique.”
They are taking something that is considered wild and hoping to bring it to dinner tables across the country.
“We’re just doing a classical technique of what everybody does from France to Italy,” Jason said.
This grape was grown and raised in the Peace Garden State and has adapted to a lifestyle with harsh winters.
“North Dakota is a very difficult, hard climate to live in and this is a hearty grape and a hearty vine just like the people of North Dakota,” Curt said.
“Really resilient grape,” Jason said. “It’s hearty, it can withstand negative temperatures really well and you can make wine out of it, most importantly.”
The wild grape is unlike any others.
The owner said the color isn’t its only unique feature.
The taste is one of a kind as well.
“It’s a very unique flavor,” Curt said. “It’s a very dark red, dark purple. It’s probably the most beautiful color of any wine that you’ll ever see.”
Their goal is to combine that taste and color and take their farm to the next level.
“Our plan is to build a winery on this site here and make our own wine beginning next year,” Curt said.
Which also has them hoping for a bountiful and “grape–ful” harvest.
Organizers at the vineyard are still looking for volunteers to help harvest the grapes.
If you are interested contact Jason Kesselring at (612) 741-5691.