May 29, 2024


It's time to think about Travel.

Miles City winery strives to make Montana a wine destination


MILES City — When you believe of the finest wine areas in the planet, your brain could possibly wander to Tuscany, Bordeaux or Napa.

With enthusiasm and the fruits of labor, one Miles Metropolis wine maker is determined to add Montana to that checklist of wine greats.

Wine earning started as a passion for Bob Thaden when he was only 18.

“It was lawful at 18 back again then, 56 years ago, and not simply because I liked alcoholic beverages but mainly because there was so significantly fruit going to waste again in Minnesota with all the rain they had. My spouse, girlfriend at the time, she and I created plenty of jam and jelly and canned fruit and there was continue to fruit leftover, so I begun producing wine. 1st batches have been terrible, but I have discovered a large amount in the past 55 many years.”

And there is something poetic about a winemaker whose life and career has been spent as a pastor.

“I am a United Church of Christ pastor and there is a specified spirituality to that.”

Bob and his spouse, Marilyn, moved to Miles Town from Broadus more than 30 years back.

The pair planted their first crops in 2004, hoping to have a experienced orchard and vineyard ripe for winemaking by the time they retired.

But the scorching, dry summers and drinking water from the Tongue River yielded remarkable crops and sped up the designs for the Tongue River Vineyard.

“We opened up Oct 1st, 2010. Due to the fact that time, we have sold about $1 million well worth of wine, somewhere all around 85,000 bottles. By California specifications that is teeny. They do that considerably in a weekend at the major wineries. But for Jap Montana, we’re the only vineyard with a vineyard east of Missoula.”

Now the president of the Montana Grape and Vineyard Association, Thaden has staunch concepts in creating Montana wines.

“On my web site for the winery, I say especially we only use fruit that will increase in Montana. We never use any fruit that is introduced in from California, Washington, or Mars. It is all fruit that we expand in Montana. Not numerous wineries are performing that and I consider extra of them really should.”

“Why drink California wine in Montana? Let us drink Montana wine in Montana. And which is why 1 of our mottos is, ‘If it won’t improve below we will not ferment it,’ since we want to make Montana wine in Montana.”

Thaden grows a hybrid wide range of grapes that have the genetics of wild grapes, vitis riparia, that are indigenous to Montana and can survive our chilly temperatures.

“Native Montana grapes crossed with the European grapes like Taxi, Riesling, Merlot, Shiraz, and so forth, and that offers them their heartiness. The wild grapes are hearty to much more than -50.”

Thaden suggests if the suitable fruits are planted, Montana, primarily the hot stretches of Central and Jap Montana, can develop into wine-generating titans.

“I want to see far more wineries in Montana and specially in southeast Montana. So if there are men and women out there on the northside of the Yellowstone on a south-struggling with slope with h2o rights that have 5 or 10 acres that they would like to turn into a vineyard, they ought to severely look at that simply because it could genuinely be a effective, new way for the wine field in Montana.”

Thaden’s wines are currently proving his point by putting in wine-earning competitions. The feather in the cap for the Tongue River Winery is the award of a Jefferson Cup for their 2017 Marquette Wine.

“A Jefferson Cup is a ‘best in show’ kind of cup. This is the only Jefferson Cup gained so much by any vineyard in Montana and the only a single throughout the total of the United States for a Marquette wine. There’s in all probability 600 wineries that make Marquette and we individual the only Jefferson Cup for a Marquette, so we’re very proud of that.”


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