Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas Shopping Complete

December 19th and my Christmas Shopping is complete! All but 1 item was purchased either from a North Dakota company or at a Pride of Dakota Holiday Showcase. I can't say what that was so my wife won't figure out what she is getting.

This holiday season I have heard a lot more people say that they are buying local items for their loved ones. There are so many great North Dakota products out there. Almost something for everyone. From the wonderful Raspberry Vinegar that is made by Patrie's Raspberries in Bowdon, ND to the North Dakota dirt soap made by Pure Pleasures in Fredonia, ND, everything goes with a bottle of Maple River Wine.

If you get a chance, check out either the Pride of Dakota website at or our website has many of the top unique and fun items from our North Dakota friends. Know of any other good products? Let us know!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Fargo Pride of Dakota Holiday Showcase

Wow is all I can say. The Pride of Dakota Holiday Showcase in Fargo was unbelieveable. We had so many people come up to us and enjoy our wine. It seemed like Rhubarb, Bumble Bee Red, and Chokecherry were our top 3 wines. This was by far our biggest show. Bismarck usually is the largest of the 4 showcases. I am looking forward to it next weekend. We'll have 4 people working in our booth.

As I finish typing this, I am enjoying the smell of fermentation. Pear wine is something everyone is looking forward to. Words can't describe the wonderful aroma. Something you have to experience yourself.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Minot Pride of Dakota Showcase

Our family had a great time in Minot. My wife and I worked our booth at the Minot Showcase while our babysitter took care of our two girls (lots of swimming I would imagine). This was by far the busiest shows in Minot since we started in 2003. We had such a great day on Saturday, I had to drive to Bismarck to meet up with a couple of friends that met us with a van load of wine for Sunday. If Minot is any indication, I would imagine the Fargo and Bismarck show will be great as well! We have really noticed a lot of people promoting local products, whether it would be wine, crafts, sweets, or that famous soup that I can't stop eating. Remember, there is a coupon on our website for the Fargo and Bismarck showcase. You can print it out and bring a friend for free. We have heard a lot of our customers that have taken advantage of it. They are also commenting on the great reusable bags they are getting at the showcases. If you come to the show, make sure to thank the Pride of Dakota staff for the great job they are doing. It seems like when there is a problem they are always in the line of fire, but when things go great, they are usually overlooked.

Our topseller for the weekend: Rhubarb wine by a mile with Chokecherry and Bumble Bee Red tying for 2nd place. What will Fargo and Bismarck be like?

Monday, November 5, 2007

Grand Forks Pride of Dakota Showcase

It is that time of year again for our Holiday Showcases that we participate in. The North Dakota Agriculture Department has a terrific program called Pride of Dakota, which features products produced here in North Dakota. In November and December, there are 4 holiday showcases: Grand Forks, Minot, Fargo, and Bismarck. This weekend, we had a booth at the Grand Forks Holiday Showcase. Since our winery is only about an hour away from Grand Forks, we have many, many customers there. They stop by and sample our new wines and inform us how they enjoy going to their local retailer or visiting the winery. One thing we noticed this year was that a lot of comments were made regarding wanting to ship our Bumble Bee Red or our Prairie Strawberry to their relatives in California or other states. Our holiday website ordering has also picked up dramatically in the past couple of weeks. My wife also just redesigned our front page....I guess it is my turn to work on the other pages.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Casselton Regional Tourism Committee

Yesterday we had our first official meeting of the Casselton Regional Tourism Committee. I was nominated for and accepted the position of chairperson of this committee. We have many positive thinking members. I think we will have a great time promoting the Casselton area. We have many ideas and will share some here in the future. Does your community have a tourism committee? We are a small, growing community in eastern ND of around 2,000 people. More information is available at Watch for tourist related activities. I think we will have a busy winter planning activities.....even with Chokecherries.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

North Dakota Nanking Cherries

When I walked into the winery today, I smelled the wonderful aroma of Nanking Cherries fermenting. These cherries came from throughout North Dakota, including Lisbon, Mayville, Valley City, Wheatland, and Oakes just to name a few. I look forward to this wine coming out, but am saddened when it sells out so fast.

Tomorrow we have more rhubarb wine to bottle and clean up from our very successful booth at the Women's Showcase that was held on Saturday at the Fargodome. I would expect over 5,000 women attended the show. haven't heard a number yet, but we went through a lot of wine!!! I think Saturday was the first show where rhubarb was not the most popular wine. This time our Bumble Bee Red wine with honey and red grapes was honored as being the favorite of women attending the show.

It is the middle of October and still no sign of a killer freeze. We have 2 small strawberries on our plant in our front yard right now. They are white. I do not know if there is enough energy for them to finish. If they do, Sarah will get one and Katie will get the other one.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Pumpkin, Pumpkin, who's got the pumpkin?

Our pumpkin grower e-mailed today to let me know the pumpkins are coming in on Saturday. We'll plan on cutting them up next week and then start making more pumpkin wine....hard to believe one of our most popular. In fact, last November, it was our most popular wine at the tasting room. We expect this November to be even better for Pumpkin wine. I envision a big plate of turkey smothered in gravy with stuffing and cranberries on the side with a big, big glass of pumpkin wine. Yum.....only 43 days until Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Winter is back in our area

It was tough to listen to the radio this morning. October 9th and they are talking about 1-3 inches of snow in Northwestern Minnesota over night. It is safe to say winter is coming fast. That means our wine season is kicking in. Our apricots have been fermenting wonderfully the last couple of days at the winery. We have been fortunate to get a good quantity of apricots this year. It seems mother nature was very helpful this year. Not only did we get apricots in, but we also had people bring in North Dakota pears. I can hardly wait to enjoy a glass of North Dakota pear wine.

Pumpkins are the last thing to come in this year. I expect them to start coming in on Monday, weather permitting, of course.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Welcome to our little part of the blogosphere

It seems I always have all kinds of ideas about things to do here in Casselton and across rural North Dakota, but I don't like to write them down. My wife and I decided to start this blog to talk about ideas, news, and various items across rural North Dakota. Don't worry, we are also going to talk about our winery, tasting room, gift shop, web site, business neighbors as well as off the wall kind of stuff you can only find here.

The first question I have been thinking about is many Maple Rivers are there across the United States? If you live near a Maple River or in a Maple River Valley, tell us about it!!