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Red Trail Vineyard is Pride of Dakota’s Feature Company of the Week!

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The Old Red Trail has always been filled with adventure. In search of opportunity settlers traveled West along the trail many years ago. That same adventurous spirit is present in Rodney Hogen, the owner of Red Trail Vineyard. Rodney and his wife decided to start growing grapes at their vineyard near Buffalo, ND in 2003. They were immediately met with challenges. Cold-climate grape vines are so rare that they couldn’t find any to plant! Eventually, though, they were able to find 120 vines of King of the North and Swenson Red grapes. And that is where their vineyard adventure began.

Ever since the start, the Red Trail Vineyard had plenty of visitors stopping by to check on the progress. By spring 2005, the Hogens decided they needed a place for people to gather when they came to visit. Luckily, they found a 100-year old granary/bunkhouse near Casselton that fit their vision perfectly. They moved the building to a foundation at the Vineyard and, with the help of family and friends, the granary was converted into a historic tasting room. It turned out that the granary was also located along what was once the Old Red Trail, so it really was the perfect match.

That fall also brought the first harvest of the 2003 vines and the Hogens produced their first 19 bottles of wine in a variety they called Alpha Rose. Today, the Vineyard produces 5 varieties of wine – 4 reds and 1 white. They also offer a store with Red Trail Vineyard apparel, wine accessories, food and other fun gift ideas.

The highlight of each year at Red Trail Vineyard is their annual North Dakota Wine and Grape Harvest Festival & Grape Stomp. The event includes a wine and beer garden, food, arts and crafts, bluegrass music, vineyard tours and, of course, the grape stomp competition. The 2010 festival was held August 21.

The vineyard tasting room is open from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Small group and event packages, as well as weekday visits, are available by appointment as well. For more information or to find out how you can get some of their North Dakota grape wine, check out their website at www.redtrailvineyard.com.

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Written by prideofdakota

October 20, 2010 at 9:14 am

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