Miles City winery strives to make Montana a wine destination

MILES Metropolis — When you feel of the greatest wine areas in the globe, your intellect might wander to Tuscany, Bordeaux or Napa.

With passion and the fruits of labor, just one Miles Town wine maker is determined to insert Montana to that list of wine greats.

Wine building commenced as a pastime for Bob Thaden when he was only 18.

“It was legal at 18 back then, 56 decades back, and not mainly because I preferred liquor but simply because there was so much fruit likely to squander back again in Minnesota with all the rain they had. My wife, girlfriend at the time, she and I produced heaps of jam and jelly and canned fruit and there was still fruit leftover, so I commenced earning wine. First batches were awful, but I have uncovered a great deal in the final 55 several years.”

And there is a thing poetic about a winemaker whose everyday living and profession has been put in as a pastor.

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

Bob and his wife, Marilyn, moved to Miles Metropolis from Broadus more than 30 yrs ago.

The pair planted their 1st crops in 2004, hoping to have a experienced orchard and winery ripe for winemaking by the time they retired.

But the very hot, dry summers and h2o from the Tongue River yielded astounding crops and sped up the strategies for the Tongue River Winery.

“We opened up October 1st, 2010. Because that time, we’ve sold more than $1 million worthy of of wine, someplace all-around 85,000 bottles. By California standards that’s teeny. They do that substantially in a weekend at the large wineries. But for Japanese Montana, we’re the only vineyard with a vineyard east of Missoula.”

Now the president of the Montana Grape and Winery Affiliation, Thaden has staunch principles in creating Montana wines.

“On my web page for the vineyard, I say precisely we only use fruit that will grow in Montana. We really do not use any fruit that is introduced in from California, Washington, or Mars. It is all fruit that we develop in Montana. Not many wineries are undertaking that and I assume a lot more of them ought to.”

“Why drink California wine in Montana? Let’s consume Montana wine in Montana. And that’s why a person of our mottos is, ‘If it won’t mature here we will not ferment it,’ because we want to make Montana wine in Montana.”

Thaden grows a hybrid selection of grapes that carry the genetics of wild grapes, vitis riparia, that are native to Montana and can endure our cold temperatures.

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

Thaden claims if the right fruits are planted, Montana, specifically the scorching stretches of Central and Jap Montana, can develop into wine-generating titans.

“I want to see much more wineries in Montana and in particular 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 drinking water legal rights that have 5 or 10 acres that they would appreciate to flip into a vineyard, they should to critically look at that since it could seriously be a strong, new course for the wine field in Montana.”

Thaden’s wines are presently proving his stage by placing in wine-producing 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’ sort of cup. This is the only Jefferson Cup received so far by any vineyard in Montana and the only a person across the complete of the United States for a Marquette wine. There’s possibly 600 wineries that make Marquette and we possess the only Jefferson Cup for a Marquette, so we’re pretty very pleased of that.”