Tongue River Winery         

                       Quality Made Wines with fruit exclusively from the Northern Plains!  

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Occasional Musings about grapegrowing and winemaking

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April 2017: Exciting New Year!

Posted on April 11, 2017 at 1:05 AM

After a month in Australia, it was wonderful to come home to cooler temperatures!  Last Saturday I did some pruning in the vineyard, and the grapes show a lot of promise this year.  A mellow winter and a nice cool, gradual spring is bringing things out of dormancy nice and slowly.  This protects the buds from late spring frosts.

Several exciting things showed up elsewhere on the property.  Unless it frosts:

1. We're going t...

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Mixed year, plenty of wine

Posted on October 1, 2015 at 1:10 AM

2015 has been another year of mixed blessings.  On the plus side, we had a nice crop of wild plums and our intense Golden Spice pears, and five times the crop of yellow raspberries, for a big increase in our Gold-medal winning White Raspberry wine.  Our Frontenac and Frontenac Gris and Frontenac Blanc did fairly well, so we'll have a boost to our very popular Warm Front, Frongria and Frontenac Trio Rosé.

On the down side, that giant wind in mid-July took the skin off of o...

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FINGER LAKES INTERNATIONAL: 3 wines??? 3 medals!

Posted on March 26, 2015 at 12:05 AM

GOLD: Black Currant

SILVER: Frontenac Trio Rosé

BRONZE: Aronia

Just announced March 25th.  Finger Lakes International Wine Competition is a great contest to enter, because it supports special needs kids who are struggling with sickness, abuse who attend Camp Good Days in NY State.  As a Gold medal winner, we are required to send a case of our winning wine for their fund-raising auction and dinner.  We're glad to help out with such a g...

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Spring: the season of Anticipation!

Posted on March 19, 2015 at 1:55 AM

This is the time of year for anticipation! Here are a few things we're anticipating:

GRAPES:  We're pruning like crazy, hoping to see signs of green in all of the grapevines.  Some (alas!) look like they've died back to the ground again.  Winter 2013 to Oct 2014 was a really tough year.  -40° F in Dec 2013, a late spring frost (early May), and then a very late hard fall frost (Sept 7th, three weeks early) put a lot...

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New wines! Others Gone! But not forgotten!

Posted on February 3, 2015 at 7:50 PM

Alas, the White Raspberry wine is already sold out!  In just three weeks, our meager 48 bottles were grabbed up by eager customers.  One wanted to buy a whole case, and we had almost to take the whip in hand and limit him to 4 bottles so that others could have some of the delicious fun!

But for those who missed out, DO, ABSOLUTELY DO become a member of our website.  It is free, and it br...

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New & Returning Wines Coming Out Shortly

Posted on December 22, 2014 at 9:30 PM

Returning Wines:

   Black Currant: 2013 is sold out, but 2014 should be ready by sometime in January 2015.


  White Raspberry: This delicious water-white premium wine will be ready late January.  Only four cases and it will go fast!


  Apple Ice:  So popular in 2012, we made even more of this premium wine ...

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Experimental wines in the plans

Posted on August 23, 2014 at 12:15 AM

Several years ago Costco was selling Aronia juice, and Marilyn and I really like it— tangy, fruity, dark.  But then they stopped.  Now aronia has become the darling fruit of the anti-oxidant crowd, and with good reason.  It ranks higher than just about anything in antioxidants, by a wide margin.

Most aronia wines we've tasted have not excited us.  But we've got 100 lbs to play with this fall, and we're going to try a couple of experiments and try to turn out a ...

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Hybrid Wine Shows Its Stuff!

Posted on June 14, 2014 at 2:25 PM

This conversation happened at a winery in Oregon about a month ago as two women were on their way from California going east, visiting wineries along the way.

"Don't bother stopping in Montana," the wine steward said to one of his customers. "Their wine is crap!" I know about this because his customer was one of OUR customers two weeks ago. In that spirit I offer the following:

2014 NORTHWEST WINE SUMMIT RESULTS ARE FINALLY IN: Tongue Rive...

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The mistress you hate to love

Posted on June 11, 2014 at 10:45 PM

I tell people that Mother Nature is the most seductive mistress anyone will ever have.  She wafts beautiful scents your way in spring, bedecks herself with incredible finery and intrigue (think butterflies, gorgeous flowers) and promises wonderful fruits and vegetables and lots of fun.  You can't help falling in love with her again every year.

But then.....hail; or yellow-jackets and birds eating your crop. Or disease.  Or drought.  And it all too often happens after...

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Expanded marketing opportunities

Posted on June 11, 2014 at 10:40 PM

It's not every day we get to deliver a whole van full of wine to a single customer.  But tomorrow I'll be driving 400 bottles of Tongue River wine to Geraldine, Montana, which is celebrating their Centennial on July 4th.  I'm delivering Tongue Tied (our dry, barrel-aged red), Frontenac Gris (dry white, somewhat like chardonnay) and our sweet win...

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