Tongue River Winery         

                       Quality Made Wines with fruit exclusively from the Northern Plains!  


Occasional Musings about grapegrowing and winemaking

view:  full / summary

Late Winter blahs!

Posted on February 26, 2018 at 3:50 PM

After a record-setting amount of Winter snow, it looks like the white stuff is finally over!  We still have two feet on the ground, but I waded through the vineyard last week and checked each variety for nice green tissue.  And what I found was........nice green tissue!  In every cultivar.

Now we have to wait for some of it to melt, and hope that the river thaw is very gradual and doesn't come over the banks and flood our home and shop.  It's a worrisome thing.

Read Full Post »

Harvest Over, Wine finessing in progress!

Posted on November 27, 2017 at 3:10 PM

Our 2017 crop beat our expectations and came in over 12,000 lbs of grapes!  This was 2500 lbs more than our second best crop back in 2013.  We also harvested a half-ton of cherries, plenty of haskaps, apples, pears and plums.  So it was a very good year.

Every day, Josh is clarifying, acid-adjusting, balancing the wines these grapes and other fruit produced.  We're glad we'll have a big batch of our po...

Read Full Post »

Do we have enough tank space?

Posted on July 8, 2017 at 11:05 AM

Barring terrible hail, we're off to the best year in the vineyard we've ever had.  For the past two years, hard late frosts have taken out most of the fruit blossoms in this area.  But this year, nothing was going to stop our fruit from happening!  Which leads to a happy, vexing uncertainty:  Do we have enough tank space for all this fruit?

This year, for the first time we're going to get the Carmine Jewel cherry crop we deserve:  We'll probably pick close to 10...

Read Full Post »

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...

Read Full Post »

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...

Read Full Post »

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...

Read Full Post »

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...

Read Full Post »

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...

Read Full Post »

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 ...

Read Full Post »

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 ...

Read Full Post »