Prairie Berry Winery ~ Hill City, South Dakota

“Red Ass Wine” that’s what half a dozen billboards read as we approached Hill City this past fall. We we revisiting the town of Hill City in the down time from Andrew’s conference. We’d enjoyed it so much a few summers ago with all the cute tourist shops the small town nestled in the Black Hills had to offer. Turns out when you visit in the off season, the town isn’t nearly as much fun. A vast majority of those cute shops are closed for the off season. So after taking 20 minutes to walk the main drag of Hill City we decided to turn back towards Rapid City, but stop off at the winery boasting the Red Ass Wine on the way to see what all the fuss was about.

The property for Prairie Berry Winery includes the winery and also a brewery, if wine is not your choice beverage. The setting is quite impressive and the winery is also home to a restaurant. Upon entering they asked if we were there to shop/taste or if we wanted to be seated in the dining room.

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The shop itself is rustic, yet wide open. They have a long counter at the back where you can do your tastings. I was the only one tasting as wine is not Andrew’s favorite thing. I did get served next to another older couple who were new to the wine tasting experience, so I helped give them some tasting tips while being served.

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As you can see, you are offered 5 choices from a fairly extensive wine list. After of course checking off the Red Ass Rhubarb, I also quickly checked off the strawberry as those tend to be my favorites. The other two sweet wines sounded intriguing as well, as I’d never tried in apple wine, nor a grape wine flavored with apple. As I final wild card, I chose the Poker Face (which was actually my first sample), as I’d also never heard of having a pear and pineapple wine.

It turns out Poker Face was my absolute favorite! The flavor was so unique I just knew I had to get a bottle! I also bought a bottle of strawberry and wanted to get the Red Ass, but Andrew limited me to just two. I’ll be back for more in future trips!

If you are at all a fruity wine drinker, I highly recommend stopping by Prairie Berry. They offer lots of unique fruit flavors that I haven’t found anywhere else.

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Ghost Town Winery ~Watertown, South Dakota

On one of our first days off here in South Dakota, we decided to venture to a winery that my parent’s had stopped at after visiting us. Ghost Town Winery is located inside Watertown Confectionery in the downtown area. For a small tasting free, you can pick 5 wines to sample in a wine glass of your choosing (that you get to keep) and three of their chocolates that they make in house.

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As you can see in the photo, they give you a list of all their wines and you can mark which ones you would like to taste. They also give you 5 tokens that you turn in each time you receive a sample. Each of their wines in named after a ghost town found in South Dakota. I choose to sample their Strawberry, Black Raspberry, Pink Moscato, Raspberry Dragonfruit, and Cherry Sangria. They all were quite good with the Cherry Sangria being my favorite. I wound up buying a bottle of that, as well as the Strawberry and Raspberry Dragonfruit. At the end of our tasting, they also let us sample a wine slush they had made. You can buy the slush mixes to take home and pair with your favorite of their wines.  Along with the wine, we also choose to buy some of their chocolates and homemade dog treats for our two pups.

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We really enjoyed our visit to the winery. The lady working was super friendly and really seemed to care about us while chatting during the tasting. I highly recommend stopping by sometime. (Note: When you do be sure to search Watertown Confectionery to take you there on Google Maps instead of Ghost Town Winery. The results for just the winery will just take you to a liquor shop that sells the wines.) Thanks Ghost Town Winery! We will most definitely be back!

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Three Lakes Winery~ Three Lakes, Wisconsin

The cottage my parents have for a week every summer is located at a camp near Three Lakes, Wisconsin. This means we always have time to visit the Three Lakes Winery at least once a year. Sometimes we’ve also rented cottages up there in the fall or winter as well. (The winery is a lot less busy in those off season months!)

When we visited the Three Lakes Winery this past summer, the tasting area was quite busy. We had to wait a little while to be served. Luckily this gave us plenty of time to check out the selections and begin to decide what we’d want to sample that day.

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As you can see, it’s a free tasting, but you are limited to 6 wines, and they have so many more to choose from. This was my third time tasting at this winery and I tried all new ones from any other time I’ve visited. They are especially known for their Cranberry Wines and I’m also a huge fan of the Lakeside, shown in the top section of the list. I always pick up at least a bottle of that when I stop by.

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After we finished tasting, I also wound up with a bottle of Cabin (Cranberry mixed with Blackberry) and Old Glory (Cranberry mixed with Blueberry). Like most wineries, they tend to offer special deals when you buy higher amounts. I think the first deal here started with 6 bottles, but I had a coupon from a tourism guide that saved me a few bucks on the three as well.

Three Lakes Winery also has lots of other food goodies you can purchase, from sausage, to cheese spreads, to dip, bread and soup mixes, you’ll find it hard to leave empty handed. They have one cheese spread in particular that we are quite fond of and always stock up on when we visit. We just love that Cranberry Wine Cheddar, plus it freezes well!

I highly recommend stopping by the Three Lakes Winery if you are ever in the area. The staff is friendly, the wine is tasty, and they even offer tours if that’s something you are interested in!

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