licensed commercial winery in the Dickinson region. Proprietor Deb Kinzel said her family’s foray into serious winemaking began when Kevin received a carboy used for fermenting small batches of wine as a gift. The Kinzel family had already expanded their garden and orchards by adding grapes and had started dabbling in fermentation. As Deb said, that first carboy started a series of expansions that rapidly grew into a building. “One carboy led to 50 carboys which led to bigger tanks which ultimately led to the purchase of 4 500+ gallon fermenting units and construction of the 5700 square foot winery”. Starting with one grapevine in 2009 they soon increased to 10 vines and the following year Kevin ordered 600 vines followed by another 1000 vines in 2015.
Delving deeper and deeper into their hobby, the Kinzel’s invited family, friends and visitors to their farmers market to taste the wines they were creating. Those initial tastings went well enough for the couple to consider selling their wares – a process that they would find involved extensive permitting to operate legally. Deb laughs when she shares how they soon discovered the options were simple “Either I was going to be a bootlegger and end up in jail, or we were going to start a winery”!
The winery features four 528 gallon fermenters and a chiller to control the fermentation process temperatures. The Kinzels stocked up on enough fruit and grape juice to begin make about 3,000 to 3,500 gallons of wine in the first run. At five bottles per gallon, the winery expects to be flowing with 17,500 bottles of wine by the time they complete their first year of winemaking.
Kevin says the process to make a large amount of wine is basically the same as a small batch, but admitted the undertaking was a bit scary at first. The Kinzels received a lot of training and mentoring on their winemaking process from the owners of Santa Maria Winery in Iowa.
Nestled in the outskirts of Dickinson, under the shadow of Radar Base Hill, the winery opened June 1 with a soft opening followed by their grand opening the last weekend in August. The Vineyard, orchards and gardens provide visitors an opportunity to learn and observe first-hand the agriculture behind growing cold weather grape crops, fruit bearing trees and bushes as well general gardening practices.
Visitors can also tour the working winery to observe and learn the vine to wine process. Tours of the winemaking process include the juice yielding crushing, fermentation and bottling processes. Fluffy Fields also offers wine tastings, wine by the glass or bottle, and a delicious ever changing farm to table appetizer and desert menu. The Winery is also available for events and has hosted all types of groups ranging from tour bus visitors to corporate meetings to bridal showers. Fluffy Field’s Chef is prepares delicious meals for events featuring seasonal fruits and vegetables picked fresh from the gardens.
For more information or to schedule a tour contact Fluffy Fields Vineyard & Winery at www.fluffyfields.com
or call 701-483-2242. You’ll want to LIKE and follow them at www.facebook.com/FluffyFieldsVineyard
Fluffy Fields Vineyard & Winery is located at 2708 21st
Street, Dickinson, North Dakota. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. MST.