Wyoming Wine Country

Wyoming is one of the smallest and coldest wine states, with no AVAs, but some wineries partner with their Nebraska counterparts to the south to highlight emigration trails such as the Oregon Trail. The Wyoming Grape and Wine Association helps to promote the state’s wineries, which are also supported by the University of Wyoming’s grape research and extension program.

Table Mountain Vineyards actually grew out of a 2001 research project and thesis at UWYO by Patrick Zemmerer, from a family that started a farm in 1926 and has had four generations involved. His project proved that cold-hardy grapes could survive in Wyoming’s challenging climate, so he began planting what is now 10,000 vines with 12 varieties on 10 acres. The winery opened in 2004 with grape, fruit and honey wines and the philosophy, “Let the fruit do the talking”. The wines’ names reflect their state pride, with Cowgirl Blush and Red, Cowboy Red, Wyoming Gold, Wyoming Nectar (honey with cinnamon), and S.O.B (Son of Berry) from Raspberries.

Great Grapes: Valiant

South Dakota State University developed this variety, which is cold hardy down to minus 50F! Normally used in blends of wine, it can also produce nice jellies and serve as a very small berry table grape.