We kicked off the New Year on a high note, bringing home four awards from the 2016 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Recognized as the largest competition of American wines in the world, this year’s San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition received more than 7,100 entries from 28 states across the country. It was the highest number of entries ever received for the competition.
We were delighted to have been among the exclusive few to earn awards.
The star among our entries was our popular Gold Digger pear wine, winning a Double Gold medal. Gold Digger also won Best of Class among the entered fruit wines at the 2015 San Francisco Chronicle. The latest Double Gold medal brought the grand total awards for Gold Digger to date to 37.
This latest round of awards brought our grand total since 2001 to 880. Browse all of our awards here.
We like to say that everyone should love where they work. And we do everything we can each day to ensure our employees love working for our family of businesses.
Our businesses aren’t just places to earn a paycheck. They’re locations where our company values come to life and where an emphasis is placed on workplace education, on having fun each day and on providing employees with the tools needed to provide the best experiences for our guests.
“Prairie Berry is a family company that does it right. I’m honored to be part of the pioneering Prairie Berry family, where a culture is fostered to encourage each authentic team member to work hard and make a difference for our guests, community, the world, and themselves,” says Chris Burger, Prairie Berry’s Human Resources Manager.
Joining the Prairie Berry family means:
• Working every day against the backdrop of the beautiful Black Hills (or the historic setting of Downtown Sioux Falls);
• Selling products that are easy to be passionate about;
• Sharing our rich heritage with the power of storytelling;
• Doing stuff that really makes people smile;
• Working with amazing people who are selected based on a shared culture and values alignment;
• Joining a group of pioneering spirits and continuous learners committed to personal and professional development;
• Working in a truly collaborative environment;
• Always recognizing and sharing individual and team wins;
• Working in a fast-growing company with a lot of exciting opportunities;
• And, most of all, having a lot of fun!
“At Prairie Berry, our values of creating fun and laughter in an authentic and humble, team-oriented, environmentally conscious, quality-oriented, fast-paced setting are organically grown and lived out every day. It’s a dedication to these values that helps fuel every business decision the company makes. There’s nothing more fulfilling than working where you love what you do and the people you work with,” says Chris.
Want to write your own Prairie Berry story? Browse our job openings and apply today!
This year’s sixteenth annual invitational was held November 19-20 in Kansas City, Missouri. Known as the “Olympics” of wine competitions, the Jefferson Cup Invitational was founded in 1999 in honor of Thomas Jefferson. Wineries must be invited to participate in the competition and the 2015 participants were chosen based on tastings and competitions throughout America.
We were thrilled to have been among the exclusive few to be invited to compete.
This was the first award for Anna Pesä Meritage 2013 and the eighth award for Uncle Ralph’s Rhubarb. We also received Jefferson Cup Medals of American Merit for our Pink Slip, Anna Pesä Chenin Blanc 2015, Pumpkin Bog and Great Grandma’s Chokecherry Bliss wines.
This is our fourth competition win in 2015, bringing our grand total awards since 2001 to 876. You can find a breakdown of all of our awards here.
The results are in and our wines won again, this time at the Indy International Wine Competition.
Held annually, the Indy International Wine Competition receives more than 3000 entries from 40 US states and 11 countries. We were delighted to bring home 16 medals.
Our Calamity Jane, Anna Pesä Riesling 2013, Legacy Anna Pesä Chenin Blanc 2014, Pink Slip, Gold Digger, Crab Apple, Uncle Ralph’s Rhubarb, Blue Suede Shoes and Great Grandma’s Chokecherry Bliss wines won silver awards.
This latest round of awards brought our grand total to 870 medals.
View a list of all of our awards here.
A ribbon cutting on April 23 at Prairie Berry Winery marked the official release of Anna Pesä wines.
Anna Pesä wines are handcrafted from traditional European wine grapes at Prairie Berry Winery. These wines take Prairie Berry’s winemaking heritage back to where it began, with our fifth generation winemaker Sandi Vojta’s great-great-grandmother, Anna Pesä. Before immigrating to the Dakota Territory in the late 1800s, Anna made traditional European wines for our family in Moravia, Czechoslovakia.
From the light bodied, semi-dry Riesling and the lightly oaked Chardonnay to the Cabernet Sauvignon that brings beautiful fruit on the nose with just the right amount of oak, these are must-try old world wines of exceptional quality that are rooted in tradition.
The release of Anna Pesä was a memorable occasion for many reasons, but primarily because Sandi has aspired to create and share traditional wines that honor her great-great-grandmother and her European heritage since first starting Prairie Berry Winery.
The next time you visit the winery, enjoy a free taste of any Anna Pesä wine at our Tasting Bars or select bottles of your new favorites from our Anna Pesä display wall. These wines are also available for purchase by the bottle, glass or as a flight at Prairie Berry East Bank in Sioux Falls.
Learn more about Anna Pesä wines and the story behind them at AnnaPesa.com.
We took home 12 medals from the 2015 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition (FLIWC), including a Double Gold for our Brianna 2014.
This year’s competition was held March 21-22 in Rochester, New York and, as the world’s largest charitable wine competition, benefitted Camp Good Days. FLIWC is open to commercial wineries and distilleries from all producing countries and typically sees more than 3750 wine entries from 20 countries. The competition draws a diverse panel of the highest quality judges from all over the world.
We were thrilled to have been among the exclusive few to earn awards.
This was the 31st award for Brianna, our popular South Dakota-grown semi-sweet white wine. We source the grapes for our Brianna wine from Lewis & Clark Vineyard near Yankton, South Dakota, and we’ve worked with the vineyard’s owners, Greg and Muriel Stach, for many years.
Brianna grapes were developed to withstand the cold and heat that our climate throws at it. At Lewis & Clark Vineyard, the grape canes are combed or trained twice a year and are leaf-plucked around the clusters. This allows the clusters to fully bask in the sun, bringing out Brianna’s characteristic fruity flavors.
This is our third competition win so far in 2015, bringing our grand total since 2001 to 854.
You can find a breakdown of all of our awards here
We started 2015 on a high note, bringing home nine awards from the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Recognized as the largest competition of American wines in the world, this year’s San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition received more than 6,417 entries from more than 28 states.
We were delighted to have been among the exclusive few to earn awards.
The star among our entries was our popular Gold Digger pear wine, winning Best of Class among the entered fruit wines. A wine earns Best of Class when deemed to be the best in its group. Typically, about 40 wines of a similar style, grape variety and/or price range make up a class.
Calamity Jane also earned bragging rights in the competition, taking home a Double Gold medal.
We also recently won 10 awards at the Florida State Fair, bringing our grand total since 2001 to 842.
You can find a breakdown of all of our awards here.
Bring something new to your harvest dinners or Halloween parties this autumn. Pumpkin wine bottle chillers are easy to make, take advantage of the abundant supply of pumpkins, and are great party conversation starters. Oh, and they’re the perfect holders for Prairie Berry Winery wines! Follow the directions below to create a pumpkin wine bottle chiller for your upcoming party.
Step 1: Gather your materials.
For this project, you’ll need a large pumpkin that can hold 2 or 3 bottles of wine and ice. You will also need a knife and a spoon. And, of course, you’ll need the wine – Pumpkin Bog is the natural fit for this project.
Step 2: Cut the pumpkin.
Rather than cutting a small circle around the stem as you would when carving a pumpkin, cut a larger circle lower on the pumpkin. This provides a larger opening to accommodate the wine bottles.
Step 3: Remove the innards.
Using a large spoon, scoop out the pumpkin’s innards, including the seeds. If needed, widen the opening by cutting away some of the pumpkin’s flesh with a knife. Discard the seeds or wash and save them for roasting.
Step 4: Add the ice.
Dump a large scoop of ice into the bottom of the pumpkin. Arrange the wine bottles in the ice as desired and add a little more ice around the bottles. Let the wine chill as your guests admire the creative party decoration. Cheers!
Gather your friends and attend our Pumpkin Pairing class at Prairie Berry East Bank on October 22 from 6–7 p.m. in our Generation5 Wine Club Lounge.
We’ll be featuring Pumpkin Bog, Prairie Berry Winery’s most popular seasonal wine and Imperial Pumpkin Porter, Miner Brewing Company’s newly released seasonal craft beer. Each attendee will receive full glasses of Pumpkin Bog and Imperial Pumpkin Porter as well as suggested food pairings for each fermented beverage.
Tickets are $20 per person. Tickets for Generation5 Wine Club members are $15 per person.
Reserve your space soon as the event is limited to 20 attendees.
Call (605) 496-7175 or stop by Prairie Berry East Bank to purchase your tickets.
Each season brings new happenings to the winery, but this time of year is extra special. It’s crush season at Prairie Berry Winery!
Starting in mid-August, our crush pad comes to life as shipments of grapes from our grower partners arrive. After being heartily welcomed with cheers and applause, the grape varieties are crushed, pounded, and sent along the path of transformation into the wines our guests will soon enjoy.
Brianna grapes arrive
The first crush day of 2014 happened on August 22 with a shipment of Brianna grapes from Lewis & Clark Lake Vineyard near Yankton, SD. We’ve worked with the vineyard’s owners, Greg and Muriel Stach, for many years and their harvest made for a great kickoff to the season, complete with party hats and noise makers.
Brianna, a white wine grape, produces medium-sized clusters that mature early in the season to a greenish gold to golden bronze tone.
The Brianna grape canes at Lewis & Clark Vineyard are combed or trained twice a year and are leaf-plucked around the clusters. This allows the clusters to fully bask in the sun, which brings out Brianna’s characteristic fruity flavors. Weekly rain at Lewis & Clark Vineyard since late May led to lush and vigorous grape growth, says Greg, and was a nice turn from the past few years, which were marked by unrelenting drought.
“We had 20 pickers helping us harvest the grapes this year,” says Greg. “It rained an inch the day and night before harvest, which made for soggy conditions, but the pickers were in good cheer in spite of the heat and high humidity.”
Crush season continues
A late summer thunderstorm delayed the crushing of our Marquette grapes but, after a few pints of Miner Brewing beer, we pushed through.
We couldn’t have asked for better weather on September 3 for crushing the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes that will become the next batch of 3Rednecks.
“We are excited to have the hybrid grape volumes slowly rebound from the drought,” says Sandi Vojta, Prairie Berry’s winemaker. “South Dakota has unusual challenges for grape growing and we embrace that in our winemaking style.”
As we dream of how the wine from this season’s grape harvests will taste, we also take time to celebrate our guests, supporters, and dedicated team members. Your support is what keeps the winery going and growing. Cheers and happy harvesting!