Okay okay, I never seek out wine to indulge in the libations. But, when I heard Montana is trying to become the next wine country, I was puzzled.

Montana actually ranks number 3 in beer consumption, so I started scratching my head.  

Don’t we need warmer weather to be a wine country in Montana? Doesn’t there need to be certain geographical traits to grow grapes for wine? Is there a need for the government to be involved in this process?  Well, the answers are yes and no to all these questions.  

There are lots of wineries in the state of Montana.

To really learn how to grow the right grapes,  you have to know your terrain. MSU's Western Ag resource center has info regarding this. It is not recommended to study abroad in Spain or Italy. If you learn how to grow grapes in these countries it may steer you in the wrong direction. You have to acquire the pallet to grow the right grapes, and then learn to use hybrid strains of grapes, so the wine will taste like wine. It’s a very hard process and takes years if not decades to perfect. People are doing it here in Montana.  And have been for some time. 

Credit: Canva
Credit: Canva
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According to a market study done this year, Montana is pretty much a gold mine for wineries.

So why don't we see more wineries? Montana needs quality grapes to make great wine. Here are some highlights from the study I deemed interesting.  

  • The average Montana vineyard consists of 1,340 grapevines
  • The average Montana vineyard covers less than one acre (mind blowing to me)
  • The average vine yields 7 lbs. of fruit
  • The single largest barrier to using Montana grapes is access to quality fruit
  • Wine buyers want an ‘authentic’ Montana labeled wine.

We love locally made stuff, right?

Here's a few Montana wineries you can visit if wine is your jam...see what I did there?

1. Tongue River Winery

2. Ten Spoon Vineyard and Winery

3. Yellowstone Cellars & Winery

If I had the expertise on the wine thing, I’d consider growing grapes. But I’m a cold beer kinda girl. We'll also need (lots) more Montana-grown grapes to make Montana wine.  Maybe we will see more Montana-made wine in the coming years. Cheers ya’ll!

Credit: Canva
Credit: Canva
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