Good Food. Good wine.
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Posted by Johnnie Lockett Thomas (+393) 15 years ago
Glory! Glory!

A winery for Miles City. That's my idea of home improvement

Johnnie Lou.
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Posted by Chad (+1761) 15 years ago
Johnnie Lou,

I think it's a fine idea. You need to distinguish between a place that makes wine and the local bars though. They're already "whineries"!

Question, what would you propose to ferment that's locally grown? I don't much care for dandelion wine. Plum wine is mediocre, never tried chokecherry, rhubarb wine is ghastly, potato wine (that would be like vodka), sugar beet wine??? Maybe that's it, sugar beet wine. Somehow I'm not sure the Romans would approve.

Truth be told, the worlds largest winery, Gallo, ships most of their grapes in from over 100 miles away from the winery. They have vineyards, but not near the winery.



[This message has been edited by Chad (edited 1/11/2005).]
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Posted by Johnnie Lockett Thomas (+393) 15 years ago
Chad,

I haven't a clue about grapes and the process of winemaking, but I am an expert at drinking it. It started out as a medical thing. When we lived in Italy we couldn't drink the water, you know. Unlike the wine snob in Sideways, I was forced to develope a nose and a palate. That was an great asset when we lived in D.C.

According to the story in tonight's paper though, the Thadens planted their first grapes in Miles City in 1994 and "historically have concocted their...wines from wild grapes, chokecherries, raspberries, blackberries and more recently from grapes purchased in Washington state."

I am simply interested in doing my civic duty by being a good customer.

Johnnie Lou
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Posted by Chad (+1761) 15 years ago
Welcome back to the Thadens!

I saw the article when I got home and opened the Star, only then did I see the root of your web post. I'll look forward to trying some of the local vintage, Maribot, if Bob & Marilyn will set a bottle aside for me.

Best of luck in the wine making Thadens. If you want some input let me know, I'm very good friends with the head winemaker at a small Central Coast winery, Chateau Julien. (Dang Californians!). I'm sure Bill would love to talk shop if it's on my nickle.

Cheers!
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Posted by Bob & Marilyn Thaden (+44) 15 years ago
Hello wine friends,

Just to clarify what we hope to do, we planted 70 wine grapevines last spring here in Miles City, and will be planting 600 more this April, 2005. We will be planting approximately a dozen varieties, including some table grapes for juice, just plain eating, and jelly. Of the wine grapes, you probably haven't heard of any of them other than chardonnay and riesling, both of which we will literally need to bury under about a foot of dirt every fall to keep them alive in the winter.

As it turns out, we have a slightly better climate than Yakima, WA in the summer, so if we can keep things alive in the winter, we should be able to produce a very good wine.

We plan on producing mostly dry wines (red and white) but also a very nice off-dry (semi-sweet, like a Chablis) white wine which has a very recognizable apricot finish. We will also produce a sweet blackberry dessert wine that won rave reviews in Butte where we began making it three years ago.

With a bit o' luck, we'll be licensed this fall, with our first products available in the Spring of 2006. I will probably also consider teaching winemaking classes for those interested in trying out their own hand at making wine.

Interested folks are welcome to drive out to our place (same place we used to live near the end of Sunset Drive)and see the beginnings of our vineyard. Only 4 half-rows are planted, but the basic trellissing for the next 600 vines is in place. We are hoping to have a wee bit of juice this fall so we can at least have a trial of the grapes we planted last spring. They say you get about a half crop in the third year, and from the 4th year onward, grapes pretty well are established and you can take full crops. They really take about 10 years to achieve optimal production.

The other thing we're planning on is to gradually begin a commercial truck gardening operation to provide organically grown vegies, fruits and herbs to the greater Miles City area.

Feel free to contact us if you have questions.

Bob Thaden, from Tongue River Vineyard and Gardens
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Posted by Johnnie Lockett Thomas (+393) 15 years ago
Glory! Glory!

Welcome Home. Welcome dry wines.

Johnnie Lou.
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