Made In Montana Vino

As a wine drinker and a local food enthusiast, I feel blessed to have access to many delicious and affordable wines that come from the Northwest and California. Washington, Oregon and Cali are producing some seriously tasty vino.

Although it’s not considered “local” (meaning it’s produced within a 100 mile radius of Bozeman), it’s a heck of a lot closer than France, Italy or Argentina.

But how about closing the mileage gap and trying some of those Montana wines that you may or may not have heard of. There are currently eight Montana-based wineries, some using grapes imported from the growing regions in the Northwest and California and some growing their own.

Many of these wineries are also using Montana-raised or wild-picked fruit in their wine concoctions, such as Flathead cherries, huckleberries and chokecherries. And of course, some of these wineries are larger ventures, with tasting rooms and larger distributions, and some are on the smaller side.

Here’s a glimpse at three Montana wineries (select wine varieties listed below are available at Co-op West Main).

Mission Mountain Winery
Dayton, Montana

Located on the west shores of Flathead Lake, this was the first bonded winery in Montana. They planted a vineyard more than 33 years ago and put out their first batch in 1984. Today, they produce 6,500 cases per year. Their Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and some Riesling, Chardonnay and Gewurztraminer grapes are grown in Montana. The rest are grown in their own vineyard in south central Washington.

Their wine varieties include: Vin Gris, Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Sundown (blush), Muscat Canelli, Nouveaux Riche (a dessert Muscat Canelli), Ice Wine, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Merlot/Cabernet blend, Malbec, Syrah, Cream Sherry, Port, Cocoa Vin and Blanc de Noir Champagne

Flathead Lake Winery
Ronan and Lakeside, Montana

This family owned and operated winery on Flathead Lake is the only Montana winery to make all of their wines from all Montana-grown fruit, whether it’s from area farms or gathered in the wild. Since 2003, they have been making fruit-based wines, from local apple, cherry, chokecherry, huckleberry and grapes.

Their wine varieties include: Cherry Red, Gewürztraminer, Glacier Wild Huckleberry Wine, Flathead Lake Cherry Wine, Mission Valley Apple Wine, White Cherry Wine and Chokecherry Wine.

Ten Spoons Vineyard & Winery
Missoula, Montana

These wines are made with organic grapes with no sulfites added using solar powered irrigation. They started their vineyard, located on the edge of the wilderness in the Rattlesnake Valley of Missoula, in 1997 and produced their first wines in 2003. Other grapes and fruits are purchased from small farms throughout the Northwest and California.

Their wine varieties include: Pinot Noir, Prairie Thunder (Petite Sirah and Zinfandel), Flathead Cherry Dry, Cherry Blossom, Ranger Rider (red blend), Farm Dog (red blend) and St. Pepin, among others.

Frugal Picks

The pricing on many of the Montana wines are a bit over the Frugal Wino’s limit, mostly due to the small batches and handcrafted styles, which are more time consuming to make than those from larger wineries. Here are some of the more frugal choices found on the shelves of Co-op West Main:

  • Mission Mountain Huckleberry Wine
  • Flathead Lake Winery, Flathead Red
  • Ten Spoon Getaway White

The Frugal Wino, Corrine Garcia, is a Bozeman mom, freelance writer and frequent wine drinker. You can follow her on Twitter, Wino El Cheopo.

Looking For More Info?

For more info about wine varieties or specific questions about wines in stock at the Co-op, please contact our Spirits Purchaser, Elizabeth Davidson at 406-587-4039 ext. 3066 or at elizabeth@bozo.coop.