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Chokecherry Wine

North Dakotan’s are really embracing the new state fruit. Last week, we told you about a chockecherry festival in Williston. Turns out folks in Billings County are also celebrating the little red berries. In fact, some of you will be able to taste the fruits of their labor just in time for Christmas. Picking chokecherries is tough workand a lot of fun. The past couple of weeks, volunteers in Billings County have been working overtime to pick enough berriesto make chokecherry wine. Yesterday they delivered the goods to wine maker Greg Kempel at the capitol. He”s taking them to his winery in Casseltonwhere he’ll produce the finished product in time for Medora’s Cowboy Christmas. Kempel says chokecherry wine is something our ancestors have made for years. Greg Kempel/Maple River Winery 28:27 And they would make there chokecherry jelly, chokecherry jam, chokecherry wine, and you see them popping up now all over North Dakota and it’s been a big success of our winery is seeing chokecherry wine go all over the world 28:43 Filling those five gallon buckets takes timebut it’s time well spent. Kempel says chokecherry wine draws in customers from Georgia, France, and even Iceland. And the chokecherry is doing more than tempting your tastebuds. The berries are having an impact on the ag industryand tourism. Jeff Weispfenning/ND Ag Dept 20:29 Many other states have very vibrint segments of their ag ecomony in the wine making business but North Dakota’s is just beginning so this is historic from the beginning of the Medora label but its also very historic in that we are talking about a new kind of Agriculture in North Dakota. 20:49 Annette Schilling/ND Tourism Division 22:40 It brings together the eastern culture and the western heritage and its just a beautiful blend of getting out being active and doing a lot of fun things and then also getting a North Dakota product to take back with you or to keep as a souveneir 22:52 and it also inspires people to come back to the area to pick up their bottle of wine once they’ve been able to pick up that So just months after Governor Hoeven signed it into law, North Dakota’s state fruit seem to be growing in popularity everyday. For more information on chokecherry wine, log on to northdakotawinery.com The wine made from the Billings County chokecherries will be availalbe in Medora during Cowboy ChristmasNovember 30th through December 1st.

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