Wyoming Wine

Listen to "Wyoming Wine" and fill in the gaps.
day is just what you might expect to see in the rolling hills (sanfte Hügel) of eastern Wyoming. and you'll find another crop that's not, perhaps , barley and corn growing region: ! "Definitely at the very beginning people thought we were a little nuts (verrückt sein), ." Patrick Zimmerer is one of a growing number of vintners (Winzer) and bottling (Abfüllen) options. Since 2001 Patrick's been growing grapes and operating Table Mountain Vineyards northeast of Cheyenne, Wyoming. Its part of the country that can get up to each winter. "Compared to grapes being grown in California, Europe or , it is definitely a challenge because our grapes face extreme cold where we're anywhere from 15 to 30 at any given time."

The vines grown here are hybrids designed to withstand (aushalten) harsh (rauh) weather conditions. as "Valiant". The "Valiant" is actually one of the very first hybrid grapes developed in South Dakota. And they believe like 55 to 60 below zero. has a long history in agriculture. The vineyard came as a result of continuing efforts to diversify . "The farm itself has been very diversified, since the time it's been a sheep feeding operation, a cattle feedlot operation. We've , sugar beets."

The idea to grow grapes actually began as a thesis paper (Diplomarbeit) in college. "As we did a little research into the , we found 14 different varieties that we thought could grow here." The startup plan earned Patrick 10,000 dollars in seed money (Startkapital) as part of a at the University of Wyoming. It was an "interesting" . "You know, your grandchildren and even your own children, you just, whatever they want to do, you want to help them get ahead (vorankommen). So ."

The first harvest in 2004 yielded grapes . Today they've grown to 11,000 vines on just about a dozen acres. Much of the marketing target has been on wines . "We produce a honey wine, some , a strawberry wine. And when we first started, we were very small. I think our first harvest was about 400 pounds of grapes. We've made anything from apple, pear (Birne), , anything that's grown in Wyoming that's a fruit that we can turn into wine we've experimented or tried ."

The fermenting (Gär-) process is done in polyurethane barrels (Faß) casks (Holzfaß). Patrick says this allows the fruit to more adequately (angemessen) ferment with the wine grapes. "The yeast (Hefe) is converting . We have about 75 pounds of cherries per barrel here. And it's all fermenting away. And it'll be cherry wine."

The winery's products have already been recognized . "We've got wine going to Gillette and Cheyenne and Casper and I think that's it for now." The marketing at Table Mountain has definitely become a family affair with the bottled and restaurants across the region.

"About two buds (Knospe) down from the bunch of grapes, you just prune off (wegschneiden) that excess." The success at Table Mountain has also inspired to try their hand at wine making. One is the smaller start-up known as LaGrange Vineyards. "We've tried several different varieties. , some were not. Anyway, I have in this acre, I have an acre and a half of grapes here, which is a thousand plants. And they're giving me between 7,5 and 8 tons of grapes a year, which I , to Patrick at the winery."

Patrick says he's gratified (erfüllt) that the vineyard has enjoyed so far: all from a college paper . "I do think it's a success story for any agriculturalist , carry it through and be able to promote (fördern) the industry and hopefully start a new industry for other growers ."