KX Tours Vineyard Near Hebron - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

KX Tours Vineyard Near Hebron


A late spring and cool summer has many farmers worried about their crops maturing before frost hits.
Especially farmers growing some of the most delicate fruits on the vine.
Ag Reporter Sarah Gustin takes you inside one of North Dakota's only vineyards. 

It's one of the more unique crops grown in western North Dakota.
(Mary Ann Duppong / Grape Grower) "Not all the grapes are the same. Each variety has it's own unique characteristics."
Ken and Mary Ann Duppong started growing grapes near Hebron, about 10 years ago.
After a long wait, 4-5 years for some varsities, vines that were once small are now large and producing.
(Mary Ann Duppong / Grape Grower) "It's a labor of love. It's fun working with the grapes, they are the fastest growing thing I have ever raised and I love to see something produce and this is just so unique. I bring a lot of young people out here to see the grapes and work with me and it doesn't become so much work, it's more of a joy."
Duppong expects these wine grape vines to produce about 20-thousand clusters..that total doesn't include the juice and the jelly grapes.
But right now mother nature is in control of when and how many grapes will be harvested.
(Ken Duppong / Grape Grower) "Normally they are probably the middle of September, when they are mature and you want to leave them on as long as you can for the sweetness. They get sweeter and sweeter and this year I don't know it will probably be more towards the end of September. So we are kinda hoping on the frost part."
Duppong says in all their years of growing, they've never faced a year quite like this.
He says these little berries need heat and sunlight to ripen.
(Mary Ann Duppong / Grape Grower) "People are used to having a big berry for a grape, most of the varieties here have seeds and they are smaller, but they are much more flavorful than anything you would buy in the grocery store. So I always say don't judge it till you taste it." 

If you would like to learn more about the vineyards in the state, the North Dakota Grape and Wine Association is hosting a western North Dakota tour on September 7.
Visit www.ndgga.org to register.


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