Join us on Sunday, August 18th from Noon – 5 pm for our 2nd Annual Maker’s Market @ 4e Winery. Spend a few hours in the country as you shop from over 30 Maker’s of Art, Craft, Food, and Drink, quench your thirst with a glass of your favorite beverage, and enjoy a bite to eat from the Pico Taco Truck. Hope to see you there!
This weekend we were fortunate enough to host Johnny and Tracy, aka RV SWAT, at the winery as part of the Harvest Hosts program, and they left behind a video of the highlights of their visit during grape harvest and crush.
For those of you who are not familiar with Harvest Hosts, it is a network of wineries, farms and attractions that invite self-contained RVers to visit and stay overnight. This is our third summer welcoming RVers to the winery, and we have met some awesome folks and have stayed in touch with several of them after their stay.
Tracy and Johnny were Harvest Host guests number 25 for 2018. They are in their first year of living full time in their RV, and stayed with us two nights on their way from Rapid City to East Grand Forks. Part of their story has much in common with other full time RVers that we have hosted. Fed up with the stress and sucking of their souls, day after day, they left their jobs in the corporate world, rid themselves of most of what they owned, and they and their two pups embarked on their new adventure.
What is unique about Tracy and Johnny’s story is that they are working their way around the US – literally. Through contacts they have made, and websites catering to individuals, couples, or even families who want to travel while continuing to work on a part-time, full-time, or seasonal basis, such as https://www.workamper.com, they are able to work when they want, travel when they want, and enjoy a flexible lifestyle that most of us can only dream of. They just spent four months in South Dakota, managing the restaurant at Hart Ranch Resort and stayed with us for a few days on their way to East Grand Forks to work on the sugar beet harvest. Sometime next month they will travel to the Northwest to visit with family before making their way down to southern California to manage a Christmas tree lot for a month. Next up will be a month or so in Texas with friends, and then on to a stint as gate guards for an oil field company, all while living in their RV, seeing the country, and making new friends along the way.
I have to admit that I’m just a tad bit envious of Tracy and Johny and their adventures. Heck – if we didn’t already have our awesome “job” of a winery, I might be very tempted to join them. And who knows – maybe someday we will. Traveling Vineyard anyone?
If the RV life sounds good to you, or you would just love to live vicariously through Tracy and Johnny, they are on Facebook as RV SWAT, (RV Seasonal Work and Travel), and you can subscribe to their YouTube channel for video updates as well.
We will leave you with the video that Tracy and Johnny put together of the time they spent at the winery, hanging out, helping pick and crush the grapes, and learning more than they ever needed to know about the winemaking process. We would like to thank them for this video, which, in addition to providing y’all (that’s a nod to Tracy and Johnny’s southern roots) a peek into our world, gave Greg and I a chance to take a minute away from the day-to-day churn of getting ‘er done and humbly appreciate what it takes to bring the very best wine and winery experience that we can to you, our amazing friends and guests.
Until next time – Cheers!
If you have come looking for our signature sangria recipes, you have come to the right place. Enjoy.
1 bottle 4e Winery Rail Line Red
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup lemonade
1/2 cup lemon lime soda
1/4 cup sugar (to taste)
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Garnish with slices of lemon and orange and serve over ice.
WINTER SOLSTICE SANGRIA
1 batch of Summer Sangria (without the soda)
Spices: 1-2 cinnamon sticks, 3-4 cloves, 3-4 cardamom pods. You may adjust these spices to your taste. You may also use a commercial spice mix made for mulling hot apple cider.
Combine all ingredients and bring to a very low simmer in a kettle or crock pot. Do not boil. Let simmer for 10 minutes or longer to let the spices infuse into the wine. Serve warm.
PRAIRIE PEACH SANGRIA
1 bottle 4e Winery Prairie Star
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lemonade
1/2 cup peach mango juice
1/2 cup lemon lime soda
1/4 cup sugar (to taste)
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Garnish with slices of peach and serve over ice.
WDAY showcased 4e Winery in a segment on March 6.
Fargo, ND (WDAY/WDAZ TV) – What started as a hobby… has now turned into much more.
The second season of “4-E Winery” near Mapleton kicks off April 16th.
Barely a mile off of Interstate-94, you’ll find this historic Bonanaza farm.
“We get to welcome people to this wonderful little piece of the prairie,” said Lisa Cook.
Lisa and Greg Cook bought the farm a few years back and after renovations and additions, the couple turned this old 20th century farmstead into a winery.
Now it’s called the 4E winery to represent the four elements. Owners say they just want to get people back to their natural roots.
“What we need to do is educate people of North Dakota of its wines and how good they can be,” said Lisa.
Lisa and Greg have been making home-brew wines for more than 20 years.
Greg, who is a chemist at NDSU, says he has always been interested in how wines are made.
“I realized early on that its more art than chemistry in the wine cause it’s a natural living beverage,” said Greg.
4e Winery uses all natural ingredients in their 14-different styles of wine.
Some are hybrid grapes bred for cold climates, others are local berries and rhubarb.
“Now it’s not going to be chardonnay, we can’t grow those or Merlot grapes, but we can grow grapes that grow really well here and they are going to have that taste of the North Dakota prairie,” said Lisa.
Grapes are planted, picked, and then fermented for months.
The wine is transferred from tank to tank throughout the winter, to remove unwanted sediments.
Then, one of the final touches, adding any necessary sweetener.
“Then it’s filtered and bottled, all by hand,” said Greg.
The bottling will continue all throughout the summer, as some of the wines still need to finish fermenting.
The wine can then be purchased through the 4e’s tasting room, which is open every Thursday through Sunday, starting on April 16th.
“It’s more about the experience than it is necessarily the wine, you’re tasting what was grown and produced by hand right here,” said Greg.
The winery also hosts special events like tours and bachelorette parties.
The Fargo Forum did a very nice story on the winery in August.
You can read more here: http://www.inforum.com/business/3818140-fargo-couple-open-new-nd-winery
FRIDAY ~ 5:00 pm
Saturday ~ 3:00 pm
We can’t tell you how absolutely excited – and nervous – we are to be getting our hands on locally grown grapes for the first time. Twelve thousand pounds of carefully nurtured and lovingly tended grapes are being picked at their peak of ripeness in Erskine, Minnesota and delivered to 4e Winery in two loads on October 2 and 3. These will be crushed, pressed and fermented to make next year’s wines.
We could use some help. The red wine grapes need to be crushed and put into fermenters. The white and rose wines need to be pressed and their juice put into tanks for fermentation. This is all done by hand one bucket at a time, one press at a time. No, we won’t be stomping grapes in a tub, but we will need help moving grapes and juice. So if you can pick up and carry somewhat heavy buckets of grapes and juice, we would welcome your assistance.
We are going to make a working party out of it. We anticipate the grapes arriving Friday between 5-6 and Saturday in mid afternoon.. We plan to work until the job is done. But we will break for dinner. We’ll feed you and of course there will be plenty of drinks and fun.
Dress for work – you will want to wear clothes that you don’t mind getting stained with grape juice.
PLEASE RSVP so we can plan for food and drink.
Thank you – see you at Grape Crush 2015!
At long last 4e Winery is about to open it’s doors on July 12. It’s been a busy three years getting ready for this day and we are excited to share our wonderful farmstead with all of you. We have been working hard trying to get the grounds and buildings ready. We don’t know if we will make it with every project, so please pardon the dust as we continue to build and create a space for you to enjoy.
All our bottling supplies have arrived and we will be bottling up our initial offerings over the next week. We will be releasing our first five wines for tasting and sales. These include:
Apple Wine – a dry light food-friendly wine
Rhubarb – full of flavor, we will have two styles; one dry and one sweet
Blue Bliss – a refreshing blend of blueberries and lemon
Aronia Blush – a sweet aronia wine full of healthy antioxidants
Our future plans include a full complement of dry and sweet grape wines made from the wonderful cold-hardy hybrid grapes. We have some varieties in our vineyard and will be sourcing grapes from local growers. Due to the past two harsh winters, grape vines in our area have taken a beating – including our own 4e vines. They are bouncing back but we do not expect a crop this year. We will be obtaining grapes from growers in the tri-state region whose vines are well established and survived to produce a crop. While we would have loved to be able to open with these wines, mother nature has not been so kind. But bear with us as we grow. In the meantime, enjoy our prairie essence line of fruit wines.
We hope to see you on Sunday, July 12 for our opening day. We will be open on most weekends throughout the summer (Fri, 4p-7p; Sat, 11a-5:30p, Sun, noon-5p). Please make stop by, taste some wine and enjoy the farm.
Thanks for your support.
In the last few weeks we have seen civil rights for LGBT people front and center in the public debate. Bills in Arkansas and Indiana have been passed that pose as freedom bills, but in reality are designed and intended to codify discrimination. At least in Indiana, the people of the state have demanded these laws be “fixed” to make it clear that discrimination will not be tolerated. Arkansas is not far behind. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for North Dakota.
Yesterday, the North Dakota legislature had an opportunity (for the third time) to make a clear statement that this state is open for business and welcoming for all. The anti-discrimmition bill, SB 2279, that would have added sexual orientation to the state’s existing laws was voted down by a 2-to-1 margin.
While many have expressed justified disgust, disappointment and embarrassment in “North Dakota”, we know that this wonderful state is more than its legislators. The people and the small businesses in this state care and it is clear that North Dakotans do not agree with this stance.
At 4e Winery we will serve all people and welcome all people with open arms. Not straight people, not gay people, not people with green hair – – – all people. Our family and our friends who happen to be LGBT are people. And they are welcome. We don’t care WHO people love, we care THAT they love. This winery has no tolerance for hate.
When the weather outside
reaches -20°F you can’t imagine anything can live. So the question of whether the vines are dead or alive starts to haunt me. I am happy to say the frontenac vines are making it just fine. I took some cuttings from the dormant vines to satisfy my curiosity and put my fears to rest. As you can see they are not only still alive, but nearly the entire interior of the canes are green and vibrant. This is a great sign that they will spring forth once the weather warms up in May.