Celebrate the holiday at 4e Winery and sample our new white peach sangria. We will be open on the 4th of July from 1-7 pm.
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.
Happy New Year. We are looking forward to a wonderful 2015 at 4e Winery.
Since receiving our state and federal winery licenses in November, we have been busy working on this year’s wines and planning for the summer. Formulas for our non-grape wines have been approved by the federal Tax and Trade Bureau and we are working on the designs and approvals of our labels.
Marquette – a dry red wine with fruity cherry notes and structured oak. This has completed primary fermentation and malolactic fermentation and is now quietly sleeping on French oak. It will be some time before we release this limited production as it has to be aged to perfection. We anticipate producing only about 7 cases of this wine.
Rhubarb – two styles. Our rhubarb wine is a staple in the Cook household. We love it dry and some of our 35 cases will be produced dry. But we know that many people love it with a bit of sweetness. So, we will be producing two different versions of our rhubarb wine. One will be dry and would be comparable to a nice bottle of chablis. The other will be touched with a kiss of sweetness if you are looking for that robust rhubarb flavor to come through.
Aronia – the super antioxidant berry. Aronia berries have been touted as one of the fruits with the highest levels of antioxidant phytonutrients. It is on the astringent side but also has wonderful cherry-like fruit flavors. It is unique and makes a good wine. Our aronia wine will be finished off-dry to bring out those fruit characteristics. And it will have a nice tannin and oak structure to carry it on the palate and make for a wine that would also go well with food.
Blue Gold – think adult lemonade. I mentioned earlier that we had our hands on top quality blueberries from Oregon. We have fermented this with lemon and will sweeten it up to make a balanced, tangy, fruity, refreshing wine. This will likely be our first wine released early this spring – just in time for sipping on the patio in the summer.
And speaking of labels, we are working on designing labels for our two lines of wines. Our grape wines will be labeled with a simple and elegant 4e logo. Our non-grape wines will be labeled under our prairie essence line of wines. This speaks to going back to the basic elements and elicits thoughts of the northern prairie where we live. I hope you will like them.
So far our winter has been rather mild, or as mild as North Dakota winters can be. Temperatures have been mostly above zero and even above freezing for the last couple of months. This is good news for the grape vines. If the rest of the winter, and the growing season cooperate, we hope to get a small first harvest from our estate grapes this year. We are also planning to source other grapes from the region to ramp up our winemaking in the fall for 2016.
Greg Cook, owner and winemaker at 4e Winery was featured on KFGO’s Mike McFeely program. Guest host, Dayna Del Val talked with Greg about opening the winery and the state of the North Dakota wine industry. Take a listen:
Welcome to November and what is starting to be a blustery winter. A lot has happened since our September update and this week brought wonderful news.
We received both our Federal and State winery licenses this week.
That means we can finally start making wine. Without these in place we would not be able to sell any wine we made. So, we are working hard to get the winery up and running and some things fermenting. I will be updating you as we start ramping up our production. We anticipate we should be ready to release our first wines for the public in 6-8 months.
Folks have been asking what kind of wines we will have to offer. Well, to be quite honest, it is late in the season and well past the harvest in North Dakota. Sourcing wine grapes at this late stage is nearly impossible. We at 4e Winery are planning to offer a line of food friendly and delicious grape wines as well as our prairie elements line of fruit and honey wines. Fortunately we have been putting some fruit away in the freezer for future fermentation. We have already crushed and destemmed Marquette grapes frozen and waiting, so we should be able to offer a local grape wine late in 2015. In addition we have sourced some aronia berries and plan to get those fermenting as soon as possible. We also have a freezer full of rhubarb to make two styles of wine – a sweeter blush rhubarb and a drier rhubarb wine. Also sitting in the winery waiting to be made into delectable beverages is a 450 pound drum of fresh Oregon blueberry purée. Just wait until you see what we have planned for that! And finally, we are looking for local ND honey to begin making some traditional and not-s0-traditional meads. So, if everything goes well, we should have several options for you tasting enjoyment next summer.
In addition to the wine making operation, we have made progress on our property. We have nearly completed a >1000 sq. ft. deck which will be a wonderful gathering place for friends to enjoy wine. Our tasting rooms inside have all been primped and painted and we are starting to get them decorated. We just can’t wait to share this wonderful place with all of you. Keep watching here, follow us on twitter, Google+ and Facebook, and we’ll let you know when we are ready to invite you in for a glass or two.