Ag Museum to host course on South Dakota wine industry


The short course “Grapes to Wine” at the South Dakota State Agricultural Heritage Museum will focus on new grape varieties and the wine industry in South Dakota.

The course will be held at the museum on the South Dakota State University campus in Brookings from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on three Thursday evenings: Sept. 23, Sept. 30 and Oct. 7.

Participants will be introduced to cold climate viticulture, grapes and wines. The course will focus on emerging grape varieties that are adapted to the upper Midwest and will include discussion of viticulture, the cultivation of grapes; enology, the study of wine and making of wine; and a paired tasting of the grapes and wines.

Instructor Anne Fennell teaches fruit related classes at State. A professor in the SDSU Department of Horticulture, Forestry, Landscapes and Parks, Fennell conducts research in grape genomics and stress adaption and evaluates new grape varieties for their adaptation to the Upper Midwest. She heads a $3.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to research environmental and genetic components of dormancy development in grapevines.

There is no charge to attend the class for participants who are registered through OLLI (The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at University Center). Participants who are members of the South Dakota Agricultural Heritage Museum will be charged a $20 lab fee.

The class compliments a new exhibit at the Museum, “Toil, Soil, Sun and Fermentation: fruit of the vine, a new industry in South Dakota.”