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Wine Tour: Rookery Rock Winery

Rookery Rock Winery Owner and Founder Mark Vining purchased the land for the winery in 2009. That year, Vining, who gained an interest for the practice through his father who was a hobby winemaker, fenced off 12 acres and started the orchard and vineyard. Eager to start, he even planted some of the grape vines and fruit trees that very year. Each year since, Vining has added vines, fruit trees, berry bushes and nut trees, and the orchard and vineyard now has in excess of 2,000 fruit trees and berry plants and 1,200 grape vines. The tasting room construction was completed in 2017 and opened in 2018 with a warm cozy atmosphere for enjoying wine and pizza in the cooler months.

Early Beginnings

“I began making fruit wines in the early 90s and also began experimenting with growing grapes. Around 2005 or 2006, the hobby had grown to the point where I decided to explore [taking my hobby] to the next level by starting a winery. After a few years of searching, I finally found the land on which the orchard, vineyard and winery now sits. We are located in the Campbell Beach of the Ancient Lake Agassiz. Our orchard/ vineyard is named Agassiz Shores.” -Mark Vining

What They Serve

Rookery Rock Winery produces wines from regionally sourced fruit, berries and grapes, many of which are grown in their own orchard and vineyard. Their wines span a wide variety, ranging from dry red grape wines to sweet dessert fruit wines. Currently, they have 21 wines in stock with more coming soon. All of the grape wines are made using cold-hardy grapes. Some of their non-grape wines include chokecherry, apple, pear, plum, aronia berry, cherry, black currant, rhubarb and their signature wine and purely unique treat: Yellow Chokecherry

Wine Spotlight

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(Left to Right)

  1. Rookery Rock’s signature wine is their Glacier Gold, which is made using yellow chokecherries. According to them, they were the first winery to offer this wine and are one of only two wineries that they know of to offer this unique flavor. The unique flavor brings a tart, and more than enjoyable, flavor to the table!
  1. Yet another unique creation, the Hopped Rocker, is a wine with hops in it… this innovative delicacy is a must try.
  1. A perfect sip for the upcoming fall, the Rookery Rock Winery’s Plum Crazy will satisfy those cravings. Although you may taste comforting flavors of nutmeg or all-spice, the plum fruit is the key to this homey taste.

Where and When to Find Their Products

A limited selection of Rookery Rock wines are available at the Fargo Happy Harry’s Bottle Shop locations, The Spirit Shop and The Grove in Horace.

Using Their Space

“We can host up to 50 guests in the tasting room. We also have event tents, chairs and tables to host up to 100 guests for events such as birthday parties, retirement parties, family reunions, etc.” -Mark Vining

When The Tasting Room is Open

From the weekend after Memorial Day through the end of September, the tasting room is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. until 7 p.m. During the late Fall through early Spring, Rookery Rock is open on select Saturdays that are posted on their Facebook page. They also host special events such as wine and cheese pairings, Christmas cookie decorating and a celebration of St. Urho Day.

Did you know?
At Rookery Rock Winery, you can purchase locally crafted products such as wood art by Creative Grains and delicious Morlock honey, both from Casselton, as well as Minnesota Suds, handmade soaps from Ada, MN, and Hendrum Candle Works from Hendrum, MN.

Rookery Rock Winery

Rookery Rock Winery is located 1/2 mile north of the Absaraka Exit on I-94 (exit 322).
3660 147th Ave SE, Wheatland, ND 58079
Facebook: @rookeryrockwinery

Written by Geneva Nodland

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