Wyoming

Wyoming Wine Overview

A rainbow arches over the vines at Wyoming's flagship winery, Table Mountain Vineyards.

A rainbow arches over the vines at Wyoming’s flagship winery, Table Mountain Vineyards.

Wyoming has one of the smallest wine industries of the 50 states, but it’s not for a lack of passion. Historically, the challenges of growing grapes in Wyoming haven’t made them economically feasible for farmers. Wyoming’s climate conditions are often referred to as extreme — very hot and very dry in the summer and excessive cold in the winter. The state is too far east to enjoy the advantages of Pacific Ocean climate, and too far west of the fertile Midwest river valleys.

Nonetheless, there are about two dozen vineyards in Wyoming who have varying degrees of success growing grapes. All the grapes grown here are hybrids — those able to withstand the harsh winters and difficult summer conditions. But contrasted with 20 or 30 years ago, it can be considered a healthy growth trend.

Frontenac grapes are the most successful in Wyoming vineyards. Other grapes grown here include Marechal Foch, LaCrescent and Marquette, a unique grape that is an “offspring” of Pinot Noir. The most prominent vineyards in the state are at Wyoming’s flagship winery, Table Mountain Vineyards, located just east of Huntley, in the extreme eastern part of the state. The winery is practically a stone’s throw from the Wyoming-Nebraska border and quite near Scottsbluff, and a handful of western Nebraska wineries.

Table Mountain Vineyards, which also has a tasting room in Jackson in western Wyoming, is a true taste of the state. Only Wyoming grown grapes and fruit are used in their wines. Varietals include an award winning Frontenac Gris, a red Frontenac table wine and Wyoming Gold, a semi-sweet white wine made from Elvira grapes. They have a wine club and can ship their wines to some other states.

Frontenac grapes are the most successful in Wyoming vineyards. Other grapes grown here include Marechal Foch, LaCrescent and Marquette, a unique grape that is an “offspring” of Pinot Noir.

There are only two wineries in Wyoming at the present time, and the other is located in Riverton, in the Wind River Valley in central Wyoming. Irvin Cellar Winery, like Table Mountain, uses only Wyoming grown-grapes and fruit to make their wines. They also ship out-of-state. Irvin Cellar produces mainly fruit wines like apricot, peach, plum, chokecherry and a unique sweet pumpkin wine. They also offer a highly respected premium Merlot, and when they sell out of wine, that’s it until next year’s fruit crop!

While we don’t expect Wyoming will ever be a prolific grape-growing and wine producing state, the passion and dedication of the Wyoming wine circle will surely lead to some growth. A loosely connected group of Wyoming growers founded the Wyoming Grape and Wine Association, and its mission is to encourage and promote grape-growing and wine-making in the state.

Wyoming Wine Trail

With two wineries in the state at the present time, there’s no need for a wine trail, but Table Mountain Vineyards has long been part of a cooperative effort with western Nebraska wineries in an organization known as Wines West. In the past few years, the organization formed a wine trail, the Historic Trails Wine Trail. This is primarily a Nebraska trail covering three western Nebraska wineries and one Nebraska vineyard and apiary. It made perfect sense for Table Mountain Vineyards to be part of the Historic Trails Wine Trail due to its close proximity to the Nebraska border.

Back to top

Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Tumblr
  • email
  • Add to favorites
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Print
  • RSS
  • Ping.fm

Leave a Comment

*