When one thinks of Wyoming, one probably imagines majestic mountains, high plains and wildlife rather than growing grapes for jellies, jams, juices or winemaking.

Many homeowners, ranchers and farmers in the state, however, are thinking grapes and they are successfully growing and harvesting cold-hardy wine and table varieties.

The most popular red wine grape for Wyoming is Frontenac. A close relative, Frontenac Gris, is gaining popularity as a white wine grape.

Frontenac wine is being produced at the Table Mountain Vineyards in southeastern Wyoming near Huntley by Patrick Zimmerer and his family. He is president of the Wyoming Grape and Wine Association, which has about 50 members from Wyoming.

Zimmerer and other growers in Goshen and Platte counties are producing grapes on anywhere from 1/2-acre to 5 acres. Homeowners are also getting into the mix.

The most popular table grape in Wyoming is Valiant, which is great for making juices, jams and jellies.

The most important factors for growing grapes in Wyoming are site and variety selection. An ideal location is a sunny site on the south side of a home or other structures having wind and snow protection on the north and west sides.

It is a good idea to take a soil sample. Results will help indicate what is needed for optimal growing conditions.

For the homeowner, a nice arbor or fence makes a good trellis system while those interested in producing a larger number of vines will need to build a dedicated trellis system.


Justin Moss can be reached at the Sheridan R&E Center at (307) 737-2415 or jmoss@uwyo.edu.

This is the 28th in a series of columns by University of Wyoming College of Agriculture and Cooperative Extension Service personnel on gardening and landscaping in Wyoming. Columns are posted weekly on the UW CES Web page at http://ces.uwyo.edu/">http://ces.uwyo.edu/. Click on Landscaping Tips under Today's Highlights.

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