Spring Conference 2017, KwaTaqNuk, Polson, Mt.

  On fabulous Flathead Lake, Montana Grape Growers and Winery Association, will host their third Annual Spring Conference.  A social event, a learning event, a tasting event...on and on.  Meals are planned, pruners are sharpened for an exciting class, vineyards are preparing.  Another track will offer winemaking and grape growing for beginners.

  Come join us March 30- April 1, 2017.  Read our events page and get all of the details, schedule plans, and application forms.  We are excited.  We promise a warm, fun atmosphere with fine meals and great people.  Our hotel host is planning to provide us with a fine atmosphere and the chef is creating some great meals.

A Toast to Montana Grape and Winery Association

A Toast to Montana Grape and Winery Association

  Let's Make a Toast!

   A toast is in order.  Our membership has grown since 5 or 6 people sat in a small room, on the shores of Flathead Lake, and dreamed of a supportive group for Montana Grape Growers and Wine Makers.  The letters for membership and with conference applications come regularly in the mail.  The account has grown enabling this group to make some great, new plans.

   People can still become members and attend the 2016 Conference, in Missoula, Mt.  See our events page for downloadable applications.

   Speakers will address various aspects of growing northern grapes and making Montana wines.  Learn how to improve your vineyard and winemaking from grape growing experts.  Hear the latest research updates.  Eleven seminars and a local winery and vineyard tour is included in the conference registration.  

    About that toast, do you know the ins and outs of making a toast with wine?  

    Here are some fun toasting etiquette tips:  A practice that has survived many cultures and generations, indeed.

    The subscription service from, "Bottle Notes" has gathered up these helpful bits of information. 

    Did you know?

    Toasting, the word for raising a glass to honor a friend, is said to come from the Latin, "toasts", which means "parched" or "roasted".  It refers to the Roman custom of tossing a piece of charred and spiced bread into a vessel of wine.  Most sources say the goal was to improve the flavor of the wine; others say the host would eat the soggy bread after everyone had been served.

  • The host or hostess of the gathering should always be the first one to toast the guest of honor.
  • The Scandinavian toast, "skol", comes from the word for skull; at one time that was a popular drinking vessel.
  • Don't drink when you are the object of the toast;  it's like singing happy birthday to yourself.
  • Once a toast is made to you, it's considered good manners to stand and return the favor.
  • Some historians surmise that clinking glasses together, when toasting, was done to scare away any evil spirits; still others say clinking glasses is a way of adding a personal gesture to the good wishes being offered.
  • Japanese and Chinese culture share common toasts that mean bottoms up!  In Japan, it is, "kampai", pronounced, "kom-pie;  in China, it is, "ganbei", pronounced, "gon-bey".
  • When you make a toast, always make eye contact.  
  • A Greek host would take the first drink from a group vessel.  This was to prove the wine was good.  Now, we drink from separate glasses and the simultaneous toast and action revives communal spirit.  A ritual to launch an enthusiasm.
  • Your toasting wine should be the best wine of the evening.  Everyone's palate will be fresh and your guests will be able to appreciate the flavors.  

   We will welcome  you in Missoula.  We will welcome you as a new member.  A fine  toast  to our wonderful planning committee for this upcoming Second Annual 2016 Montana Grape and Wine Conference.  Thank you to all who have worked to set pave our organization's path to success!




Read More

Our First Annual Montana Grape and Winery Association Conference

Our First Annual Montana Grape and Winery Association Conference

First Annual Conference Begins tomorrow in Kalispell

The Frist Conference for Montana Grape Growers and Winemakers will begin tomorrow at the Red Lion in Kalispell, Mt. 
A full day of interesting speakers, wine tastings, information, and fun are at hand. Tom Plocher will be speaking about his successful hybrid grape breeding program. Rob Ballinger will share his wisdom and experience in cold climate grapes. Bob Thaden will add annectdotes and his experience about his Tongue River Winery in Miles City. We will be taking pictures to share with you later. Everyone is excited. This is a grand opportunity for connection and support through Montana's Grape and Wine Industry. A toast to all of you!

Read More

Montana Grape & Wine Association Begins

We are happy to announce the official birth of the Montana Grape and Wine Association.
Our group is now registered and approved for a tax exempt status with the federal/state authorities and we are ready to roll.
 Steve Cummings, Don Goodspeed and Daniel Getman  have volunteered to manage the startup, enroll our members,  and schedule the first meeting. We will elect officers and clarify our mission statement.  

We are booking speakers with years of experience in cold hardy grape variety development and propagation.  We will be hearing from  experts  in the craft and science of wine making.
  We've had a surprisingly strong response from all corners of our state and a good attendance
at our first meeting.

  With help from  the Montana Department of Agriculture's County Extension Services,  we are adding more cold hardy grape vine varieties to our test plots around Montana. There will be tests for  various growing techniques.  You can imagine our excitement as we plan the new activities for the upcoming year and for our first official meeting!

Stay tuned for news of the season.  We are going to be touching upon all subjects regarding our beautiful vineyards and wineries in Montana.