Kinzel Family: Meet a Western Winemaking Family
"That’s our thing, come out and get fluffy and then sometimes people say when they leave 'I got fluffed up.'"
When you read about the history of wine, it’s a dignified one. It’s been symbol of high social status and impeccable class throughout the ages. But at a small, local winery in Dickinson, that stereotype gets a little … “fluffed up.”
“When we first joined the Grape and Wine Association, we walked into the room with a Bud Light. They all looked at us like we were crazy,” Deb Kinzel recalls with a laugh.
Welcome to Fluffy Fields Winery. You can feel the humorous charm before you even pull into the parking lot where a giant “Get Fluffy” sign looks over the vineyards. This rustic little getaway is a full-service, year-round winery that calls the prairies of Dickinson home. It’s the sight of the flowing wheat that surrounds them that actually inspired the “Fluffy Fields” name. But like many of our charming local hubs, their story started with a passion brewed at home.
“The winery was actually my husband, Kevin’s, dream,” Deb says. “He brews all of the wine himself. And it's just amazing that people don't even know that there are wineries in North Dakota because you don't think of our state as a place you can grow grapes.”
However, as Deb and her husband have proven, the process of growing grapes is far from impossible. In many ways, they mimic the local characteristics of the people that enjoy them most here in North Dakota. They’re hardy, like every North Dakotan needs to be to make the most of our colder seasons, and slightly acidic at first, like that possible first impression of a hard-working, rough-and-tough cowboy can give you. But when sit down for a good conversation, their sweet flavors become an unforgettable experience. Eventually, talks turn to Fluffy Field's wines and other pleasurable experiences here.
“Your fruit picks up your environment,” Deb says, “And people just want to come and hang out. I love talking to people. So when they come here, I just want them to feel good when they come to eat and drink.”
It’s now been 10 years since Deb and Kevin planted their first vineyard and they continue to build a culture around their wine that truly is North Dakota authentic. So stop by and pay them both a visit to see what getting “fluffed up” up is all about.
The Kinzels recommend these local places to eat and drink:
- Brickhouse Grill in Dickinson
- Theodore's Dining Room in Medora
- Medora Uncork’d
Click here for more great wineries and vineyards in North Dakota.
For more stories, go to ND Travel Matters.