When I saw that Fluffy Fields Vineyard and Winery opened in Dickinson, North Dakota in late August (and featured North Dakota-made wines to boot) I was excited to check it out. Then I looked at my jam-packed calendar (which includes one very cool project I’ll announce later this week or early next) and realized I wasn’t going to be able to get to Dickinson for weeks, if not months.
Thankfully, Sarah Feist was on it. Sarah is from Hazen, North Dakota and writes about food, drinks, and socializing and staying active on her blog Feisty Eats. She graciously agreed to write this guest post about Fluffy Fields after I asked (i.e. publicly begged) her to on Facebook, so now we can all live vicariously through her visit. Isn’t she fabulous? She is also one of the few people on the planet who regularly inspire me to go running and make salads for lunch, but those are stories for another time.
All words and images not in bold or italics are by Sarah Feist.
What do you call the opposite of a wine connoisseur? A newbie, amateur, novice, beginner? All of the above? Okay, that is the category I find myself in then. I’d say the majority of North Dakotans would probably consider themselves beer drinkers (myself included). However, I encourage you to visit Fluffy Fields Vineyard and Winery, located just outside of Dickinson to at least sample some of the wines produced in our great state. I had heard of this newer establishment and found it to be the perfect lunch stop on my way from Hazen to Medora.
Fluffy Fields is easily accessed from I94 via exit 61 north and only a few miles out of the city. The day we arrived it was quite overcast and cool with off and on showers. The official opening was to be kicked off the weekend following our visit but the doors were open for business. We parked in the large parking lot where we immediately noticed the grape vineyard off to the right and a huge, welcoming patio with fire pits straight ahead. Due to the rain, we ducked inside where we were immediately greeted and invited to take a look around.
We sat our items down at a large wine barrel based table and viewed the large fireplace in the tasting room, the adjacent event room, the bathrooms, an impressive waterfall sculpture and the fermenting room. While at the fermenting room, staff was on hand to answer any questions we had and to tell us more about the wine making process. She also gave us a quick glimpse into a sparkling industrial kitchen and another larger, private event area.
Obviously, all this touring whetted my whistle and I had to sit down to look at a menu. The first thing that caught my eye (and I highly recommend) was the wine flight. $10 for five wine tastes of your choice and a complimentary glass. As we were visiting prior to the official opening, the wines we were tasted were NOT from Fluffy Fields but they were all produced in North Dakota. I covered my bases by ordering two red, two white and one dessert wine.
My husband, a tried and true domestic beer and whisky loving guy, went ahead and ordered one of the three beers on tap. The options were craft beer and he went with the large ($6) Goose Island 312 which most domestic beer drinkers can handle with ease – it is a perfectly light wheat ale.
As a closer to 40 than 30 year-old, I find myself appreciating more and more a relaxed atmosphere, quality food, good service, earlier closing hours and alcoholic drinks served in actual glassware. While loud dives, red Solo cups and greasy bar food will always have a place in my heart, Fluffy Fields totally satisfies the former. The menu at Fluffy Fields is so refreshing. My partner and I decided to share two plates: the antipasto board ($18) and the chicken pesto flatbread ($14).
We overheard our server (who we later learned was one of the owners) tell a neighboring table that the kitchen uses local ingredients where they can and feature them daily in various dishes. This shows on the antipasto platter where the chef makes fresh jams and spreads depending on what produce is available.
Fluffy Fields is open for daily wine tastings, wine by the glass or bottle, craft beer and a great menu. The patio looks inviting with chairs and fires for the cool evenings. For the colder days the tasting room has a hearth ready to be fired up. The event rooms can host meetings, family events or whatever else you might need for a group. The webpage says they are booking weddings for next year. Can I get married again? Same guy, I promise! The grounds are stunning. Even if you aren’t a wine or beer drinker, this is a great place for a special event or a nice meal.
The title of this post is taken from Fluffy Fields webpage – “break the rules and decide what tastes good”. To me, that means you don’t have to be a wine snob, just come and try to see what you like. After all, who knew North Dakota could produce such tasty wine?
Fluffy Fields Vineyard and Winery
2708 21st Street East
What about you?
What do you think of Fluffy Fields Vineyard and Winery?
What’s your favorite wine? (It can be North Dakota-made or not!)
What kind of ambiance do you love when you’re going out for the night?
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