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Published August 31, 2010, 09:57 AM

International honors for Casselton winery

Casselton, ND (WDAY TV) - It's the best fruit wine in the world and its right here in North Dakota. An international award is putting Maple River Winery on the map and bringing regional agriculture with it.

The small winery here in Casselton beat out hundreds of other wineries from across the globe to nab not only one, but two gold medals for their new and now top-selling strawberry rhubarb wine.

The winery competes annually at the Indy International Wine Competition in Indiana, but they've never been able to take home gold. This is the first time a winery from North Dakota has won gotten top honors: The first was for "Fruit Wine of the Year," then the best fruit wine in all categories. The owner says this victory is a huge win for them as well as growers throughout the region.

KEMPEL: "Yes we make the wine, but the people that grow the rhubarb, the strawberry, we have over 300 people that bring fruit into the winery. The rhubarb comes from all over, the strawberry from several U-Pick farms around the area, so not only it's our award, but it's their award too."

This award-winning wine is already a top-seller on their website and they're hoping this new prestige will bring more people here to Casselton to have what they call a 'slice of Grandma's homemade strawberry rhubarb pie.'

The total number of wineries in the world-wide competition: More than 3,000 from 39 states and 12 different countries.

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