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What started as a hobby for a local couple has turned into much more: a winery

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Fargo, ND (WDAY/WDAZ TV) - What started as a hobby... has now turned into much more.

The second season of "4-E Winery" near Mapleton kicks off April 16th.

From planting hybrid grapes, to bottling up the wine, there's rarely a dull moment at this old Farmstead.

Barely a mile off of Interstate-94, you'll find this historic Bonanaza farm.

"We get to welcome people to this wonderful little piece of the prairie,” said Lisa Cook.

Lisa and Greg Cook bought the farm a few years back and after renovations and additions, the couple turned this old 20th century farmstead into a winery.

Now it's called the 4E winery to represent the four elements. Owners say they just want to get people back to their natural roots.

"What we need to do is educate people of North Dakota of its wines and how good they can be,” said Lisa.

Lisa and Greg have been making home-brew wines for more than 20 years.

Greg, who is a chemist at NDSU, says he has always been interested in how wines are made.

“I realized early on that its more art than chemistry in the wine cause it’s a natural living beverage,” said Greg.

4e Winery uses all natural ingredients in their 14-different styles of wine.

Some are hybrid grapes bred for cold climates, others are local berries and rhubarb.

"Now it's not going to be chardonnay, we can't grow those or Merlot grapes, but we can grow grapes that grow really well here and they are going to have that taste of the North Dakota prairie,” said Lisa.

Grapes are planted, picked, and then fermented for months.

The wine is transferred from tank to tank throughout the winter, to remove unwanted sediments.

Then, one of the final touches, adding any necessary sweetener.

"Then it's filtered and bottled, all by hand,” said Greg.

The bottling will continue all throughout the summer, as some of the wines still need to finish fermenting.

The wine can then be purchased through the 4e's tasting room, which is open every Thursday through Sunday, starting on April 16th.

"It's more about the experience than it is necessarily the wine, you're tasting what was grown and produced by hand right here,” said Greg.

The winery also hosts special events like tours and bachelorette parties. 

Jordee Kalk

Jordee Kalk is a reporter and First News Saturday producer for WDAY. From graduating high school in Bismarck, to college at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, she's thrilled to be in FM region! When she's not out covering the news, you'll probably find her drinking coffee and hanging out with her puppy, Frankie Lynn! Have a news tip, just give her a shout! 

(701) 241-5339
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