Buffalo Rock Winery: The story of the owner, winemaker, and most importantly, mother of two

By Randy Gutzmann

I’ve had the chance to meet and watch many Minnesota winery owners who see what they are doing as a “work of love” and who see working together through the Minnesota Farm Winery Association equally as important.  I’m proud to report Nicole Dietman from Buffalo Rock Winery is one of those people.

Nicole describes Buffalo Rock Winery as a welcoming and unintimidating (one) woman-owned winery offering an extensive list of wines all produced and bottled on-site with something for everyone’s palate.

Nicole Dietman

Nicole Dietman and two satisfied customers!

I made my trip to the winery on a Sunday afternoon. The winery, vineyard and family home is just off a gravel country road. The winery offers a comfortable covered patio that allows for tasting outdoors, which I of course took advantage of. Nicole was kind enough to walk me through a tasting, and it was so much fun to see the passion and commitment she has to her wine. I find this passion and enthusiasm in most winemakers when they take you through a sampling of the fruits of their vines.

As Nicole explains on her website, her story of how the winery came to be is a dream come true.

“Opening Buffalo Rock Winery in 2010 was truly “living the dream” for me. With a passion for wine and an even greater desire to spend more time with my children, owning a winery on my property was a perfect fit.

My ultimate dream came true on May 10, 2012. It was my first day without a day job! Finally, I could focus on my children and the winery! No more 100-mile round-trip commutes and only one cell phone for emails and calls instead of two!”

The vineyard got started in 2007, three years before the opening of the winery, when she planted Marquette, Frontenac and La Crescent cold-hardy grape varieties from the University of Minnesota. Later on, in 2009, she added Frontenac Gris, Edelweiss and Prairie Star cultivars. It seems only fitting, since Nicole has earned both undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of Minnesota.

Being a winemaker is second only to being a full-time mom in terms of Nicole’s most important role in life. The motivation to open the winery in addition to the vineyard came when she was on maternity leave from her day job in 2009. Now, after her transition from home vintner to commercial winery owner, she can “work from home” at the winery and spend more time with her family.

Buffalo Rock Winery

Nicole is very gracious in thanking her family and friends who have offered their generous gift of time “compiling countless hours of manual labor” constructing, planting, weeding, harvesting and bottling, and is pleased to report a growing list of guests and visitors are coming out to Buffalo Rock Winery to make the vineyards and winery part of their Minnesota wine experience.

To show her appreciation, Nicole has named a number of her wines, which are only available at the winery, after family members. Some of the namesake wines include:

  • Sweet Addilyn (2012 Frontenac Gris): Named after Nicole’s daughter, Sweet Addilyn is crisp with a balance of sweetness and acidity. Fresh apricot and peach notes.
  • Marcus’ Marq (NV Marquette): Named after her son, Marcus’ Marq is dry, and oaked with layers of flavors from spices to cherry.
  • Jeff’s Shining Moon (2012 Frontenac): Named after Nicole’s husband, Jeff’s Shining Moon is fortified and semi-sweet, featuring a nose of licorice with sophisticated flavors of coffee, licorice and tobacco,.

Buffalo Rock Winery is located in Buffalo, Minn. Visit their website at www.buffalorockwinery.com or find them on Facebook by searching for “Buffalo Rock Winery.”


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