Painted Prairie Vineyard: Southern (Minnesota) Comfort

By Randy Gutzmann

Painted Prairie Vineyard, located just outside of Currie, Minn., is a three-and-a-half-hour drive into the amazingly beautiful landscapes of southwestern Minnesota. I made my trip on a great summer day, practicing my gravel road driving skills as I got close. The journey was well worth the effort.

A sign of a good winery visit

A sign of a good winery visit: a dusty back window from driving on gravel roads

Painted Prairie Vineyard looks like a Norman Rockwell painting of a turn-of-the-century farm yard. The tasting room is in a charming former barn with a patio overlooking the vineyard and pond beyond the vineyard. Hollywood’s best would not be able to create a more beautiful setting.

Painted Prairie Vineyard

The very picturesque view from the deck

The vineyard, which got started about a decade ago, recently changed ownership to Andy and Krista Kopperud in 2014. The original one and a half acres of grapes were planted in 2006, and the doors of the tasting room opened in 2011.

In July 2014, the Kopperuds moved to the vineyard, looking to live in a rural setting, and they took over the duties of vineyard ownership. After a year of paperwork, Painted Prairie Vineyard officially re-opened under their new ownership. Both Kopperuds chose to continue their occupations beyond the vineyard: Krista works in multiple counties as a public health and human services professional, and Andy is a doctor. He joked that, as a winemaker, he is finally putting to good use all those chemistry classes he took in medical school for making wine!

In addition to their flourishing wine operation, they have three “kiddos,” as Krista lovingly refers to her children, Annika (6), Elysa (4) and Britta (16 months). It was my great pleasure that Britta joined us for our fabulous patio visit. She is a real charmer as is very obvious in the picture below, taken on the patio!

The Kopperuds

Hanging out on the deck with Andy and Krista Kopperud and their daughter Britta

Sylvester, the very friendly vineyard cat, also showed up about halfway through our discussion and tasting. Goldie, the resident Golden Retriever puppy, did not make an appearance, which might be for the better since it probably would have been one too many pet personalities on the deck.

Sylvester the Cat

Sylvester, the vineyard cat

Krista and Andy are wonderful hosts. I asked Krista to share her thoughts on being a winery owner with me. Here is what she wrote:

The vineyard is alive and thriving, taking on the vision of the first owners. It is a small, rustic winery that is peaceful and serene. Surrounded by a wildlife management area, the view is breathtaking and one that we are proud of.

 

As we grow our business, we are focused on highlighting and supporting local business. We know how hard it is to survive as a local business, so it makes sense to collaborate and help each other out. Within 25 minutes of the vineyard you can experience specialty shops, fine dining, historical museums and recreational opportunities like hunting, fishing, camping, golfing and biking. We also now offer local craft beer from Luverne and Marshall in the tasting room and our décor is made from local vendors who truly make unique decorations perfect for the vineyard/winery setting.

 

We are “green” to the winery and vineyard worlds, but are absolutely loving the challenges and excitement of being winery owners. We strive to be family-friendly, welcoming all ages. We take pride in being able to greet everyone who comes through our door and we love to share our new knowledge regarding our wines and vines. We are starting to get momentum in folks visiting our place, so we are looking forward to many busy years to come!

Painted Prairie Tasting Room

In the tasting room

Painted Prairie Vineyard is located in Currie, Minnesota. For more information, visit www.paintedprairiewine.com or find them on Facebook by searching “Painted Prairie Vineyard.”

 

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