Cowboy Takes Leap of Faith in Wine Industry


While Montana may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of wine, maybe it should be.  Just a few short years ago, Clint Peck, who grew up in the ranching and cattle industry, decided to take a huge leap of faith, hang up his cowboy hat, and make wine in Montana for everyone to enjoy. 

Clint Peck: “We started this on a shoe string. In the first crush, we crushed two bins of grapes in 2011. Now, we will crush 60 bins of grapes, which is 60 thousand pounds of grapes and will yield 70 barrels of wine. 

“We won’t know the grape harvest for the next 2 to 3 years. They will ferment for 10 days and the wine will age for 2 to 3 years. At the Yellowstone Cellars,  we get our grapes out of Washington. We drive 750 miles and find that the best grapes grown in the world, are grown in the Yakima valley. We think we are able to make some nice wines and currently offer 12 different varieties. 

“We separate the fruit from the stem with a machine.  The juice falls down into the bottom of the hopper and is pumped to the fermentation bins and they will ferment there. We inoculate with a cultured yeast and test for specific gravity every day. When the specific gravity stops dropping we know the sugar has produced alcohol. 15 to 13{62211894bbe3543ea27fa51e74e3ab79f2baeee0f4cbac9ff4b15b5bf1d81fd0} alcohol will remain. 

“Once we got the fermenting finished, we press the juice and place it in the barrels and age it, like I said for two to three years.”

You can learn more by visiting  You can also visit the tasting room in billings or find a bottle of wine in a store near you in multiple locations across Montana.  




© Northern Ag Network 2015

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