Established in 2007, Tug Hill Vineyards is owned and operated by Mike and Sue Maring. Before purchasing the 40-acre farm, the Marings owned and operated North Country Landscape & Nursery in Lowville for over 30 years. Their love for horticulture made it an easy transition from trees to grapes and within a year they had over 10 acres of French-American hybrid grapes planted on the previous corn fields. In 2014, with increased production and growing recognition, the decision was made to transform the previous tree nursery into a second vineyard location. We now have over 20-acres of premium grapevines thriving on the two sites and produce almost 5,000 cases of wine.
In 2009, we opened our tasting room and banquet facility built by Mike, Sue, and friends. The hand-hewed timber framed structure is breath taking and an attribute that everyone who visits will always remember. Our first wine vintage was in 2010 and since then we have been making wines that have been recognized consistently over the years at both regional and international competitions, as well as by the highly respected publication Wine Spectator.
Many visitors ask “how can you grow grapes here?” The majority of the grape varieties that we grow were developed at the University of Minnesota to not only survive our winters that get down to around -30°F or colder but also to be disease resistant and produce high-quality wine. These developed grape varieties are a cross between classic French viniferas (think Pinot Noir, Cabernet, Riesling) and our hardy and disease resistant native American grapes. These hybrid grapes are bursting with vibrant acidity and fruit flavors and our winemaker Derek Card showcases their character through his unique winemaking styles. We look forward to introducing our visitors to the high-quality and distinct wines these grapes are capable of producing!