STURGIS | Big news is bubbling up at the planned Belle Joli Winery in Sturgis, where developers of the proposed winery now say they will also develop what may be the state's first champagne distillery and tasting room.
Jackson Vineyard owners Matthew and Choi Jackson, and John and Patty Jackson will host a public groundbreaking ceremony at 10 a.m. on Friday. The site of the new Sturgis winery and vineyard is approximately one-half mile south of Exit 32 at the entrance to Vanocker Canyon.
Contractor Ainsworth-Benning started blasting last week to prepare for construction of the sparking wine production facility, thought to be South Dakota’s first champagne house, with a tasting room and indoor and outdoor seating.
The winery will sit on a 12-acre parcel and include a 5-acre vineyard, which was planted earlier this year. The winery is expected to be operational by spring of 2014, employing 10 to 15 staff.
“We would like to thank the community of Sturgis as well as Pioneer Bank and Trust for their support," Matthew Jackson said.
Sturgis Mayor Mark Carstensen said plans for the new winery complement the town's hospitality industry.
"We welcome the Jackson’s and Belle Joli, and look forward to having them join our business community," he said.
Belle Joli will be the retail anchor at the southern edge of the Interstate 90 Exit 32 development corridor. The city recently annexed the area and have plans to build water and waste-water infrastructure to the location.
Sturgis Economic Development Corp President Pat Kurtenbach lauded the Jacksons are visionaries in establishing their champagne house at the mouth of Vanocker Canyon.
"We expect Belli Joli to be the first of many new, unique business attractions in the Sturgis community," she said.