Advertise in Print | Subscriptions
Published December 04, 2009, 11:01 AM

Pierce County retiree begins anew as grape grower, wine maker

The fruit of the grape vine is being picked at the Rudy and Cathy Jungwirth residence, located in a housing development which was once a farm off CTH E.

By: Bill Kirk, Pierce County Herald

TOWN OF OAK GROVE—Farm fields in the Town of Oak Grove are not only dotted by new dwellings, but by a new crop, too.

The fruit of the grape vine is being picked at the Rudy and Cathy Jungwirth residence, located in a housing development which was once a farm off CTH E. That the Jungwirths would be getting a harvest from this farmland-turned-neighborhood is appropriate.

“This is one of only two housing developments in Pierce County zoned for agriculture,” Rudy Jungwirth of Valley Vineyard said Thursday.

Jungwirth is retired after 41 years with Farmers Insurance, first as an agent and later as a district manager. He said while he was still working for the insurance company, a friend called him at his office and suggested he needed a hobby. Initially, he balked, believing he was already busy, but eventually went to Northern Brewery in St. Paul to buy a wine-making kit, as his pal had recommended.

“It was so much fun,” he said, noting at one point he had 10 of these kits going at the same time and has since hosted bottling parties.

The couple has come a long way from those first wine-making days. Besides winning a silver medal for one of their wines in International Wine Competition at the Minnesota State Fair this summer, they recently finished building a winery across the driveway from their home.

Read more in the print version of the Herald Dec. 9.

Tags: