Valiant Vineyards Winery is South Dakota's first and therefore oldest and most emotionally mature winery. Located on the Vermillion River overlooking the Missouri River, the winery is a shrunken head's throw from downtown Vermillion. With ten tastes included in each ticket, visiting palates can sample a collection of South Dakota-made wine and spirits while live music serenades each sip and swish. Your body's secondary mouths, the feet, will also get to assist in the miracle of wine birth by joining in the fun of crushing nature's round juice containers during the grape stomp. Plenty of food vendors stand ready to pair your wine samples with a plethora of delicious foods. Guest chefs, meanwhile, will teach you how to prepare sangria and other surprise edibles during a series of cooking demonstrations. You can even get your picture on a bottle of wine to see if your vinogenic good looks outshine Paul Sorvino's pasta sauce. On Sunday, amateur winemakers will compete for a number of laurels in a dozen categories, although none will be wine-based Double Dare physical challenges. See the full festival schedule here.
Since 1985, South Dakota Magazine’s writers have traversed their home state to unearth unique stories about its past and present. From their Yankton offices, housed in three old brick buildings built in the 1870s by Territorial Governor John Pennington, staffers recall tales from their travels with entertaining articles paired with full-color photos. Recipes for prize-winning pies share space with accounts of outdoor excursions, previews of upcoming events, and historical articles documenting little-known pieces of South Dakota’s past. One issue is sent to subscribers every two months, giving them plenty of time to read every article and plan which outfit they will wear when reading the next.
Stalking through the prairie grass, a guide leads his labrador retriever and a hunter into a stretch of foothills. They hear a rustling ahead, prompting them to pause. Peering through the brush, they see a bird with red plumage around its eye, a green head, and a white ring around its neck—the distinguishing marks of a pheasant. The hunter readies his gun, the labrador poises, and both wait for the guide's signal.
The hunting guides at Pheasant Bonanza lead hunters through experiences like these and ready them for similar outings with sport shooting. The sporting-clay course, for example, supplies beginning through advanced shooters with 20 stations whose targets simulate the movements of animals such as quail and rabbits. To further sharpen hunters' aim, the guides also oversee trap, skeet, five-stand, and snooker ranges. This diversity of shooting scenarios prepares clients for guided hunting trips—which include the retrieval and tracking service of trained labradors or german shorthaired pointers—on Pheasant Bonanza's grounds. Spanning hundreds of acres in the Loess Hills, the grounds sustain game such as pheasant, waterfowl, whitetail deer, wild turkey, and rogue Yahtzee dice.
The lodge accommodates guests on extended trips, surrounding them with rustic touches such as a stone fireplace, knotty-pine paneling, and furniture upholstered in hunters' orange. Further services range from expert advice at the pro shop to Pheasant Bonanza's boarding, training, and breeding programs for hunting dogs.
From their storefront offices in downtown Norfolk, the independent staffers at Nebraska Life Magazine compile bimonthly issues exploring the history and culture of the Cornhusker State. Penned entirely by in-state writers, articles run the gamut from wildlife and nature, to Nebraska entrepreneurs, most recently featuring Dick and Mary Cabela, the owners of the Cabela's chain. The issues also feature recipes, poetry, and photography, as well as the story of a Nebraska community. The magazine is a easy way to discover events going on throughout the state, and offers an insight in to "true Nebraska life." Writers also entice with coverage of sightseeing hot spots, exploring lush local wineries, Grand Island’s resident ghosts, and the quiet beauty of the Platte River and its whispering fish.