Why "Buffalo Rock"?Location, location, location! The winery is located between Buffalo and Rockford, in Rockford Township (with a Buffalo address) just North of Highway 55.
Who doesn't want to create something for themselves? My dream was to open up a winery, so I did it! Opening Buffalo Rock Winery in 2010 was truly a dream come true. With a passion for wine and an even greater desire to spend more time with my children, owning a winery on my property made for a great fit. I'm frequently asked what was the motivation behind starting a winery? Facetiously, I'd respond with, "insanity." After all, who starts up a business when she already has a great job outside of the home, albeit over forty miles away, and also has two kids under two years of age? The answer? Me! However, the real response for my motivation IS my kids. The next best thing to being a full-time mom is to work "from home" in order to spend more time with my family! So, during the summer of 2009, while looking ahead to my first grape harvest and on maternity leave with a colic baby, I knew I had to make my dream a reality. And I knew I had to do it then or I'd miss too many precious moments in my childrens' young lives if I continued to keep the winery idea on the back burner and didn't start the gears in motion for my new venture! That was when I went from a home vintner to establishing a commercial winery, Buffalo Rock Winery (Dietman Vineyard & Winery, LLC).
Establishing a winery was certainly the larger aspiration, but before that could happen, a vineyard needed to be developed. The first phase of the vineyard was planted in 2007 with Marquette, Frontenac and La Crescent vines, all University of Minnesota hybrid wine grapes. I added Frontenac Gris (another U of M hybrid), Edelweiss and Prairie Star in 2009. If curious, yes, both my undergraduate and master's degrees are from the University of Minnesota!
In 2009, I took the shell of a pole shed, with dirt floors, finished it and created my tasting room, production room and storage space. Buffalo Rock Winery held a soft opening on September 25, 2010 and opened its doors to the public October 2! My aspirations continued, of course, and in 2012, I added a cold storage space on to the building as well as a covered patio/entrance for an outdoor tasting counter which opened in 2013. The outdoor space also now includes large patios surrounding the entrance to the tasting room! A pergola and vine-lined fenced courtyard were the latest projects and only time will tell what will be next!
Buffalo Rock Winery might be a one-woman venture, but it would not be possible without the support of my fabulous family, especially my parents (try Rosemary's Rose' & Papa Mike's Rockin' Rose'), in-laws (Peg's Apple Wine & Papa Steve's Contraband) and of course, my husband (Jeff's Shining Moon). Friends have also offered their generous gifts of time for everything from planting and weeding to construction, harvesting and bottling. Additionally, there are so many wonderful people who have offered their moral support throughout this process, too many to possibly list! Thank you all so very much! Also, now that Buffalo Rock Winery has grown after nearly 10 years, I keep adding tasting service staff to my roster! Your guest experience wouldn't be the same without their assistance!
Cheers, Nicole Dietman
Owner/Operator/Winemaker (and most importantly, mother of two!)