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South Dakota Winery Takes Flight

December 13, 2012, 10:11 PM by Kelly Bartnick

South Dakota Winery Takes Flight
RENNER, SD -

The grape vines have gone dormant, but glasses at Strawbale Winery were full Thursday night. In what's become an annual tradition, people are flocking to the Minnehaha County winery this time of year for a bird’s eye view.

“It sort of just evolved. And we found a friend who's a helicopter pilot. We have wine tasting, we have hors d' oeuvres for folks, and we fly to Falls Park,” winery owner Don South said.

For just a short time each Christmas season, Strawbale hosts twilight tours. Guests book helicopter flights for a view that would even make Saint Nick, himself jealous.

“It's like being on a magic carpet. It's so smooth. It is truly amazing,” South said. “People see the lights of the city. They fly by the Cathedral, which is lit up. It's just a really neat view of the city.”

But the reason for the flight is the bird's eye view of the more than 200,000 lights in Falls Park.

“It's spectacular from the ground, but it's really spectacular from the air,” South said. “We've got great memories over the past years. We always have an engagement flight, and those are the most fun you get.”

But it doesn't matter if you're in the sky or firmly planted on the ground, everyone moment makes a memory, which is what this time of year is all about.

Click here to watch an extended video of the helicopter ride.

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