Sturgis bikers and wine: Prairie Berry Winery a popular stop in the Black Hills

KELOLAND.com Original

HILL CITY, S.D. (KELO) — For Diane Wise and Sheila Kleihauer, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is all about the views. 

The two friends from Le Mars, Iowa were sipping wine and taking in the views of the Black Hills outside of the Prairie Berry Winery near Hill City. After a day of riding, Wise said it was good to be back attending the rally after skipping the 2020 version due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We love it,” said Wise, who was wearing a bandana and a black Harley Davidson shirt. “Beautiful views. That’s what brings us back.” 

This year Wise and Kleihauer, along with their husbands, rented a house in Hill City for the week. They weren’t ashamed to say they brought their motorcycles on a trailer out to the hills for a full week of riding. 

Diane Wise, right, and Sheila Kleihauer, left, enjoy wine and a view of the Black Hills at the Prairie Berry Winery near Hill City.

“We’re too heavy of packers,” Kleihauer said with a laugh. “There’s excitement once you get here.” 

Like many biker enthusiasts, the Sturgis Rally has become a meeting place with other friends across the country. Wise said they meet up with other couples, some as far as Texas. 

“The camaraderie, meeting up with friends,” Wise said. “We’re all here for the same reason — to enjoy the beautiful views of the Black Hills.”

At Prairie Berry Winery, the duo’s favorite wine for the day was named Calamity Jane — the western legend who lived and died in South Dakota. Both said they look forward to a week of trading the plains and cornfields of Iowa for the curves and pine trees of the Black Hills. 

“The smells, the sites, the friends that you meet,” Kleihauer said. 

Prairie Berry Winery enjoying busy summer 

Like many places in the Black Hills, the summer has been bustling with visitors for the Prairie Berry Winery. 

And when the rally rolls around, business stays busy, Shanna Hockert, a brand and marketing manager with Prairie Berry Winery told KELOLAND News. 

“We have the rumble in the hills,” Hockert said. “It definitely changes our clientele that’s here in the tasting room and down at that brewery. It’s been pretty steady.” 

Hockert said it’s hard to gauge how busy any day will be during the summer. That’s why the winery requires reservations for all wine tastings. She pointed any interested customers to call the winery or book online for a taste of South Dakota. 

“All made here on site here in Hill City with South Dakota ingredients,” Hockert said. “At Prairie Berry with something for everyone.”

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