Strawbale Winery owners announce retirement & search for new buyer

Your Money Matters

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The cold may have many people dreaming of summer, but the owners of a favorite summertime destination in the Sioux Falls area recently announced they’re retiring.

Here is what the future could look like for Strawbale Winery in Your Money Matters.

“I think that Strawbale really means a lot to people in the community, it’s a place where there’s a lot of events, a place where families like to gather,” Sioux Falls resident Denise DePaolo said.

Depaolo, the co-author of the book South Dakota Wine: A Fruitful History, says the Renner winery is a big part of the state’s wine industry.

“Strawbale has been really the cornerstone of the wine industry in the Sioux Falls area ever since they opened,” DePaolo said. “Don and Suzie have done a great job of creating a really welcoming atmosphere, a place that people love to come to over and over again and they also just make really good wine.”

Despite the brand’s popularity, Strawbale’s founders announced this week it’s time to retire.

“We’ve been doing this for over 15 years and we thought its time to take a step back,” Strawbale owner Don South said. “We want to try to enjoy life while we’re here.”

While they’re stepping back, the South’s hope their retirement won’t mean the end of Strawbale Winery.

“We’re actively looking for someone to take it over,” South said. “Since the news came out on Monday we’ve had about six inquiries and an incredible outpouring of support from our customers and friends .”

So until they secure a new owner, the tasting room at the winery will be closed except for a few final Saturdays this January, but you will be able to find Strawbale wine on store shelves.

“We’re going to continue doing wholesale accounts, today we got a couple of really large orders, so you’ll be able to see Strawbale wines at your favorite retailers,” South said.

But more than the wine, many in South Dakota are hoping to see their favorite local destination return soon, preserving the space the South’s have built.

“They have earned their retirement, they’ve really done a service to the wine industry and the tourism industry in our area and I wish them nothing but the best,” Depaolo said.

The South’s say they’re confident they’ll be able to find a new owner to take over the winery; they do hope to keep their home out in Renner for a front row seat for whatever’s next for Strawbale.

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