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Lovell winery to become area destination

Tuesday, July 9, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Tom Dixon
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On crisp spring evenings in Lovell, Nicolle Laffin can sometimes be found lighting burn barrels to keep her tidy rows of grapevines from frosting.


With 1,000 vines maturing on her acre vineyard, there’s always tilling and cutting to be done. The fall brings harvesting, processing and pressing with the help of friends and family.


In all, Mustang Mountain Vineyard is a labor of love. Since moving back to Lovell in 2010, she has helped develop what was a small hobby vineyard into a growing business that sells red and white wines to customers in Montana. After a winter of hard work, the business now has its own licensed winery.


Laffin has carefully restored parts of the property that were overgrown and abandoned. Today, there are wood paths to walk through and a picnic area.


By next year, she hopes to see tourists and locals alike mingling in the summer sunshine with a Frontenac, or perhaps sipping a La Crescent inside the new tasting room where they can enjoy views of the Bighorn and Pryor mountains.


“I hope this will be a draw for the community, because I don’t think people realize all we have here in Lovell,” Laffin said. “We have small shops, the Wild Mustang Center, the mountains – and Queen Bee Gardens is just 200 yards down the road from us.”


Laffin imagines people stopping in to sample the wine, then going to town to buy some chocolates and have a look around. One day, she hopes to open her own storefront in downtown Lovell.


She believes visitors on vacation want something from the place they explore, and that’s why she is a Made in Wyoming member.


“I think the Made in Wyoming mark is important, because if you make a quality product, that word gets around that when you buy Wyoming, you’re getting something worthwhile and unique,” Laffin said.


Laffin’s customers are her neighbors, and she makes it a point to frequent local businesses, too. Ultimately, it’s the sense of place that attracts her to Lovell, and she is excited to be contributing to that feeling.


 “We are having a good time doing this and, who knows, we might even make some money.”

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