Groundbreaking ceremony marks beginning of winery’s construction

Groundbreaking ceremony marks beginning of winery's construction by David Lias A number of Vermillion townsfolk gathered on a grassy bluff that at one time was prime buffalo hunting ground for Native Americans to help usher in perhaps one of the most unique business ventures to southeastern South Dakota � a winery.

Eldon Nygaard directed a number of people from the community, ranging from local government officials and the Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors, to family and well-wishers, to break ground at the site of the new Buffalo Run Winery.

Nygaard plans to construct a 5,500 square foot structure on West Main Street beyond the city limits. He naturally will feature wines from his Valiant Vineyards in this new venture.

The winery will be housed in the building�s basement, and its main floor will be designed for meetings, banquets and other assemblies.

The second floor, made up of five rooms, will house a bed and breakfast.

The main floor will also serve another purpose � a gift shop, that will come out onto the floor in display cases that are on rollers. The shop will feature South Dakota-made products, wine-related products and jams and jellies.

The building will include an elevator that accommodates wheelchairs. All areas of the structure will be handicapped-accessible.

Nygaard, a USD professor, operates the only vineyard in the state.

The new winery�s name can be traced back to some of the earliest historical observations made in the area. It is believed that Native Americans killed buffalo by running them off the bluff that is the site of the new structure.

The journals of Lewis and Clark also contain an entry that states that men from the expedition stopped at the mouth of the Vermillion River and gorged themselves on grapes. The confluence of the river is right below the winery site.

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