For the love of the land and wine

Prairie Hill Vineyard Pairs Event Space With Grape Growing

Written by Sara Garrison

When Dan Stockemer was growing up on the family dairy farm near Colwich, Kan., he did not realize the impact the farm would have on his life. Growing up, Dan did not want to follow in the family business of dairy farming. He wanted to leave Kansas and experience the world.

For 11 years, Dan and his wife, Mary, lived in the Alexander Valley of Sonoma County, Calif. It was in Sonoma that Stockemer fell in love with winemaking and viticulture (the science of growing grapes).

In 1998, Dan and Mary Stockemer moved back to Kansas with their four daughters to pursue their dream of building a vineyard on the family farm. “I promised my wife Mary that I will grow a vineyard in Kansas just like the beautiful vineyards we loved in Sonoma County,” Dan, owner of Prairie Hill Vineyard, explains. “Our vineyard is a small replication of wine country right here in Sedgwick County.”

Today, Prairie Hill Vineyard produces more than five tons of grapes each year, selling grapes to local individuals as well as local wineries such as Grace Hill Winery and Wyldewood Cellars. At Prairie Hill Vineyard they grow grape varietals including the Norton, Chambourcin, Corot Noir, Noiret, Cabernet, Marquis and Concord grapes.

“Seeing our vision of building a vineyard come to fruition is like a dream come true,” says Dan.

Dan’s youngest daughter, Danielle Stockemer, currently works with her father as the marketing and sales manager for Prairie Hill Vineyard. Danielle explains, “Throughout the years, my father’s love for viticulture and gardening and my mother’s love for flowers has created a beautiful, almost secret garden on the property.”

In addition to grape growing, Prairie Hill Vineyard hosts a variety of events including wine tastings. Additionally, over the last four years, Prairie Hill Vineyard has hosted more than 50 weddings ranging from rustic to elegant, large and small. At first, hosting events at the vineyard was done on a referral basis to friends and family. However, the demand for events at Prairie Hill Vineyard has grown to such a level that the Stockemer family opened the event venue to the public in 2015.

In addition to weddings, Prairie Hill Vineyard has served as the event venue for a variety of private events including bridal showers, baby showers, family reunions, holiday parties, anniversary celebrations, office retreats and memorial services. They have an open catering policy as well as a private liquor license to offer closed liquor sales on the property.

“This place is so magical,” says Danielle. “Everything we have done to our home is so special to us. It is such a blessing for us to share our property with others. We want our guests to love this place as much as we do.”

Prairie Hill Vineyard-sponsored activities take place throughout the spring and fall. For a listing of events visit prairiehillvineyard.com. To schedule a private event or to tour the property, call Danielle at 316.461.5445.

“Wine is a special thing in life. Having vineyards in a community adds a whole new level of beauty to that community and inspires people to enjoy the country around where they live,” says Dan. “Prairie Hill Vineyard is an agritourism-themed venue. I encourage people to come out and enjoy our land and the harvest. They should come and see for themselves how beautiful a vineyard in Kansas can be.”

Prairie Hill Vineyard at Stockemer Farm
21421 W. 37th St. N.
Colwich, KS 67030
316.461.5445
prairiehillvineyard.com

 
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