Alaska Wine Overview

Cranberry Wine made by  Bear Creek Winery located in Homer, Alaska.

Cranberry Wine made by Bear Creek Winery located in Homer, Alaska.

Alaska is probably America’s final frontier when it comes to wines and wine making. While most people associate Alaska with bitter cold temperatures, there are areas that are more akin to a Pacific Northwest marine climate. Just as areas of Washington and Oregon are well known for grape growing, the same might be said for Alaska one day. In all likelihood, it will come down to whether it is economically viable to develop grapes as a widespread crop.

There are about 10 wineries in Alaska and some do use locally grown grapes. Most base their wines on local fruit, though. A visit to an Alaskan winery will usually reveal wines made from berries, rhubarb and other hardy fruits.

Denali Winery and Alaskan Wilderness Wines rely on native Alaskan berries as much as grapes for their wines. Another Alaskan winery is Bear Creek Winery, located in Homer. This winery has numerous berry-based wines made from locally grown fruit, such as blueberry, raspberry, cranberry and strawberry. Some of these fruits are combined with grapes imported from other states to formulate some interesting blends.

Alaska Wine Trails

At the present time, there are no wine trails in Alaska. It is doubtful an official wine trail will develop due to the sheer size of the state, but we do anticipate seeing more wineries in Alaska in the near future. As experimentation with cold-weather, hardy grapes continues we should see more grape crops grown in parts of the state if economics deem it worthwhile to growers.

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