Krista and Andy Kopperud might not have known exactly what they were getting into when they assumed ownership of Painted Prairie Vineyard in 2015, but looking at them today, one would assume they’ve been running the business all their lives.
The Kopperuds, this year’s Murray County’s “Farm Family of the Year,” are going strong with their business, surviving an early learning curve and a pandemic that made them think outside-the-box to keep their business alive during an unprecedented time.
Taking over at Painted Prairie was not on the Kopperuds’ to-do list seven years ago. Already with two kids, they were looking for a place “out in the country” where they could raise their family. They had a wish list of what they wanted out of a a new home when they came across the already-established Painted Prairie. In 2005, Ben and Kim Hause purchased the property with a vision of grape-growing and winemaking. Three cold-climate grape varieties were planted in 2005, 2006, and 2009, and the farm’s Red Barn was transformed into a tasting room. Three years after it was officially established, the Kopperuds purchased the operation from the Hause family and reopened Painted Prairie Vineyard in July 2015.
“This just happened to be a functioning winery and vineyard,” Krista said. “We came out here and just fell in love. We both kind of looked at each other and said, ‘How hard can it be to grow grapes and make wine?’”
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