Old Red Old Ten North Dakota Scenic Byway | Things to do

Travel the Old Red Old Ten Scenic Byway for many exciting things to see and do.  Load up the family or take a trip on your own to explore the "Other Freeway!"

Assumption Abbey Gift Shop and Wine Cellar

418 3rd Ave. W
Richardton, ND 58652

Lat:46.8883  Lon:-102.32

The Gift Shop at Assumption Abbey traces its roots back to the old student bookstore in its various locations and reincarnations. It is managed by Br. Basil Kirsch, and carries many of the items that are made by monks of the Abbey. These include publications, pottery, woodcraft items (icons and crosses), rosaries, and other items as well as books, candles, and gift items from various suppliers. 

The monks at Assumption Abbey became involved in the sale of table wines in the early 1960s as part of an effort to help fund education at the Abbey Schools.

While the Abbey seems to be famous throughout the region for making fine wines, it is a reputation that has gotten a little ahead of the facts in the matter. The truth is the monks have never made any wine, nor do wine grapes grow in this part of the world. In fact, North Dakota is the only state in the union that does not grow any fine table wine grapes.

In the 1950's the Abbey allowed Brookside Winery of Guasti, California, to sell wine under the "Assumption Abbey" label. The Abbey received a royalty for the use of its name. Labels were printed in Germany, and the quality of the wines produced under this arrangement was praised in many guides. In the mid-1980s the Brookside winery was sold to a food conglomerate which planted a housing subdivision where once grape vines had flourished.

At that time the monks of made an arrangement with the San Antonio Winery of Los Angeles. This winery uses grapes from the Sonoma County and Central Coast regions of California. Now, Assumption Abbey Press prints the wine labels in Richardton; they are sent down to California and they come back with wine bottles glued to them!

Much of the wine is bottled in gallons for sale as "altar wine." The Abbey sells its wines to churches in a four-state area. As a sideline, the monks sell table wines from their wine cellar in Richardton.