Our History

The farmland that Ponds and Pines now sits on was purchased in 1959 by Thomas Oscar Swanner Sr., better known to his family as T.O. He purchased the land as a hobby farm when his four children were young. T.O. grew up on a ranch in Cortez, CO, and moved to Minnesota to marry Shirley after the war in [1945]. He missed the farm life living in St. Paul. For years, T.O. raised cattle on the farm, and the family stayed in the big house up by Little Mirror Lake.

Developing the Vineyard
vineyardIn 2006, Tom Jr. harvested the pines he had planted as a boy and had them milled on-site. He used these boards to finish the inside of the big red bunkhouse. This bunkhouse is named after an old bunkhouse on the farm he went to as a boy. The vines were planted that spring. Since that time, Tom has worked extensively to clear out brush around the ponds, creating wildlife habitat for birds. He continues to plant more pines each spring so that the vineyard will be bordered on all sides.

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The Vineyard
Read about our grapes, planting,
and the harvest.
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