Belle Joli Winery supplies sparkling wine for USS South Dakota christening

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STURGIS, S.D. -

This Saturday will mark the much-anticipated christening of the U.S. Navy’s newest fast-attack submarine, the USS South Dakota, in Groton, Conn.

As part of the Navy tradition, the boat will be christened with the smashing of a bottle of sparkling wine, and the bottle originated right here in South Dakota.

The Belle Joli Winery in Sturgis was selected for the honor and is the only winery in the state that produces sparkling wine using the traditional method. The winery selected their 2013 Estate, made from fruit grown in Belle Fourche and described as a dry, sparkling wine

The boat’s sponsor, Deanie Dempsey, is the wife of the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey. She will preform the christening across the bow.

Following the christening, the Virginia Class Submarine will begin sea trials, when crew members will perform rigorous tests to ensure the boat is ready to officially join the Navy's fleet.

South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard and Lt. Gov. Matt Michels will join South Dakota Navy veterans and members of the commissioning committee at the ceremony.

Belle Joli will be releasing a limited edition of the vintage wine available at their Sturgis location.

The USS South Dakota SSN 790 is the fourth Navy vessel to hold the name “South Dakota.” The boat will carry a crew of 14 officers and 117 enlisted sailors.

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