There may be snow drifts covering the vineyards in Wisconsin’s driftless region. A fresh coat of snow may blanket the hillsides where the grapes grow in the Northwoods and the cold winds off Green Bay may blow across the rows of vines in Door County, but great tasting Wisconsin wines are available to soothe the palate on a cold winter’s night.
Traveling from Bayfield to Burlington and Fish Creek to Muscoda, you will come across 36 wineries while you Explore Wisconsin. Discerning oenophiles may wonder about wineries in wintery Wisconsin, but history tells us wine-making in Wisconsin began before Wisconsin became a state in 1848.
Back then, vintners of Hungarian and German descent found it hard to grow their homeland grapes in Wisconsin, but soon thereafter they came up with hardier varieties.
Believe it or not, we have grapes growing in Wisconsin now that can withstand temperatures of 20 degrees below zero. That’s a grape hardier than even the most warm-blooded Wisconsinite.
Enjoying a great tasting Wisconsin wine curled up in your cozy home is a pleasure to be sure, but taking in a tasting at a Wisconsin winery is worth the trip and just as enjoyable – and there is no time like the present to get started on your tour thanks to the Wisconsin Winery Co-Op.
Visit any 8 Co-op Winery Members between January 1 and June 30, 2011 and enter to win 1 of 3 weekend packages worth $500 each at Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells. The 1st of 3 drawings deadline will be April 15. The 2nd Drawing deadline is May 15, and third deadline will be June 30. If you plan to visit during their winter hours, call ahead.
Explore Wisconsin encourages you to start your tour at Weggy Winery, a Winery Co-op Member. Weggy Winery is the creation of Oak Ridge Vineyard, which started planting cold hardy grape vines in 1992 and has evolved to over 11,000 vines. Their wines have won several awards, including a Gold Medal from California in 2007 and 2010, as well as ribbons from the Indiana State Fair.
Samples of all their wines grown and produced on the property are available; including flavors from robust reds to light and fruity whites. The proprietor’s choice, Oakey Red, has been aged in American oak barrels to enhance the aroma and Oak flavor. Rich Brown, a local wine connoisseur comments, “The wine produced at Weggy Winery is superb, some would not expect a grape grown locally in Wisconsin to taste so rich and full.”
Weggy Winery is located just two miles north of the beautiful Lower Wisconsin River Valley, known for picturesque river sand bars and relaxing canoe trips. The 80-acre property is an awesome site for anyone wanting to explore the grandeur of a true Wisconsin Vineyard.
During the month of February, drift your way from the Driftless Region of southwestern Wisconsin to the central part of the state for a wine tasting at the Tender Shoots Gardens and Greenhouse in Greenwood.