For some people, “Wisconsin wine” is a puzzling concept. Actually, not many people even realize the number of vineyards located in the state that produce award-winning wines.
Yes, grapes do grow in Wisconsin. Just not everywhere. They typically grow better by the high ridges of the Wisconsin River, near its conjunction with the Mississippi. It’s there where vines can bask in sunlight and frosts dust the valleys.
Naturally, it’s still going to be cold during the winter months. Hi, we live in the Midwest. But what vintners can’t grow here, they simply truck in from other states, adding a Wisconsin je ne sais quoi to the grapes during blending, fermentation and aging.
Slowly but surely the concept of Wisconsin wine is catching on. Wisconsinites now are becoming enthusiastic supporters of their local vineyards. A huge THANKS goes to the late Bob Wollersheim for establishing the state’s first vineyard in 1972: Wollersheim Winery in Prairie du Sac, WI.
In 1990, Wollersheim Winery purchased what was previously known as the Stone Mill Winery and renamed it Cedar Creek Winery, located just 20 minutes north of Milwaukee in Cedarburg, WI. Once the winery changed hands, the wine style was altered to focus on traditional style grape wines with a few grape-based fruit wines, using much of the grapes grown at the sister winery in Prairie du Sac. Both wineries share the same vintner - Philippe Coquard – though the two brands remain quite distinct, yet all quite tasty.