Looking for a culinary experience for your friends that reflects the authenticity of Wisconsin? You may be surprised to learn that about 800 acres of grapes are grown in Wisconsin to produce wines at more than 100 wineries across the state.
The wineries in these five distinct regions deserve a visit for their efforts to create seasonal wines produced using local fruits. Be sure to take a tour and enjoy some tastings while you’re there.
Driftless Region Wineries
Established before the Civil War, Wollersheim Winery & Distillery located in Prairie du Sac is a national historic site. Wollersheim’s wines are national and international award winners. The winery makes many different wines, seven of which are from the grapes grown in its 27-acre vineyard.
Priding itself in locally grown products, the Maiden Rock Winery & Cidery located in the charming country town of Stockholm, flavors all of its award-winning ciders and Harvest Apple wine with Wisconsin grown apples and berries.
The family-owned and operated Spurgeon Vineyards and Winery in Highland creates wines that range from dry grape to semi-sweet grape, as well as meads. You're welcome to hike to the hilltops and view the vineyards, tour the winery and browse the gift shop.
Fox Valley Wineries
LedgeStone Vineyards is located on the Niagara Escarpment in the famous Niagara wine region, which provides Wisconsin with the climate and geography to grow high-quality grapes. Visit the Greenleaf vineyard to relax and catch-up with your crew, while enjoying a glass of full-bodied red wine grown, produced and bottled on-site.
Also in Greenleaf, Trout Springs Winery is another unique destination featuring the state’s only combination of a winery, plant nursery and fish hatchery, known collectively as Branch River Farms. Trout Springs offers fine vintage wine with an exquisite culinary experience.
Marinette is home to the Forgotten Fire Winery, named for its location on 20 acres of land that was once ravaged by the infamous Peshtigo Fire in 1871. The winery features excellent fruit wines from Wisconsin growers, including Door County apples and cherries and cranberries from Nekoosa.
Door County Wineries
Door County features blossoming orchards and lush vineyards throughout the county. Travel the Door County Wine Trail with your wine-loving friends to sample wines from all of the wineries in the peninsula, or pick a handful for a few unforgettable tours and tastings.
The Simon Creek Winery in Sturgeon Bay, one of Wisconsin’s largest vineyards, makes a variety of wines. The Door County Cherry, a sweet wine produced from Door County cherries, is a guest favorite. The winery also has been awarded a silver medal by the American Wine Society for its American Gewurztraminer and “Untouchable Red” American Ruby Cabernet wines.
Since 1985, the Orchard Country Winery & Market in Fish Creek has grown a variety of cherries, apples and grapes to ferment into wine. Join a walking tour of the vineyard and orchards and taste more than 30 estate-grown pure fruit and traditional grape varieties.
The road less traveled leads to the von Stiehl Winery in Algoma. Tour arched limestone caverns that date back to the Civil War era and taste more than 30 varieties, including the Door County Montmorency Cherry Wine.
Glacial Hills Wineries
Wine enthusiasts can enjoy several wineries in the Glacial Hills region. Northleaf Winery, a family-run microwinery, offers wines crafted on site from grapes grown from coast to coast, including Wisconsin. Here, you and your friends can enjoy the can enjoy complimentary wine in a restored 1850 tasting room.
The Apple Barn Orchard & Winery specializes in a variety of fruit wines, such as apple, blackberry and mulberry. Apple Barn also features an open orchard and a farm where you can pick your own strawberries, apples and pumpkins when they're in season.
Cedar Creek Winery is located in the historic Cedar Creek Settlement in downtown Cedarburg. The limestone building was built in the 1850s on the banks of the Cedar Creek, and the stone cellars are an ideal location for barrel aging wines.
The Northwoods is famous for its wonderland of lakes and forests, making it an idyllic setting for a day or evening of wine tasting. Three Lakes Winery is best known for making Wisconsin’s Original Cranberry Wine and offers free wine tastings and seasonal tours as well as a retail shop located in a turn-of-the-century train station.
Step into another time at the Chateau St. Croix Winery & Vineyard, created in the style of a European estate with an art gallery, vineyard, carriage house and stables, formal garden and fishing pond. Every group has some sweet-wine lovers and some dry-wine lovers — together, taste all of the 20+ varieties of the Chateau’s handcrafted wines.