Winemaking commonly is associated with climates more moderate than Wisconsin – the coastal regions of California, Oregon and Washington; the classic regions in France; the Finger Lakes district in New York state. Yet, Mother Nature must have realized that the love of fine wines and viticulture knows few geographic or climatic boundaries, because she made an almost endless variety of grapes and other fruits suitable for growth even in Wisconsin. And, wherever one finds such natural bounty, one finds those who are challenged to make fine wine. The truth of this observation is borne out in our diverse and celebrated Wisconsin wineries.
Wisconsin’s wine heritage traces back to the 1840’s when Hungarian nobleman Count Agostin Harazthy carried root stock from famous European vineyards to the banks of the Wisconsin River near Prairie du Sac, where limestone-rich soil and the movement of wind currents through narrow valleys created microclimates suitable for viticulture. Wines of strength and character were produced in the region until the turn of the century. Harazthy left Wisconsin for California, where he established some of the earliest vineyards in the Napa Valley, some of which still bear his name.
The combination of soils suitable not only for grapes, but for cherries, cranberries, apples, and other fruits, plus the abundance of large lakes, rivers, and marshes which moderate the effects of the weather systems that sweep across Wisconsin, encouraged agricultural development of vast orchards, cranberry bogs, and vineyards by early European settlers. And, today, genetic experimentation has produced hardy strains of varietal grapes of great character, beautifully suited to making the dry reds and whites much prized by wine enthusiasts both at home and abroad.
Thus it is that the Wisconsin wineries offer a delightful, refreshing, and enjoyable selection of wines made from natural Wisconsin fruit. We invite you to discover the diversity and superior quality of natural Wisconsin wines.
Information courtesy of Association of Wisconsin Wineries