Take a Wine-Tasting Trip in Northern Wisconsin This Fall
When you think of going wine tasting, what locales come to mind? Most people associate wineries with the Mediterranean climates of Italy, France, and California. But there’s no need to hop on a plane to visit great wineries. There are several right here in northern Wisconsin! Some have vineyards and have mastered the tricky art of growing and processing hardy cold-climate grapes; some use grapes from other local growers. Some even ferment other products (namely berries and honey) to make wines. But they have one thing in common: wonderful wine. Plan to spend an afternoon at one (or all!) of these six wineries during your next trip Up North.
Brigadoon Winery – Tripoli
Like its namesake imaginary village in Scotland, Brigadoon Winery is an idyllic place to while away a fall afternoon. Brigadoon uses local fruit whenever possible in their wines, and they have plans to develop their own vineyard for future on-site fruit production. Their wine list ranges from the dry, earthy Uncommon Red and the crisp Highland White to a semi-dry Blackberry Wine and the semi-sweet Northern Lights, a raspberry dessert wine. Brigadoon offers year-round wine tastings and winery tours (wine tours by appointment only).
The Wineries on Betzold Road – Bayfield
The Wineries of Betzold Road comprise Bayfield Winery and Seven Ponds Winery, as well as their Kitchen operation. Many of the wines at these fine, family-owned establishments are made using their own fruits. There is something for all wine lovers on their list, whether your palate prefers the off-dry Mystic (2017 Briana), a subtly citrusy white wine; a sweet, cinnamony red wine like La Pointe (2018 St. Croix); or, something completely different, a dry, smoky apple wine like J.D. Hauser’s Grand Reserve. Complement your flight with a build-your-own charcuterie plate, or pack a picnic and enjoy the beautiful grounds.
Woodland Trail Winery – Lakewood
Climb the hill to Woodland Trail Winery to enjoy a tasting or buy a bottle of their unique wine. Choose from their Blueberry Obsession, Butter Pecan, Gluwein, or another delectable wine. Woodland Trail Winery produces more than 90 varieties, so you’re sure to find a favorite here!
Three Lakes Winery – Three Lakes
Three Lakes Winery is brimming with history and charm. Their tasting room was built in 1880 as the Chicago and Northwestern train depot in downtown Three Lakes, and it is the second-oldest winery in Wisconsin. Three Lakes Winery has been making the McCain family’s Original Cranberry Wine since 1972. They pride themselves on using a whole-berry fermentation process and add no additional flavorings or juices to create their delicious wines. Their unique offerings include the Cranberry Rhubarb Wine and Pumpkin Wine. Come to Three Lakes Winery to taste up to six wines for free, or pick up a bottle or two to enjoy at home.
White Winter Winery – Iron River
White Winter Winery produces handcrafted meads (wine made with fermented honey rather than fermented grapes) using the locally grown blueberries, cherries, pears, apples, and other fruits that thrive in the microclimate unique to the shores of Lake Superior. Many people assume that because mead is made with honey, it is always sweet, but White Winter Winery offers a diverse selection of meads, ranging from dry to sweet, so there is something to suit every taster’s preferences.
Half Moon Hill Farm & Winery – Athens
If you are looking for a beautifully bucolic place to enjoy a wine tasting with the backdrop of sheep peacefully grazing on the country landscape beyond, come to Half Moon Hill Farm & Winery. They use their own berries and other locally sourced fruits in their specialty wines and raw, unfiltered Wisconsin clover honey in their meads. Enjoy a picnic on their family-friendly farm or a tasting in their lovely tasting room.
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