It’s almost an year since we landed in USA and tried to savor the best of every city we visited. On our trip to Madison, the capital of Wisconsin we planned our visit to Wollersheim Winery beautifully located across the Wisconsin River.
A 30 miles drive from Wisconsin State Capitol to Prairie Du Sac, then a steep walk uphill and you will be standing on the grounds of historic Wollersheim Winery.
History of Wollersheim Winery: This journey started way back in 1840’s with Hungarian Agoston Haraszthy planting vines in slopes of the region. Unfortunately the European vines couldn’t survive the harsh winters of Wisconsin, so he left for California and later on became the founder of Wine industry.
Afterwards Peter Kehl took over the place and converted it into an American vineyard. But it was not before 1972 , when Robert and Joann Wollersheim took over the property and Wollersheim Winery came into existence. From there on there have been many additions and changes. Now this legacy is in hands of Philippe Coquard & Julie, daughter of Wollersheim’s, spread across 27 acres vineyards of French-American Hybrid grapes.
Winery Tour: We took the winery tour which includes a short movie clip about winery’s history, walk around the building & a glance into fermentation room through window, followed by visit to cellars aging in basement which were the highlight of the tour. This guided tour ended in tasting room.
Wine Tour Cost -5 $ each person
After the winery tour do checkout the Historic Wine Cave, originally created by Agoston Haraszthy for wine cellars, which has been restored in 2013. Now it’s a museum showcasing history and artifacts of winery.
Wine Tasting: While Featured wines are complimentary (included in the tour price), additional wines sampler are available for minimum charges. After a few sampler of the their signature wines Domaine du Sac & Port Wine, followed by Pinot Noir & White Riesling , we took a bottle of Prairie Sunburst Red to have a sip outside in sun on a cold windy day.
Domaine Du Sac, a dry red one aged in French & American oak barrel is an estate grown wine along with Port Wine which on contrary is mild one with sweetness.
With an amendment in state law in 2009, Wollersheim Winery bloomed by restarting its distillery in 2015 featuring Gin and Brandy.
Best time to visit: Wollersheim Winery remains open throughout the year, but summers are perfect to appreciate the vineyards with glass of wine and famous Wisconsin cheese.
Timings: Daily 10am to 5pm year around.
On your next visit to Madison, take a drive to this National Historic Site, also accessible from Milwaukee which is located 100 miles away.