Wollersheim Winery: Legacy of Prairie Du Sac

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.

IMG_2327IMG_2326

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.

IMG_2336

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.

IMG_2338

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.

IMG_2342

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.

The City Of Madison-Day 1

Last week we had two day trip to Madison, capital of Wisconsin. I have heard a lot about Dane County Farmers’ Market & decided to visit.
We started our journey well ahead in morning before sunrise to visit the famous Dane county farmers market around Wisconsin Capitol Square which is only twice a week (Wednesday & Saturday).
As we pass by the highways and farther from Chicago the expanse of our visibility started to widen up. Surprisingly, the traffic on highway was much less & after 3 hours,covering almost 145 miles we reached at Dane county parking ramp which was almost empty.
A 2 blocks walk and we saw first the Capitol and then stalls all around capitol full of fresh fruits, veggies, cheese, food stalls and all range of meats.IMG_2263
We bought some fresh apples including honey crisp (my favorites now), tasted some different cheese flavors including the herbs and jalapenos and bought some fresh Cheese Curds from Farmer John’s as well, had Pumpkin Muffin and Raspberry Scone from Chris & Loris Bakehouse.

As we were about to finish our circle around farmers market we saw Fromagination right across the street. Immediately we left our market tour and went for it. Felt like a cheesy world, all kind of cheese around in all size, cream cheese, cheese spreads, cheese curds & a lot to smell and taste. Also they had the big Parmesan cheese wheel which they were going to open up it in couple of hours, wish we had that much time to stop by and see that happening in front of us.IMG_2294

IMG_2299

But we had to move for our next stoppage which was nearly 30 miles from there “Wollersheim Winery, the vast wine yards spread over acres of land and in middle standing a heritage 150 yrs old. We took the winery tour costing $5 each person and tasted few of the wines like Domaine du Sac, Port Wine, White Riesling.IMG_2327

As the day was landing on side and we were hungry as much we could be we headed to our hotel, Hampton Inn near East Towne Mall. If you are visiting Madison then East Side has a lot to offer from restaurants to shopping and many hotels to choose from.
Well the check-in was quick and I started searching restaurants near by and found this which was at a stone throw distance from our hotel.
Fast Biryani,an Indian restaurant serving authentic Hyderabadi Biryani. We had chicken biryani not the spicy one but the regular one with Chicken 65 wrap and Mango Lassi(very smooth and creamy). The biryani was very delicious,still makes me drool remembering the taste…!!! We tried their Chicken 65 as well but biryani stood out as winner..Good Food,Great Service !!! A Biryani lover should not miss this place in Madison.
As we were worn out of the cold breeze and whole day drive, we headed to hotel and had some rest as the next day was going to be even more tiring.
In the evening we went to East Towne Mall which was also close-by and started my favorite pass-time Shopping ..!!!!
To be continued………

Our First Winery Experience At Shady Creek Winery.

We have heard and seen a lot about wineries near Chicago, to visit one was always in our bucket list.

We finally got the chance to visit one of the famous Wineries of Michigan City, IN “Shady Creek Winery”. A place just 1.5 hrs drive from Chicago, this is nicely located in suburbs. The driveway from the highway till the winery is a peaceful one through the woods.o (6)

Reaching here we were quite excited with the thought that a lot of people had came to have some good time over a glass of wine. As we entered the pathway to the main building, live music made us more excited to get in.

o (5)o (3)o (4)

The people of winery were great with their hospitality, they made us feel like we are in our neighborhood.As we were confused which wine to try out of the long list they had, Jenny described the wines and helped us to go for 5 for 5$ tasting

We took the sampling as a starter and had a fun time enjoying various wines from Chardonel, Red Horizon, Traminette, Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 to Moonlight Radiance. We were offered crackers as well to ease out taste buds.

Chardonnel: A dry wine that is refreshing with hints of apple & pears.
Red horizon: A smooth,semi sweet red wine, has aromas that come from fruits of cherry and blackberry.
Traminette: An official state wine of Indiana (that’s why we opted to taste this wine), white wine which is semi sweet in taste.
Moonlight Radiance: With flavors of dark chocolate, yes that’s right dark chocolate with the hint of raspberry.

After the sampling as we had ourselves started, we took a glass each of wine, Rip Tide R.D.R (Rescued Dog Red) and went outside to enjoy it with assorted cheese platter.

o (1)o

We will be surely be visiting a lot of wineries in our lifetime,but as they say “First will always go down the memory lane” and it was worth to be enjoyed and to be remembered.

Do not forget to grab some good wines from Shady Creek as we did..

IMG_3140

If you are near Chicago and planning to visit any winery,then this is a perfect place for you.For more information,visit the website  www.shadycreekwinery.com