Winery Map – Wisconsin's Best Wineries

If you're a fan of California wine, particularly Sonoma wine, take a little time to thank the state of Wisconsin. Agoston Haraszthy, who is responsible for establishing some of the first successful vineyards in Sonoma, planted Wisconsin's first vineyard in 1846. Haraszthy quickly realized that Wisconsin winters are a little on the cold side and not particularly well-suited to growing traditional Vitis vinefera wine grapes. In 1848, Haraszthy packed his bags and took his winemaking dreams to a warmer destination, California. Fortunately for Wisconsin and several other northern states, Elmer Swenson and the University of Minnesota took over where Haraszthy left off. In 1908, the University of Minnesota established its grape-breeding program with the goal of producing grapes hardy enough to withstand the Upper Midwest’s cold, continental climate. Over the next 95 years, Swenson and the University of Minnesota created dozens of hybrid varieties making the dream of creating quality wines in America's colder, northern regions a possibility. Wisconsin wineries are now excelling with native and hybrid grapes such as Marechal Foch, Seyval Blanc, and Vidal Blanc. In addition, several Wisconsin wineries have received accolades for wines, particularly Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, and Riesling, produced from grapes grown outside of Wisconsin. The next time you're in Wisconsin, stop by one of Wisconsin's leading wineries, give thanks to Wisconsin's cold winters, and taste the results of Wisconsin winemaking perseverance and ingenuity.

Click the image below to see the map of Wisconsin wineries producing Wisconsin's best wines (based on awards won at major wine competitions during the last several years).


Published: July 21, 2013

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