June 8-10 – We’re the official wine sponsor of the Blue Ox Music Festival

June 8-10 – We’re the official wine sponsor of the Blue Ox Music Festival

We’re excited to announce that we will again be the exclusive wine sponsor of the Blue Ox Music Festival on June 8-10. We had a great time last year and can’t wait to “Dance Our Grass Off” with you all again!

This is the outdoor Bluegrass, Roots, and Americana music festival’s their year. Held at Whispering Pines Campgrounds in Eau Claire, it’s sure to be a fun weekend full of great music. Follow us here and on our Facebook page for updates on the festival.

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As seen on WEAU 13 News – Channel your wine knowledge

As seen on WEAU 13 News – Channel your wine knowledge

As seen on WEAU 13 News’ Hello Wisconsin Newscast:

CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) — The leaves are beautiful right now, the air is crisp, and there are some gorgeous evenings ahead. We know nothing goes better than a great dinner party than wine, but are you doing it right? We have a winemaker in here today, to help us channel our wine knowledge!

Jean McIlquham is the Owner of Autumn Harvest Winery joined Hello Wisconsin and she joined the show to help us hit the high points

Jean, if we’re investing in wine, what should we know about properly storing it so it doesn’t go bad?

Jean discussed the proper temperatures for storing both white and red wines. For white wines, she recommends taking it out of the refrigerator 20 minutes ahead of serving time. You can try tasting one that was pulled out right away and one that waited the recommended amount to recognize the taste difference.

As seen on GO Chippewa Falls – The Chippewa Falls Ultimate Fall Bucket List

As seen on GO Chippewa Falls – The Chippewa Falls Ultimate Fall Bucket List

As seen on GoChippewaFalls.com:

The Fall is ultimately my favorite season. The weather is cooler, the food is tastier, the fashion is cuter, and the holidays are better. In Chippewa Falls, we want you to be able to experience everything the autumn season has to offer. I’ve compiled my personal GO-to list of 25 Fun Fall Festivities to help you get the most out of Chippewa Falls. Don’t forget to take plenty of pictures doing these activities and tag us #GoChippewaFalls! You could be featured on our social media pages!

We’d love to hear what your Fall Must-Do traditions, send us a message!

Until next time, Chippewa Falls!

-Ally

Wisconsin’s wineries, large and small, pouring it on: The List – As seen in the Milwaukee Business Journal

Wisconsin’s wineries, large and small, pouring it on: The List – As seen in the Milwaukee Business Journal

Autumn Harvest Winery was included in the Milwaukee Business Journal’s The List of Largest Wisconsin Wineries and featured in the accompanying article. You can read more below.

As seen in the Milwaukee Business Journal:

Taking taste buds to new heights, wineries around Wisconsin are creating flavorful wines and are welcoming visitors to come to their tasting rooms and sip for a while.

Many of the winemakers are establishing themselves as local favorites as well as putting their particular wine specialties on the map.

The list of the largest wineries in the state is ranked by cases of wine produced in 2015. And each winery listed submitted information on their vineyards and wineries to the Milwaukee Business Journal.

Only those submitting information requested are considered for inclusion on The List.

Number one on this year’s list with 100,000 cases of wine produced in 2015 is Wollersheim Winery, Prairie du Sac.

Besides the cases produced, The List offers information about the number of wine varieties, the number of employees in the state, and samples of some of their wines, plus names of top winery executives.

One thing that struck me in information submitted and questions answered was how family pride and tradition play a big role in the winery scene around the state. Interesting to note is that 22 of the 25 largest wineries are 100 percent family-owned.

At Autumn Harvest Winery in Chippewa Falls, co-owner Jean McIlquham said, “The most rewarding part of the business is spending time with our family. Just about everyone that works with us here is family and we do everything together from picking apples to bottling the wine.”

Also included in the web version of The List is information about the percent of wine produced from Wisconsin grapes, either from an estate vineyard or with help of other growers in the state.

And from this information it is clear that many wineries are producing and bottling a portion of their products from grapes shipped fresh from areas outside of the state in parts of the country more conducive to particular varieties.

Expressing what makes their work so rewarding is something many winemakers were only too happy to convey.

Paul Koehler, general manager of Captain’s Walk Winery in Green Bay said, “The diverse following that we draw from both locally, nationally and abroad. I find it very gratifying to help produce and present a line of wines and hard ciders that people enjoy.”

At Burr Oak Winery-Kennedy Vineyards, New Lisbon, manager Terri Bell said simply, “The best part of the business is the people we get to meet. Everyday we meet the nicest people.”

Echoing that was Laura Roessler, winemaker at Elmaro Vineyard, Trempealeau, who noted she enjoys that “people love to be here as much as we do.”

President and winemaker at Mount Horeb’s Fisher King Winery, Alwyn Fitzgerald, said the most rewarding aspect for him is seeing patrons congregate at the winery, really enjoying the wine he has produced.

Steve Johnson, owner and winemaker of Parallel 44 Vineyard and Winery, Kewaunee, honed in on the process of winemaking that gives him the most satisfaction.

“What I enjoy most is the journey of growing the wine from bud to bottle, knowing that the choices and effort is reflected in every aspect of the finished wine,” he said.

A few wineries that stepped up and sent information didn’t make the list for cases produced but that doesn’t diminish the work they are doing and contributions they are making to the wine industry in the state — and their wines, of course.

Vines to Cellar Winery in Port Washington, just missed the list with 1,666 cases produced in 2015, but touted its U-Vin program where guests can come in and help produce a batch of wine, work with the winemaker, learn the basics of winemaking and then return to fill, cork and label your own 30-bottle batch of wine.

Two newer wineries also submitted data. At Duck Creek Vineyard and Winery, opened in Denmark in 2013, production in 2015 was 800 cases. And at newcomer Brambleberry Winery, opened in Taylor in 2014, production for 2015 was 416 cases.

Brambleberry owner Chris Hardie said, “To see the reaction of customers when they realize that they might really like a type of wine when they say they don’t. They have not been given a proper wine tasting.”

 

As seen on WEAU 13 News – Mixing it up with summer drinks

As seen on WEAU 13 News – Mixing it up with summer drinks

Owner Jean McIlquham shared some sizzling summer drink recipes on WEAU 13 News’ Hello Wisconsin newscast!

FIONNRUA STRAWBERRY SMASH

  • 1 cup fresh picked and frozen strawberries
  • 2 to 3 ice cubes
  • 1 Tbsp of honey. We use B’s Bees blackberry honey available at the winery
  • Optional: two small scoops of seedless watermelon
  • 1-2 cups Fionnrua Strawberry White Merlot
  • Blend well and serve immediately

BLUE HEAVEN BLUEBERRY SMASH

  • 1 cup fresh picked and frozen blueberries
  • 2 to 3 ice cubes
  • 1 Tbsp of honey. We use B’s Bees blackberry honey available at the winery
  • Optional: two small scoops of seedless watermelon
  • 1-2 cups Blue Heaven Red Wine
  • Blend well and serve immediately

BLUEBERRY MINT LEMONADE

  • 1 cup of freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup super fine sugar
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries, stems removed
  • 1/3 cup fresh mint
  • Juice the lemons and transfer the juice into a large pitcher.
  • Add the sugar and the water and stir to combine and dissolve the sugar. Add the blueberries and mint.
  • Using a blender, blend the mixture for about 20 seconds just until the mixture turns pink and the mint is finely chopped. Let the flavors sit for 1 hour and then pour the mixture into another pitcher through a strainer to remove the blueberry skins and mint leaves.
As seen on Visit Chippewa Falls – The Ultimate Girlfriends Weekend Getaway Guide

As seen on Visit Chippewa Falls – The Ultimate Girlfriends Weekend Getaway Guide

Visit Chippewa Falls featured Autumn Harvest Winery and Orchard in their latest blog, The Ultimate Girlfriends Weekend Getaway Guide in Chippewa County!

By: Anna Li

Summer is a great time to have a getaway weekend with your girlfriends. But there is no need to buy a plane ticket to somewhere tropical because there are a ton of great activities to do right here in the Chippewa County.

Why travel to California to see the vineyards when there are so many local wineries that are booming in the area? A great weekend activity to do for a girl’s weekend is to travel and explore the local wineries. First on the list should be Infinity Beverages Winery & Distillery, this winery was founded by one of the youngest commercial winemaker and distiller in the area, producing innovative and distinctive wines while supporting American growers. Next on the list should be Autumn Harvest Winery & Orchard this winery and orchard was founded by a local family with a rich history in the Chippewa County and a family tradition for making excellent apples and spirits. River Bend Winery & Distillery is next on the list, owned by a husband-wife duo their wines have won many awards and their grapes are locally grown. And the final stop for local wineries would be the O’Neil Creek Winery, stop by and enjoy the nice view on the patio with their locally owned and operated winery.

If wine tasting is not for your group of gals why not plan a relaxing weekend at a Spa or Retreat! You could book a spa day at Bravo! Salon and Spa, they offer a wide variety of massages, body treatments, and facials. They have a professional staff that will take good care of you and your friends. A spa day will make you feel more relaxed and is a great opportunity to take your mind off of your busy summer schedule. Or if you’re looking for a nice relaxing getaway you could rent a cabin and spend the weekend at a retreat center, two good locations to keep in mind are Hideaway Resortand White’s Wildwood Retreat. Hideaway Resort offers air-conditioned cabins with fully equipped kitchen and bedrooms along with boat rentals and an onsite campfire ring. Each cabin is unique with its own personal charm and is a nice place to get away. White’s Wildwood Retreat is also a good choice because it offers many different lodging options. The cabins also come with a fully stocked cookware for the kitchen, furnished bedrooms, and nice bathrooms. The location is also great because many local attractions are a short distance away. Both would be ideal places to stay up late laughing until your belly hurts and making memories.

However, if you’re looking for a more frugal activity to do over your girl’s weekend there are also fun little things to do in the Chippewa County. You could get the girls together to check out the local farmer’s markets and greenhouses, in particular, there’s Klinger’s Farm Market. Klinger’s offers many lawn care accessories like lawn chemicals, garden tools and many organic and earth friendly products. There are also 18 different greenhouses at Klinger’s which contain one of the largest selections of flowers, vegetables, and herbs in the area. Another option would be to spend a day atRay’s Beach in Chippewa Falls with your girlfriends. Pack a picnic and some sunscreen and you’ll be set for a day in the sun with your friends.

So for your friends who think they are Master Sommeliers to the group of friends who enjoy being pampered, Chippewa County offers and array of fun activities perfect for a girl’s weekend.

Until next time,

Anna Li