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

 

Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival Announces and Expands Its Food + Drink Lineup for 2016

Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival Announces and Expands Its Food + Drink Lineup for 2016

Autumn Harvest Winery is proud to be the official wine sponsor of the Eaux Claires Music and Arts Festival!


Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival Announces and Expands Its Food + Drink Lineup for 2016

Featuring Over 30 Local and Regional Food and Beverage Vendors

Eau Claire, WI – Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival, taking place August 12th and 13th, announces an expanded food and drink lineup with an emphasis on regional tastemakers. Over 30 local and regional vendors, serving everything from cheese curds to dumplings to BBQ, will be found within General Admission and will accompany the 55-act music lineup, which includes Bon Iver, Erykah Badu, James Blake, Beach House, Vince Staples, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers performing Hornsby’s legendary album, “The Way It Is,” and the first and only scheduled performance of Day Of The Dead featuring an all-star cast of musicians from the soon to be released Grateful Dead celebration album curated by Aaron and Bryce Dessner. In addition to expanding its general food and beverage offerings, Eaux Claires 2016 will feature several Food Carts and Food Trucks from Madison, WI and the Twin Cities. www.eauxclaires.com.

Eaux Claires welcomes food & drink newcomers Clear Water BBQ, an Eau Claire smokehouse serving locally sourced meats, Dumpling Darling, an Iowa City Korean-inspired restaurant, and The Marigold, an Eau Claire mobile café. Daryl’s Dog House, Retro Burger/KC Diner, and Shadrach’s Fiery Furnace Traveling Pizza Company will also be onsite.

Wisconsin favorites returning to the festival for the second year include Eau Claire-based Tutto Bene Wood Fired Pizza, 9 Degrees, which serves Olson’s homemade ice cream, and Pete’s Pops, which peddles ice pops in flavors like Strawberry Basil, Avocado, and Pineapple Jalapeño.

Six Madison-based food carts, including Slide Food Cart, serving nine slider varieties, Curd Girl, and Banzo, and six Twin Cities food trucks newly join the festival. Food truck highlights include Potter’s Pasties Food Truck, Kabomelette, Gastrotruck and O’Cheeze Food Truck. Minneapolis-based Dogwood Coffee will be at the festival with their vintage Zamboni, serving drinks like Zamboni Cold Brew in refillable ice hockey water bottles, Maple Syrup Infused Cold Brew, Almond Milk Iced Lattes, and Drip Coffee.

Eaux Claires is also enhancing its beverage program with local, national, and international brewers and winemakers. Locally loved Leinenkugel will return to the festival with their Summer Shandy, Original, and Light brews. Eau Claire brewery The Brewing Projekt will serve Gunpowder IPA, and St. Paul’s Summit Brewing Company will serve Extra Pale Ale, Saga IPA, and Session IPA. California-based craft favorite Lagunitas will pour their Pilsner and IPA and Danish brewer Mikkeller, one of the highest rated and most sought after brewers in the world, will pour a special pale ale called Eaux Claires. The festival will also welcome local winemaker Autumn Harvest Winery and Orchard’s semi-sweet red Fionnrua and semi-sweet white Northern Lights varieties.

VIP offerings for Enhanced Chippewa ticket buyers will be announced in the weeks to come.

Winery opens for the spring season, donates proceeds from sales to help family adopt a child – As seen on WQOW News 18

Winery opens for the spring season, donates proceeds from sales to help family adopt a child – As seen on WQOW News 18

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our opening day celebration, and thank you to WQOW News 18 for the lovely story on our event.

As seen on WQOW News 18:

<WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports
Chippewa Falls (WQOW) – Autumn Harvest Winery opened for the season Sunday with wine samples, music, artisan pizza, and more.

The winery also released a new strawberry wine Sunday. Owners Chad & Jean McIlquham said they hoped to add more to their store in the future. The winery said so far, this year’s weather was perfect for a successful growing season.

Autumn Harvest took advantage of the sunny Sunday with a store special to help local friends struggling to start their family. The McIlquham’s donated a dollar for every bottle of wine sold to help their friend, Kelly and Jesse Partlo, adopt a child.

“A dollar from every bottle, and they are jam-packed, I mean, we say everything helps, but this is going to be amazing I think,” Kelly said. “We definitely appreciate the support from everyone that has come out today. It is going to be fantastic.”

The Partlo’s do have a fundraising website to help cover the costs of adoption. A full list of Autumn Harvest Winery’s events can be found on the winery’s website.

Sip. Savor. Experience the tradition.

Sip. Savor. Experience the tradition.

We’re always looking for ways to help our customers connect with our wines, and we’re excited to launch a new tagline for Autumn Harvest Winery: Sip. Savor. Experience the tradition.

When you open a bottle of Autumn Harvest wine, you are experiencing local goodness that dates back to 1924. County Hwy OO has been the location of McIlquham Orchards, first owned and operated by John D. McIlquham and his brother James, since the 1920s. Chad and Jean are the fourth generation of McIlquhams to own the business.

Since 2005, we have been producing wines that are light, crisp and full of fruit flavor. We use apples from our orchard and Wisconsin and American-grown grapes. Everything from start to finish is done by hand – that is, fermented, bottled, corked and labeled by hand at our winery facility east of Chippewa Falls.

We invite everyone to stop out at our orchard and tasting room this season, beginning May 1st, and experience the tradition of Autumn Harvest Winery and Orchard. We hope that as you’re enjoying a glass of Autumn Harvest, whether that be on our patio or in your own home, that you savor the tradition in each sip.

We’re the exclusive wine sponsor of the 2016 Eaux Claires festival – August 12-13

We’re the exclusive wine sponsor of the 2016 Eaux Claires festival – August 12-13

We’re very excited to announce that we will be the exclusive wine sponsor of the 2016 Eaux Claires music festival, August 12-13! According to their website, Eaux Claires is “a two-day, multi-stage experience featuring live music, performance art, visual art, food and more.”

The festival is held at Foster Farms in Eau Claire, and the lineup has been released on their website. Tickets go on sale February 12 at 10 a.m., and we look forward to seeing you there for great music, amazing art and a weekend full of local goodness, like Autumn Harvest wine!

We’re the official wine sponsor of the Blue Ox Music Festival – June 9-11

We’re the official wine sponsor of the Blue Ox Music Festival – June 9-11

We’re excited to announce that we will be the exclusive wine sponsor of the Blue Ox Music Festival on June 9-11. This is the outdoor Bluegrass, Roots, and Americana music festival’s second year, and we’re so happy to be a part of it! 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 ourFacebook page for updates on the festival.

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