Nestled in the heart of apple orchard country, Autumn Harvest Winery was opened in July of 2004 by John and Marykay McIlquham. The McIlquham namesake has been growing apples in the small township of Lafayette, Chippewa County, Wisconsin since the 1920s. As of Spring 2015, Chad McIlquham and his wife Jean (Beej) are happy to announce they will be the new owners of Autumn Harvest Winery and Orchard. Our story goes like this:
Since 1924 County Hwy OO has been the location of McIlquham Orchards, first owned and operated by John D. McIlquham and his brother James. In 1976, Chad’s grandparents, Bill and Ardith McIlquham, cousins of John D., purchased and operated half of the orchard until their son Bill took over the entire orchard in 2000. Meanwhile, John D McIlquham’s eldest son John J. and his wife Katherine owned and operated an orchard a mile east which they named J&K Orchard (our current location), purchased in 1964. John J. and Katherine operated both locations until their retirement in 2000, when Bill McIlquham junior took over the OO orchard and John E. and Marykay took over J&K. These two orchards remained separate despite a similar name and overlapping ownership between John and Bill McIlquham.
Autumn Harvest Winery and Orchard
Growing up, Chad and his brother Dusty helped their grandparents and eventually their father, Bill, expand and operate McIlquham Orchards on Hwy OO. Chad has since learned and refined the art of growing apples and is thrilled to continue the legacy of the trusted McIlquham name at Autumn Harvest Winery and Orchard.
In addition to the apple orchard, John and Marykay McIlquham have laid the groundwork for a well-established and successful winery here in Chippewa Falls, WI. 2014 marked their tenth year in the wine-making industry, and we are happy to announce the production of 13 different wines and a hard cider distributed statewide! We produce wines that are light, crisp, and full of fruit juices. Our apple wines are fermented using apples grown right in our orchard. Everything from start to finish is done by hand – which is, produced, bottled, corked and labeled at our own facility.
Chad and Jean, along with their daughter Violet, are honored to continue to offer the same fun-filled winery and orchard experience to the Chippewa Valley! Visitors to our orchard and tasting room can enjoy complimentary wine tasting, sample gourmet foods, and peruse the gift shop for a souvenir. The patio provides seating to enjoy wine by the glass or bottle, while enjoying one of our many Wisconsin cheeses. Starting in May, you can enjoy the beautiful sights of blooming apples trees, flowers and an abundance of wildlife. July brings fresh-picked blueberries from our own patch. Beginning in mid-August over fifteen varieties of apples are available fresh picked or pick-your-own including our favorite-Honeycrisp! We also have fun family activities including pick-your-own pumpkins, FREE wagon rides on the weekends, and FREE corn maze for the kids!
Please navigate our website to learn about each different wine we offer. Don’t forget your visit includes complimentary wine tasting, and be sure and try our Grampa Mac’s hard apple cider, made from 100% McIlquham apples, on tap! There is something for everyone in the family at Autumn Harvest Winery and Orchard, at the corner of J and K, Chippewa Falls, WI!