The Wisconsin Ledge is named for a prominent geomorphologic feature known as the “Niagara Escarpment”. In 2012, the Federal Government officially designated the Wisconsin Ledge as a prime grape-producing location known as an AVA or American Viticultural Area-just like Napa Valley. Grape growers have had much success in this region growing hybrid grapes that were developed to withstand the harsh Wisconsin winters. This success can be accredited to years of research and the belief that grapes grown in Wisconsin’s much colder temperatures can equally produce equally high-quality wines.
Cold hardy up to -32F, Earthy aromas and hints of spice, make this grape varietal released in 2010 great for blending or producing its own wine type.
Marquette is one of the grape varieties capable of making quality dry red wine in the colder parts of our region. Hints of black currant, cherry, black pepper and spice present themselves in the aroma profile. Extremely cold-hearty to -36F. Excellent grape for medium bodied dry red wine, but can also be blended or make very good rose.
Sabrevois is one of the toughest that we grow. The varietal grows in areas too cool for most other varieties. The wine produced has an appealing dark color and fruitiness with nice berry aromas and flavors makes an outstanding sweet red wine.
Cold hearty to -35F, Frontenac is very versatile in the winery. This grape can be used for making sweet red table wine, medium bodied red table wines, or an excellent rose.
Verona is a late ripening grape. The vines produce large compact clusters with often high yield potential. This grape is often suitable for full bodied dry red wines.
The Marechal Foch varietal exhibits a very early bud break and ripens mid-season. Hardy to around -22F, Marechal Foch produce outstanding reds, rose, and Port wines.
Brianna is white grape variety bred by Elmer Swenson in Wisconsin. A superior winter hardy grape, the Brianna is extremely productive, producing tight clusters. Brianna wines can be dry or sweet in style and exhibit fruit flavors that range from grapefruit through to tropical yellow fruits such as pineapple.
The newest varietal of the Frontenac family, the vines produce yellow to gold colored berries when ripe. Frontenac Blanc ripens mid-season and are perfect for dry white blends, semi-sweet whites and ice wines.
Hardy to -36F, the La Crescent varietal includes aromatics of apricot, lime and honey. The grapes will produce a flavorful wine that can be compared to a Riesling.
Consistently hardy to -40F, Louise Swenson has a typical delicate aroma of flowers and honey. In five years of trials from the University of Minnesota, the wine from Louise Swenson has been outstanding for its quality and consistency from year to year.
We are excited to have had the opportunity to plant the newest grape from the University of Minnesota breeding program- Itasca. Cold hardy to -36F, the Itasca grape has proven itself to be among the hardiest cultivated grapes known, surpassing Marquette and Frontenac in its cold hardy properties. Used to make dry white wines, Itasca produces a yellow to straw colored wine that has aromas of pear, quince, violet, melon, minerals, and subtle honey notes.