Wollersheim Winery's goal is to harvest and produce the best quality of wine possible; to retail it at an affordable price to trade and to the public; and to inspire the healthful and sufficient consumption of wine. The natural beauty that surrounds the Wollersheim Winery has been the setting for an extraordinary historical legacy, one told in great detail during the winery's guided tour. The tour tells a story of interesting features of the property, which has earned a listing in the National Register of Historical Places.
Wollersheim Winery sits on a grand slope overlooking the Wisconsin River, right across from Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin.
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Philippe arrived at Wollersheim Winery in 1984 as part of an agricultural exchange program. Within just one year, Wollersheim Winery founder Bob Wollersheim asked Philippe to take over the production side of the winery. Philippe officially become Winemaker in 1985. The legacies of both the Coquard and Wollersheim families continue on in Philippe and his wife Julie, the Wollersheims’ eldest daughter, who now run Wollersheim Winery.
Philippe's philosophy is to “demystify the wine by keeping it simple and affordable,” while providing a Wollersheim wine for every palate to enjoy, from novice to connoisseur. Philippe is also a purist in his winemaking approach, never blending, changing or averaging any of his wines. His priority is to “let the vintage be what it is and not change it to become all the same.” He regards winemaking as “a fascinating science of pleasure for the taste buds.”
When not tending the vineyard, fermentation tanks, or cellars, Philippe enjoys cooking for his family and friends, and riding Harley-Davidson motorcycles. About his life’s work, he says, “Winemaking is not my job. This is my life and my passion and my blood – my past, present and future.”
Philippe Coquard came to the winery from the Beaujolais region of France on an agricultural exchange program in 1984. Coming from a long family history of making wine and with degrees in winemaking, viticulture and wine marketing, he was a natural fit as Wollersheim’s winemaker. The family legacy lives on in Philippe and his wife Julie, Bob and JoAnn’s oldest daughter, who now run the winery.
Wollersheim wines continued to expand after Philippe’s arrival, and the introduction of Prairie Fumé in 1989 helped the Wollersheim brand gain recognition. In 1990, Wollersheim Winery bought Cedar Creek Winery, adding the Cedar Creek brand to its line of wine. Cedar Creek Winery is located in Cedarburg, Wisconsin, and is part of an old woolen mill that features large, cool, limestone cellars. The sister wineries share the same family ownership, as well as the same winemaker, yet the two brands remain distinct.
As the wines continued to grow, so did the Prairie du Sac winery buildings, with several renovations. In 1994, the winery expanded from housing its fermentation tanks in the old barn, adding a fermentation room, a bottling room and case storage. In 2008, a large addition dedicated to more visitor space included tasting and shopping areas, as well as an upstairs event room, all of which boast beautiful views of the hillside vineyards. An outdoor balcony and wine garden offer relaxing places to enjoy a glass of wine, spring through fall.
Annual production of Wollersheim and Cedar Creek wines has risen from 15,000 gallons in 1987 to 240,000 gallons in 2014. Wollersheim and Cedar Creek wines are sold at the two wineries, and in stores and restaurants throughout Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Wollersheim Winery, Inc. has received numerous awards for its Cedar Creek and Wollersheim wines and has gained recognition as a leader in the Midwestern wine industry.
Practices & Techniques
Estate Vineyards / AVA
Our 27 acres of vineyards at our estate are part of the “Lake Wisconsin Viticultural Area” Appellation.
We grow four winter-hardy hybrid varietals: Two French-American red hybrids, Marechal Foch and Leon Millot; and two Wisconsin-native American white hybrids: St. Pepin and LaCrosse.
We make seven different wines from the grapes grown in our vineyards:
-Young, flat fields give us young, light-bodied wines: Prairie Blush, Eagle White, Prairie Sunburst Red, and Ice Wine
-Medium-aged vines in medium-sloped fields create medium-bodied wines: Ruby Nouveau and Domaine du Sac
-The oldest, steepest field gives us our richest, full-bodied Domaine Reserve
We also work with vineyards in New York & Washington who custom-grow additional varietals for us: Sangiovese, Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Seyval Blanc & Muscat grapes.
Named "Winery of the Year" at the San Diego International Wine Competition.