Wollersheim Winery

About

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.

Location Description

Wollersheim Winery sits on a grand slope overlooking the Wisconsin River, right across from Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin.

Contact

Fax: 608-643-8149

Additional Information

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Winemaker

For Philippe Coquard, making wine is a way of life that was passed down to him through generations of tradition, skill and artistry. Born and raised in the Beaujolais region of France, Philippe comes from a family of winemakers steeped in over 400 years of viticulture and enology. He says, “Where I come from, it is all grape-growing and winemaking. We think of wine, we talk of wine, we dream only of wine.” Philippe was immersed in winemaking and viticulture from a young age, growing up helping on his family's farms and tasting wine with his father and uncles. He later went on to earn degrees in winemaking, viticulture, and wine marketing.

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.”

History

In 1972, Robert and JoAnn Wollersheim purchased the winery farm property from Peter Kehl’s great grandson with the intention of restoring it to a working family winery. The hillside slopes were again planted with vineyards, the underground wine cellars were refurnished with oak barrels, and the main floor of one of the buildings was converted into a store to make Wollersheim wine available for visitors.

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

After all these years the winery continues to innovate by combining tremendous respect for old-world tradition in viticulture and winemaking, with modern, state-of-the-art experimentation.

Estate Vineyards / AVA

VINES

Our 27 acres of vineyards at our estate are part of the “Lake Wisconsin Viticultural Area” Appellation.

GRAPES

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.

ESTATE WINES

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

VARIETAL WINES

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.

Awards


Named "Winery of the Year" at the San Diego International Wine Competition.

Reviews

1 Review
Susan Leslie Edgren Susan Leslie Edgren
Wisconsin Rapids
Best white wine ever!

I am not usually a wine fan, but Wollersheim's Prairie Fume is superb! I am now converted!

October 2016

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Hours

Open Daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., year-round. Tours run between 10:15 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. Tours are offered daily except during events. Special Holiday Hours There are a few exceptions as follows: January 1: New Year's Day | Closed Easter Sunday | Closed Thanksgiving Day | Closed December 24: Christmas Eve | Open 10 a.m. - 3 p.m December 25: Christmas Day | Closed December 31: New Year's Eve | Open 10 a.m. - 4 p.m

Address

7876 State Rd 188
Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin 53578
United States

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