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Trout Springs Winery
Brown County's first Winery and Vineyard!
Trout Springs Winery, Greenleaf, WI - Brown County's first Winery and Vineyard!
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Birth of a Winery
October 24, 2014     07:43 AM US Central
 
From what we have seen in the past, we believe that wineries evolve. They are not just started, but often transform from vine plantings into the utilization of winery equipment and buildings, and then finally into the intricate conception and aging of vintage wines. With this transformation comes knowledge, which, once mastered and applied, embarks the process of becoming a quality vinter and knowledgeable wine maker.

 
The transformation for Trout Springs Winery started in January 1995. Once our aging horses left behind a five-acre pasture, many ideas began to cycle. In the spring of 1995, an acre and a half plot was prepared for cultivars such as, Marashal Foche, Leon Millot, St. Croix, St. Peppin, La Crosse, and Swenson's Red. These first cuttings had to be root stimulated in our greenhouse by placing them on propagation mats set at 80 degrees. Once callused, the leaves and roots sprouted, and they were then transferred to single pots to await the April planting. Not knowing too much about how the young plants would fare, a trellising and irrigation system was set up in this acre and a half block. To our amazement, they grew! The following year and subsequently each year following thereafter, varieties were cultured, culled, and added to find a few prime cultivars that would thrive in our climate and fill the five-acre site.

 
The 45th parallel runs just north of Green Bay, WI, so geographically, this temperate climate rivals that of some of the best grape growing regions in the world. Grapes like warm days and cool nights, as they extract flavors and complex overtones from the soil, water, and climate they live in. Today, some 50 varieties are under cultivation at Trout Springs Winery, and include viniferous species like Cabernet Franc, Shiraz, Lemberger, and Pino Gris. The majority of vines are French American hybrids, which include Vidal Blanc, Vignoles, Frontenac, and NY73. We have also included seedless varieties such as, Mars, Einset, Marquis, and Concord as well as American varieties like, Niagara, Buffalo, Cynthiana, Fredonia, and Steuben.

Even though we harvest our own grapes, we also import grapes from California. Our main import is Petite Syrah, a spicy blend of grape that cannot grow here. They are crushed upon arrival and aged in French Oak barrels. Other wines in production from estate grown grapes include ice wines made from, Vidal Blanc, a semi sweet dry Niagara white, and a Beaujolais style Bordeaux red made up of many blends from our vineyard. These along with the following fruit and specialty wines round out our product list. The Door County Cherry, Asian pear, Elderberry\Blackberry, crab apple, dandelion, corn, and rose hip wines are all well worth that inquisitive first taste.

As with the rest of the operations at Branch River Farms, we will not rush any endeavor, or push for an end product before its time. Like great vintage wines, the entire process needs to be carefully nurtured, studied, and phased-in as time and resources permit. In the meantime, making key decisions and learning valuable lessons is what makes our winery just as successful as our other ventures at Branch River. Stay tuned for further updates and progress reports on new vintages, releases, and special events.

 
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