The family business of Wisconsin wine making - WFXS, MyFoxWausau - News and Weather for Wausau, WI

The family business of Wisconsin wine making

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Trempealeau (WAOW) -

The acres of grapes at Elmaro Vineyard, N14756 Delaney Road, Trempealeau, are a true distinguishing feature amid the rolling terrain of western Wisconsin.

"Very much so," Cameron Delaney, co-owner of the vineyard told Newsline 9.

Delaney and his relatives operate the vineyard on land bought by Delaney's Great, Great, Great Grandparents. Like the generations before them, his family is still making use of the fertile grounds near the Mississippi River valley, but now with a new purpose: grape farming and wine production.

Delaney organizes events and tasting room specials as his father manages the vineyard crop along the hilly landscape. Inside the winery his mother and sister work as winemakers and his brother-in-law covers the marketing aspect of the operation.

"Being that we're all experts in our area we definitely trust each other with what we do and it brings us closer together," Delaney said.

The winery produces more than 15 varieties using the grapes grown on site. Delaney summarizes the offering as wide-ranging, "a little bit of everything," he said.

Wisconsin has not been widely known as a major wine-producing state, but with the help of new grape varietals that can manage western Wisconsin's more continental climate Delaney says that notion is changing.

"They're known as cold climate varietals. And a lot of the ones we grow here were developed at the University of Minnesota. They do a lot of hybrids there, they cross more traditional wine-making grapes with the local grapes that can withstand the winters so we kind of get the best of both worlds," Delaney said.

Designed hybrid grapes like those grown in the upper Midwest can then become wine exclusive to our climate.

"When the grapes come in we make a decision whether you're going to add sugar. We can do that here in Wisconsin, they can't do it out in California," winemaker Lynita Delaney said.

"It's interesting because of all the biology involved with the wine making. It's fun. I love the grapes outside," she continued.

For information on upcoming events, wine tasting opportunities and directions follow this link.

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