At Wollersheim Winery, the tanks are full, wines are fermenting, and the vines are entering a time of rest. Wollersheim harvested their estate-grown grapes September 6-16, and winemaker Philippe Coquard says it’s one of the most beautiful crops they’ve seen in the last decade.
“It doesn’t get much better,” he said. “We had the highest concentration of sugar we’ve seen in years, with beautiful color and flavor. It’s been a beautiful, slow, dry fall. Perfect for ripening grapes.”
While the quality of this year’s crop is outstanding, the quantity is not abundant. Coquard said the vines may still be recovering from the frost event of spring 2016, but he’s pleased overall. “We’d rather have less of outstanding than lots of mediocre,” he said. “We’re excited and looking forward to an outstanding vintage.”
Wollersheim produces over a dozen grape wines in a variety of styles, which have won hundreds of awards in national and international wine competitions. Their estate wines include Domaine Reserve, Domaine du Sac, Prairie Sunburst Red, Prairie Blush, Ruby Nouveau, Eagle White and Ice Wine, and their Coquard Brandy is also made from estate-grown grapes.
Wollersheim also partners with several vineyards that custom-grow grapes in milder climate states. These grapes are brought to the winery and fermented onsite to produce wines such as Prairie Fumé, Dry Riesling, Pinot Noir, and Blushing Rose.
The first of this year’s vintage will be released November 16th, at the winery’s Ruby Nouveau Day. The public is invited to special toast at noon, as Coquard taps the barrel of Wollersheim Ruby Nouveau 2017, Wisconsin’s version of a Beaujolais Nouveau, which is traditionally released the third Thursday in November.
Wollersheim Winery & Distillery are open daily, and Wollersheim wine and spirits can also be found in restaurants and stores throughout the state. For more information, visit www.wollersheim.com