Clover Meadow Winery in Shell Lake, 80 miles northwest of Eau Claire, is out there on the green edge of things as the state’s only certified organic winery.
Alexia Gannon, who describes herself as Clover Meadow’s “chief wrangling officer,” says that as far as she knows it’s the only certified organic winery in the Midwest….
Gannon’s parents, Pat and Laura Walters, bought 180 acres in Wisconsin’s Bashaw Valley in the mid-1970s and moved to the land from Chicago in the mid-1990s.
Over the years, they planted orchards and vines “and then we needed something to do with the fruit, so wine came about,” Gannon explained….
In addition to making wine from both cold-hardy wine grapes and table grapes, it also ferments plums, blackberries, apples, cranberries, pears, dandelions, crabapples and — hold your breath — onions. (That last is a novelty wine.)
Schamberg explains that about half of the winery’s 20+ varieties are organic; the others are made with locally sourced (but not organic) fruit. The family behind Clover Meadow are also distillers, producing organic brandy, and run a cafe at the winery as well.
It’s a nice piece, highlighting a slice of Wisconsin agriculture that I previously hadn’t known about. Check out the full article here.