TIMELINE

1840’s
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The winery property was first planted with grapevines by Sauk City founder Agoston Haraszthy in the 1840’s. When Haraszthy left, he sold the property to his vineyard manager Peter Kehl.

1858 – 1867
peter kehl
presshouse

Winery is Built by Peter Kehl Family. The building has 3 floors: dance hall, carriage house, & wine cellars.

1850’s – 1899
property

Kehl Family made wine from native grape varieties and fortified the wine with brandy to bring the alcohol content up to a table wine. The wine was sold as far away as the state of Maine.

1900 – 1971
Full Property

The vineyards froze in the extra cold winter of 1899. The winery property was then used as a dairy farm with cows & pigs. No vineyards were left.

1972
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Bob & JoAnn Wollersheim family purchased the winery property from the 4th generation of the Kehl family.

1973
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Bob & JoAnn Wollersheim opened the winery for tours and began making wine again. They experimented with grape varieties to determine which would grow in Wisconsin.

1984 & 1985
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Philippe Coquard arrives from Beaujolais, France. And in 1985, Philippe becomes winemaker.

1989
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Prairie Fumé wine is born. Later to become the winery’s (& Wisconsin’s) most popular wine.

1994
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New Addition built which allowed the winery to increase its wine production and included Fermentation room, Offices, Bottling room, & Case room.

1997
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Big Room was built. Houses large 5000 to 5400 gallon stainless steel fermentation tanks for holding wine until needed for filtering and bottling.

2008
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Building on Tradition – 150 Years after the first winery was built, a new winery expansion is added which includes a Winery Store, Offices, Visitor Tasting areas, and a new room for tours and events.

2009
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Wollersheim Winery continues to grow and celebrates 20 Years of Prairie Fumé.

2010
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Winery receives distillery license and starts creating Brandy again.

2012
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Winery named “Winery of the Year” at San Diego International Wine Competition in San Diego, CA.

2015
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A stillhouse and distillery store for brandy and other spirits is built on the property. Working with several traditional copper stills, brandies, gin, absinthe, whiskey and bourbon are created on-site.

Wollersheim Winery & Distillery Today