We are pleased to share that we have completed another successful grape harvest, excluding a field of Ice Wine grapes, which will be picked in winter when the temperatures are well below freezing.
In these modern times, much of our historic vineyard is picked by machine. The machine drives over each row, shaking the fruit from the vines using bow-like rods. The grapes are then transported to be destemmed and crushed or pressed, depending on the wine being made.
Though much of the 30-acre vineyard is picked by the grape harvester, the steepest slopes of Maréchal Foch grapes are harvested by hand for our finest red wine, Domaine Reserve. Domaine Reserve is among the rare “single field wines,” using grapes from only the oldest vines, which are nearly 50 years old. These grapes are harvested last for full ripeness to create a rich, full-bodied wine.
Philippe Coquard, our owner and Winemaker here at Wollersheim Winery and Distillery, has a special place in his palate for this exceptional Wisconsin wine.
“Domaine Reserve is one of a kind. It is the best representation of what the Wollersheim estate can do,” he said. “It would be difficult to find a wine as unique as Domaine Reserve. It’s one field, it’s one slope, a very specific Wisconsin terroir.”
The grapes for our Ice Wine will be harvested after Wisconsin winter is in full effect. The grapes are hand-picked at the winery vineyards in mid-December when the grapes are completely frozen, and temperatures are between 10 – 12 degrees. This allows the water in the grapes to freeze while the sugars do not, concentrating the juice and capturing the sweet grape flavors.
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