Wisconsin Winery Association Elects New Regional Directors

The Wisconsin Winery Association (WWA) divides the state up into five wine regions...Northwoods, Fox Valley, Door County, Glacial Hills and Driftless.  Each region has a representative that serves on the WWA Board of Directors.  At the January 23, 2017, WWA Annual Meeting the following directors were elected to continuing or new terms:

Northwoods Region:  Christine Bluhm, Dancing Dragonfly Winery, St. Croix Falls
Fox Valley Region:  Craig Fletcher, Mona Rose Winery, Ashwaubenon
Door County Region:  Steve Johnson, Door 44 Winery, Sturgeon Bay
Glacial Hills Region:  Tom Nye, The Blind Horse Winery, Kohler
Driftless Region:  Gene Bergholz, Branches Winery, Westby


Selecting Wines for Holiday Meals

When selecting wine to serve with the medley of flavors at a holiday dinner, the key is to balance tastes and intensity of flavors, and match the wine not necessarily just to the meat or main dish, but also to the way it’s prepared, as the seasonings used or cooking method can affect a pairing selection.

For example, if you’re serving turkey prepared with a fruit-based or sweet sauce, an off-dry white such as Riesling or Gewürztraminer can be a good match. If it’s drizzled with buttery juices, the buttery character of Chardonnay may be a good partner. Or if you’re serving salmon, it may pair well with a subtle white such as Pinot Gris if you’re planning to poach the fish; but if you’re going to grill it, a light-bodied red wine will be a better match.

Ultimately your own preferences come into play, but the following are suggestions to try with traditional holiday fare:


Turkey itself is quite wine-friendly and can pair well with many whites and reds—it’s often the side dishes served with a traditional turkey dinner that throw in more savory to sweet flavors.


Beef needs a red wine with a bit of body.


The slightly sweet flavor of ham pairs well with fruity, light- to medium-bodied whites or fruity red. 

A competition won here and a competition won there means you're good at what you do, but when the awards come year after year it means you've gone beyond good!
Danzinger Vineyards overlooks the mighty Mississippi from it's perch atop the Alma Bluffs in Buffalo County. The vineyard was started in 2003 and now consists of 18 acres of popular cold-hardy grape varieties. Their tasting room opened in 2010.
All of Danzinger's grape wines are estate wines meaning they use only their own grapes, as well as make and bottle the wines on site. It didn't take long for these homegrown wines to start making a name for themselves...a Gold for St. Croix; a Best of Show for Golden Sunrise; a Double Gold for River Paradise; a Best of Division for Raspberry Rapture and the latest title of "Best Wisconsin Wine" for their Late Harvest St. Pepin. To top it off, in 2013 the Wisconsin Grape Growers Association named Danzinger Vineyards Winery of the Year.
Door Peninsula Winery was founded in 1974. Since Door County's climate was too cold to grow conventional grapes, the winery's initial products were made from locally grown fruit. Cherry, apple, strawberry and plum wines were then and still remain popular customer favorites. As their product line expanded, they added a vineyard of cold-hardy grape varieties.  
Door Peninsula has consistently been recognized for their high level of quality. Their double gold Mango wine was named Best of Class and their gold winning Cranberry just recently won the Best of Division in the 2015 Wisconsin State Fair Professional Wine Competition. Their focus on excellence was recognized in 2009 when the Door County Economic Development Corporation named them the Door County Industry of the Year.
Homesteaded in the 1850's in Trempealeau, Wisconsin, Elmaro Vineyard was planted in 2006 on the family farm. Wine took hold of their hearts on a trip to Italy and the rest is history. Their tagline "your NAPA Valley, close to home," beckons wine lovers from near and far to stop, sample and take home their award winning wines.
In 2014, their West Prairie White won the Sweepstakes Award at the Long Beach Grand Cru followed by three golds at the Indy International held this past summer. At the 2015 Wisconsin State Fair Professional Wine Competition their top prize was a Double Gold and Best of Division for their Elmaro La Crescent.
Parallel 44 Vineyard and Winery & Door 44 Winery, are sister wineries located in Kewaunee and Sturgeon Bay respectively. Parallel 44 opened in 2007 followed by Door 44 in 2013. Their similarity in name and owners isn't all that these two share, they both produce award-winning wines!
Most recently, in the 2015 Wisconsin Professional Wine Competition Parallel 44 took home Best in Show for its double gold Petite Pearl, Best in Division for Frozen Tundra Original, and Best Red Wine for its Petite Pearl. Door 44 was awarded Best Sparkling Wine for its Bubbler for the second year in a row!

A key determinant of a wine's age and quality; white wines grow darker in color as they age while red wines turn brownish orange.


The sum of a wine's aromas; how a wine smells as a whole; a key determinant of quality.

Body is all about mouth feel.  Wine can be light body, medium body and full body, and a good way to think about it is the way skim milk, whole milk and cream feel in your mouth.

There are many factors that can contribute to a wine’s body, but the main factor is alcohol content. Wines under 12.5% alcohol (the alcohol percentage should be on the label) are said to be light-bodied. Generally white wines we call crisp and refreshing. A good example is a Riesling.

Wines between 12.5% and 13.5% are considered medium-bodied. Good examples would be Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc.

Finally, any wine over 13.5% alcohol is considered full-bodied. Some wines that are normally over this alcohol level and considered full-bodied are Zinfandel, Syrah/Shiraz, Cabernet, Merlot and Malbec. While the majority of wines over 13.5% alcohol are usually red, Chardonnay is a great example of a white that often can also be considered full-bodied.


The art of making wine is difficult and multifaceted. There is always a degree of unpredictable variation within the grapes, the soil and the climate. What a winemaker chooses to do with these elements is what can produce great wine. This is what makes the winemaker a true artist. The art of creating juice from a grape into a finished wine that is not too acidic, sweet, harsh or even too soft can be as challenging as a tightrope walk.

Balance is basically comprised of four components: fruit, sugar, acid and tannin. A wine is balanced if all of these components are present, but not obscured by one component dominating another. Wine high in acid should be balanced with the proper amount of residual sugar. Red wine with loads of fruit should have tannin and other acids to provide balancing structure. The best wines have a seamless sense of harmony and balance between all four components.

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