Wisconsin may be famous for beer, but that’s certainly not the only libation you can enjoy in America’s Dairyland. Where else could you want to explore vineyards than the state dedicated to churning out award-winning cheese? It’s a match made in a very delicious heaven.

Our Wisconsin Wine Travel Guide shares a brief history of the state’s wine country, terroir, where to sip, where to stay and things to do beyond the vines

Photo Provided by Door Peninsula Winery – Source Carpe Travel

Wisconsin is part of the largest American Viticultural Area (AVA), the Upper Mississippi Valley AVA, which includes southwest Wisconsin, southeast Minnesota, northeast Iowa, and northwest Illinois. The state also has two smaller designated AVAs, the Wisconsin Ledge AVA and the Lake Wisconsin AVA. The latter sits within the Upper Mississippi Vally AVA.

Winemaking has flourished in Wisconsin thanks to Osceola’s Elmer Swenson, who worked with the University of Minnesota grape breeding program to create cold-resistant, or so-called cold hardy grapes, revolutionizing wine making not just in the Midwest, but across the country.

From cold winters to not-warm-enough-to-ripen-the-grapes summers in parts of the state, grape growing is a challenge. The state generally only has between three and six months without frost. But these new grapes have been bred for both the soil and climate and wineries in Wisconsin are flourishing.

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