Lesson Learned: Always Research Your Winery Visit

LeinenkugelGrowing up, I’d heard a lot about Chippewa Falls, a city that neighbors my late father’s hometown of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Those Wisconsin roots explain why I grew up a Packers fan, even though I’m a California native.

So when we were planning a trip to visit my Wisconsin cousins, I polled my relatives to see if there might be a winery in the area. One cousin mentioned River Bend Winery in Chippewa Falls, so Michelle and I added it onto our itinerary.

We were excited about going there yesterday, and snapped a photo as we approached the winery building. It looked beautiful, especially when framed by grapevines.

But when we pulled up to the driveway entrance… disappointment. Into view came a sign indicating that the winery was not open on Mondays or Tuesdays.

To be honest, I had not even considered that a winery might not be open seven days per week during the height of the tourism season. Upon reflection, however, that was my “California wine mentality” at work. The Golden State is home to far more people than rural Wisconsin, and also attracts far more visitors each year. It made perfect sense for an out-of-the-way winery in dairy land to be closed a couple days per week.

That said, not too far away, we encountered a good number of people — who could have been visiting the winery (just sayin’) — at another purveyor of adult beverages: the Leinenkugel brewery, and its visitor center dubbed the Leinie Lodge.

Leinenkugel is a legendary Wisconsin brewery in a state that it known for making beer. It offers tours and tastings, and best of all, it is not closed on Mondays or Tuesdays.

Still, we were disappointed that we hadn’t had a chance to try some genuine Wisconsin wine.


(To be continued tomorrow.)

Whites You Can Count On

Whites You Can Count On

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for some wines that will satisfy your thirst on a hot summer day, check out this sampler from Vinesse.

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