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Sep 22, 2007 05:50 AM

wineries in/near madison, wi?

We'll be driving from St. Louis to Madison, and then perhaps we'll drive a bit in one direction or another, looking for cheese. I"m wondering if there are any wineries of note in or near Madison? Or good wine shops? I've seen that in the heart of Madison there is a wine bar called Cafe Montremarte, but their wine list seems to contain a whole lot of grocery store wine . Any recs for good local wine, or a wine bar with a better menu, or a shop that carries unusual stuff? Thanks.

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  1. Wollersheim Winery in Prairie du Sac is not too far. Check out their website. Lots of locals like their Prairie Fume.

    Barriques is a wine shop that might give you some recommendations on other local wines.

    2 Replies
    1. re: 1susan1

      I second this recommendation. Wollersheim is a beautiful place with historic buildings and great wine. I love the Prairie Fume - light and crisp. I cannot find it here in my new home in Minnesota - they don't sell it on this side of the St. Croix River. This wine has won many awards, and I have not found it's equal yet.

        This is another option about an hour (probably less) west of Madison. Beautiful location! Haven't done the tour, but have driven in the area several times.

        1. Most states (and regions within them) have winery associations that do a pretty good job of providing information on their wineries.

          You'll be driving through Illinois on your trip, and you can find information on Illinois wineries at While there are wineries throughout Illinois, some of the best (and the biggest concentration) is in the southern part of the state, an easy day trip from St. Louis. Those might not work on this trip, but you may want to keep them in mind for a future outing.

          Then, once you cross the state line into Wisconsin, you'll need the information on Wisconsin wineries, which you can find here:

          The listings on both of these websites are quite complete.


          P.S. For when you're back home in Missouri, you might want to check out this website:

          1. If you like wine coolers (remember those?), by all means spend time at Wisconsin wineries. But if you're looking for anything drinkable, you're best off at wineries in other states with more moderate climates--Ohio, New York, Washington, Cali . . . . as for wine shops, the folks at Star Liquor on Williamson Street stock a nice selection in a wide variety of prices, and they have a few on staff who are fantastic at picking the right wine to go with whatever you're cooking. We did a 5 course dinner party recently and Adam at Star gave us great picks when we brought in our menu.

            You said you're looking for cheese while in the Madison area. Be sure to make a stop at Carr Valley cheese. They just opened a shop in Middleton (just west of Madison). Craft cheese that will blow your socks off.

            1 Reply
            1. re: communitygal

              "But if you're looking for anything drinkable, you're best off at wineries in other states with more moderate climates--Ohio, New York, Washington, Cali . ."

              I disagree with that statement. The wine business has evolved dramatically in recent years. Many wineries in locations that would have been considered undesirable just a few years ago have been turning out some excellent products. It's not universally true, of course, but there are some really great wines now coming from places other than the traditional top two or three states. Did you know that New Jersey is now one of the top five wine-producing states? Also, the cooler climates (including Ohio, which you mentioned) may be less advantageous for some kinds of wines, but more advantageous for others; I've had some incredible ice wines produced in Michigan and Wisconsin..

            2. I think you might be better off looking for beer rather than wine. New Glarus Brewery is about 40 minutes away, they have a wide variety of beers, including some incredible fruit beers.

              In town, we really enjoyed Barrique's Coffee Trader, just south of the Capitol. They have a good selection of wines, mostly under $20, and you can drink it there for an additional $5 or so.