44 Live: What is a Winery?

Apr. 24, 2017

Most wineries have three tiers: (1) Growing Most wineries have three tiers: (2) Producing Most wineries have three tiers: (3) Hospitality

In the most generic and definitive sense of the word, a winery is an establishment for making wine. It is a place where the production process of wine occurs. This process, while structured and systematic, can vary significantly from location to location.

A winery is where grapes are processed, stems and leaves are removed and the fruit crushed. The juice is then fermented and aged for a certain period of time before being bottled. The diversification in wine and winemaking style comes in the grape varietal, the method of crushing, the length of fermentation, and so many other variations.

There are wineries that solely produce their wines from the grapes grown in their own vineyard, these tend to be smaller and family-owned, known as estate wines. There are wineries that mass produce wines from grapes grown at several other vineyards, these tend to be large scale and less focused. Then there are wineries that do a little bit of both, grow much of their own grapes and outsource to other vineyards. 

For Wisconsin, in order to call your establishment a winery, you must manufacture in some way, the wine you intend to sell. While the small details may vary from state to state, each and every winery must first comply with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau and receive permission to start operations.

We take great pride in growing locally the product you are going to enjoy.  The process of growing grapes, while challenging, is very rewarding because decisions in the vineyard are really offering the opportunity to grow and create something irreproduceable from the ground to your glass.

Winemaking consists of constantly doing chemistry and taste analysis which requires science and art.  The blending of both creates a chance to create a product that will give great pleasure.

A winery IS an establishment for making wine, but the way every winery operates and how they handle that process significantly varies, not only regionally, but across the country and the globe. This variation makes it extremely difficult to even begin to compare wineries that aren’t near each other, once again signifying the uniqueness that wineries across Wisconsin offer.


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