Chippewa Falls, WI (WEAU) - We've had one of the most unusual spring season's this year with snow and freezing temperatures. But how is the weather affecting wineries in our area?
It turns out that River Bend Vineyard & Winery in Chippewa Falls isn’t whining about Wisconsin’s wine country this spring, but taking in the new season.
Just off Highway 27, there's a feeling of tranquility in the air that you wouldn't expect in Wisconsin.
"When they come here, they feel like they're completely removed from their regular life,” said Co-Owner Donna Sachs of River Bend Vineyard & Winery.
But at River Bend Winery in Chippewa Falls, you get a taste of wine country.
"It’s really fun when we re-open in the spring because a lot of our customers become friends and so you don't see them over the winter as much,” said Sachs.
Donna Sachs says they produce about 20 thousand gallons of wine a year and spring is when most of their bottling is done.
"What this weather does for us is hold off bud break which is good because in the past we've had years here it's warmed up really early and the vineyard decides to wakeup then they're very vulnerable to frost," said Sachs.
Although they’re behind in pruning, their doors have finally opened to the tasting room on weekdays.
"Magenta is our best seller. If we had a flagship wine this is what it would be,” said Sachs.
No matter what your taste buds prefer, there are a variety of flavors.
"We make grape wine except a wine like strawberry blush is 80% grape wine, 20% strawberries.” said Sachs.
But Donna gets to feel like a mad scientist, experimenting with new flavors.
"These machines will let me know how much sulfur dioxide is in wine and the other machine will tell me what the acidity is," said Sachs.
It helps her develop new ideas, like sparkling wines that will be ready by October.
"The stuff that's falling through the bottle is actually the yeast that's conducting the second fermentation and creates all the carbon dioxide that will be trapped,” said Sachs.
So whether you’re a wine lover or not, Donna says here you'll feel like family.
"People ask us all the time so you talk wine all-day, you make wine all-day, you enjoy wine when you go home? We say absolutely,” said Sachs.
This year the winery will have 10 barrels are going into retirement from production. Those will be auctioned off on May 18th, with all the proceeds going to the Chippewa County Humane Association.