Made in Wisconsin: Wine - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Made in Wisconsin: Wine


Siblings Dan, Susan, Pam and Sally decided to go into business together with their husbands and wives—all with an interest in wine. That's when Fawn Creek Winery in Wisconsin Dells was born.

"We got our first batch of grapes off our plants this year. So we are working on some test batches in there, we have about three tanks," said manager Dan Haberkorn.

The land for the winery was bought two years ago. Then the family went to work on construction.

"We kind of had a five year plan, where we wouldn't have employees, but it's already taken off, so we are in our six-seven year plan already," said Haberkorn.

During the summer, the winery's peak season, there are a total of 25 employees.

While wine has always interested the family, Haberkorn says they didn't have a lot of experience with making it before.

"It's been a crash course to learn as we go," said Haberkorn.

Fawn Creek hasn't stopped growing. Last year, owners say they produced 10,000 gallons of wine. Now, they say they're on pace to pump out 15,000 gallons.

"We had to double our tank room last fall," Haberkorn added.

The tank room may be the most interesting part of the winery.

"We have the window right off the tasting bar so they can watch us make the wine when we are doing that," said Haberkorn.

But how is it all made? Managers say the grape juice comes from California, then the work here in Wisconsin begins.

"The fermentation process is really just the first couple weeks. But then the aging and clarification process is what takes the longest," said Haberkorn.

In all, it takes about three months. Then comes the bottling, which previously was done completely by hand.

"You could fill about six bottles at a time, then you'd pass it to the next guy who would have to cork it by hand. Someone would put the foil covers on and then," said Haberkorn.

Now, there's a bottling machine, which fills about 900 bottles every hour and a half.

Fawn Creek Winery makes 12 different kinds of wine, including fruit wine -- like Granny's Apple and Just Peachy.

"They are probably our most popular wines by far,” said Haberkorn.

Rachelle and Donovan Moser say they agree.

"The Granny's Gold, that was really good, it's a green apple Riesling. We tried a lot of the fruit flavored wines and we enjoyed them," said Rachelle Moser.

Owners say the wine is what makes people come here, but it's the experience that makes them stay.

"I like the gift shop feel of it," said Rachelle Moser.

"Most people that come here are looking for a good time, so they're usually pretty upbeat and happy," said Haberkorn.

And happy, they seem to leave.

Fawn Creek Wine -- Made in Wisconsin.

Of course, we want to remind you to always drink responsibly. Fawn Creek Wine is available at stores across the state.

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