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Bailey's Run Winery

Updated: Jan 12, 2022

New Glarus, WI


Crusin' Rating: B

Booze Rating: B-

Crusin For Booze- Wisconsin Blogger- Baliey's Run Winery Exterior

As Christmas draws ever nearer with a distinct lack of snow, Hannah and I decided to visit one of our favorite little towns that, in past years, has never failed to give us the vibe of the holidays. Full of cute decorations, several little shops, delicious food, a nationally recognized brewery, and two wineries. For this week’s edition, we are headed to New Glarus, WI.

Hannah had been struck with the idea of finding a winery that did a sip and shop style event, and, of course, most of them happened the week previously, or we had already been to those that were nearby. We compromised with New Glarus because I get a hankering for some Swiss food (Rosti Potatoes and Spaetzle to be exact) from time to time and the best examples of those can be found in New Glarus. We have been to this week’s stop, Bailey’s Run Winery, a few times and are quite familiar with it. We have an acquaintance that is quite taken with this winery and just about everyone in the area you ask will give you a recommendation as a destination spot.

Bailey’s Run takes its namesake from the owner’s dog, Bailey, an attention-seeking Labradoodle that constantly scurries about the winery looking for the next person’s adoration. Not quite as surprising as the unexpected Winery Cat of Wild Hills Winery, but an excellent mascot for this spot. Bailey’s Run is also, to me, the paragon of a winery. The entire place exudes “girls weekend” and I am not quite sure I can put my finger on how they do it but I suspect some of the factors include: Yoga & Wine, Sparkling wines with literal edible sparkles in them, an array of wines from fruity, to sparkling, to spicy, to standard all with names that you might find splashed across Bachelorette party sashes, live music, and such an array of activities that there is something constantly going on at the winery. I have only seen women work there, and they flit about tittering with guests, clearing tables, and exuding a hosting confidence that I have not seen anywhere else. They are a well-oiled machine and although I only counted three pouring wine, they handled it with the ease of teams triple their size.

The space is large and open that sports an excellent view over the hill where the vines grow; you can even catch glimpses of a farm on a neighboring slope. In the summer, glimpses of sunset peak over those hills as you sit outside on the equally large patio. There are a mixture of farm tables and high tops inside to sit with any-sized group and even share a space with some strangers if you are into that. The space was excellently decorated for Christmas by someone with a clear eye for it; as a couple of singers crooned away some original holiday hits. I like the space, it’s always busy and the girls running it always give a sense of frantic, but friendly energy. Cheese plates and (I believe within the past year) wood-fired pizzas are available to eat.

The only issue that I have had with Bailey’s run with the vibe as a winery is that their tasting process is not very streamlined. They do not do tasting flights, you usually have to go up and do the tasting one-by-one at the bar. We’ve discussed this before because it makes it quite awkward to take notes while someone is waiting on you. The kicker with Bailey’s run is, it’s always so damned busy that even that style becomes very impractical, if not impossible. There were easily a dozen people at the bar at any given time on the Sunday we were there. We didn’t want to take up space at the bar (where it’s standing room only) in order to take our notes. The solution we came up with was to ask for one sample at a time, walk it back to the table, taste, take notes, and then return to the bar for the next sample. Not only was this time consuming on our part, I felt bad having to have one of the ladies wait on me multiple times. They have flight prices, so why not just serve a flight that we can take back to the table. It’s such an odd choice to make at a place that is that busy and honestly made our process a little cumbersome with how busy it was. I should add I never had to wait more than five minutes, despite how many people were there, because, as I said, these ladies have this down like clockwork.

Crusin For Booze- Wisconsin Blogger- Bailey's Run Winery Bar

Onto the wine!

Hannah got a tasting of five wines plus two sparking wines for $12 and I got 6 wines for 7$

Bailey White - This white had notes of citrus on the nose and featured high acidity with an earthy taste that had the faintest whisper of oak.

Wonderland - One of the wines featuring edible glitter, this white had very high acidity with distinct orange notes on the nose, and then citrus and honeydew on the tongue.

Carmanere - Not to be confused with Hannah’s favorite wine of all time, Carmen's Last Dance, this red had slight oak on the nose with tastes of toasted vanilla, roasted red berries and smoky bark on the tongue.

Edelweiss - This White was light and crisp with high acidity. Way too acidic, so much so that it was nearer a sour patch kid than a pleasant wine. It was bright up front and featured the aroma of cinnamon frosting, but there was none of that signature maple flavor I look for and was just too high in acidity to enjoy.

Venom - This Jalapeño White has only one contemporary to compare it to, the Jalapeño Wine at Timber Hill in Milton, that we have tried so we will be measuring it against that. Right away, you can tell that that Venom is meant to be drunk in a glass. The winery does use it in their Bloody Marys, as Timber Hill does, but Timber Hill’s is quite overpowering on its own. While Venom was also pretty strong, there was a distinct first impression of the Edelweiss grapes that were used and then a swift turn directly into jalapeno that lingers after you have finished. I think, because this is both wine and spicy, it would not be as good in a bloody. That strong acidity from the Edelweiss grapes used stands in stark contrast and while it does hit the note of a spicy wine in a glass, I don’t love spicy wine. I love spicy things, but not my wine. Hannah, who is always in love with spice in her beer or wine, also agreed that this one is outclassed in terms of a bloody enhancer to Timber Hill.

Rebel Faith - This Syrah tasted of oak and red fruit. The flavor was not overly strong but I found it smooth with a dry finish that wasn’t wholly unpleasant. If there were a little more depth to this one I would enjoy it.

Summer Haze - Hannah’s favorite of the bunch, this red is suggested as a sangria. From trying this more than once, do not use in a sangria, instead just enjoy it by itself. This wine tastes of reduced red currants with a little bit of strawberry. Low tannins but not overly sweet, Hannah has enjoyed this chilled on a hot summer’s day or room temperature during a winter’s eve. A wine as flexible as this is always a welcome addition to have on hand.

Savrevois - This red was allegedly aged in bourbon barrels but I detected nothing on the nose. Something got lost in translation with this one because my sample smelled of pickle juice and tasted of vinegar. It’s possible this wine had turned which we would hope is a fluke. We will pass on this one for now.

Knuddlebar - This Rosé was all but liquid strawberry sugar and was too sweet for even Hannah’s palate. I picked up on young strawberry’s and watermelon on the nose but I have tasted less sugary Kool-Aid. If you have a sweet tooth, then this is the liquid dessert you have been looking for.

Petite Pearl - This ruby red was my favorite of the bunch. I tasted rich french oak and just a little bourbon from the aging process which made for a very pleasant, drinkable combination. I found this red to be full-bodied wherein the rich red fruit aroma and vanilla translated excellently to the tongue. High tannins give me the dry finish that I was looking for and a little toasted vanilla lingers which is genuinely pleasant.

Celebration - A Sparkling Cranberry this wine was a very well-balanced cranberry flavor. I thought the flavor and aroma were so spot on that the carbonation seemed unnecessary, almost like a Welch’s sparkling that you get around the holidays. Again though, the flavor was excellent, a balanced sweetness and tolerable tartness. This was a winner for both Hannah and me. It would be an excellent beverage to toast in the new year with.

Marquette - This red had distinct strawberries on the nose but #WeWantaFullBodiedMarquette. This wine had a lovely garnet color and a pleasant aroma but the body was just not there to back it up. We were both left wanting a stronger tannin content and a more fruit-forward flavor throughout. The search for a good Marquette will continue.

Love - This White Sparkling was something off the beaten path, an white almond-flavored sparkling wine. I could take or leave almonds but the aroma and flavor were both there. Hannah took a solid pass on this one once tasting. Neither of us have come across an almond wine so we have little to compare it to, but for now, this one will set the bar for an almond sparkling wine because there was no doubt on scent and palate that there was almond in this wine.

There were two wines that stood out to Hannah, Summer Haze and Celebration. For me, it was Celebration and Petite Pearl, however, of those three, we keep a bottle of Summer Haze on hand as a safe bet for when we want something on the sweeter side after dinner. Although I enjoyed the Petite Pearl, without Hannah’s approval, we choose to not keep it as part of our stock as rarely will I drink wine alone. While we both enjoy Celebration, to the best of our knowledge, it’s only available at the winery or shipped from the winery which gets a little cost prohibitive (either shipping or driving to the winery to get more). For this reason, we do not keep celebration on hand either.

I would be remiss to say that there was not a shadow hanging over out visit in the form of COVID-19 aftermath. The Glarner Stube, our favorite Swiss spot is closed for the season, our other favorite spot (which sported an excellent sunroom to eat in) The New Glarus Hotel, has closed permanently. A bistro on the top of the hill in town has also closed permanently and the only other spot to get Swiss fare, The Landhaus Inn, was closed since it’s a Sunday. Not quite the lovely Christmas trip we had hoped for, despite the outdoor Christkindle market. It left us with a saddened demeanor and heavy hearts to see places we love close because of the pandemic.

If you live in Madison, I’d say it’s worth a trip, especially for a girls weekend, out to the winery. You could potentially make a day of it visiting New Glarus Brewing Company (which recently re-opened) as well, getting lunch at the winery. The small shops are still open so there is hope. We can additionally only hope that the food scene in town gets a re-invigoration.

Crusin For Booze- Wisconsin Blogger- Baliey's Run Outdoor Truck

Until next time, keep on crusin’, don’t stop boozin’.

To learn more about Bailey's Run Winery please visit their website at: or on Facebook: @BaileysRunVineyard or on Instagram: @BaileysRunVineyardandWinery

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