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Sugar Creek Winery

Updated: Feb 16, 2023

Ferryville, WI

 
 

Traveling around Wisconsin with sometimes little more than word of mouth as our guide has led us on quite a few adventures that often end in pretty interesting places.


Sugar Creek Winery is located in Ferryville, WI. For those unfamiliar with that part of Wisconsin, it is located in Crawford county, along the Mississippi river. While on a weekend trip to La Crosse, we had the chance to check out this location. While not the easiest location to find, nestled in the picturesque Driftless Region, we managed to make do with the large signs directing us once at the property. When you park you are greeted by two dogs who show you the way to the “front” door of the tasting room which is actually quite hidden behind the outbuilding that serves as the winery. We are thankful that the dogs were there to guide us, otherwise it was not very clear where we were supposed to go or where we should even park.


Because of COVID, the winemaker had a foldable table located outside for guests to try wine. Tastings are free and you get to try everything! The wine sitting outside in the sun wasn’t ideal, as the wine was warm instead of chilled. The tasting room is located on 5 acres of land, where the winemaker lives. He built the aforementioned building especially for the tasting room.


The outside area was a makeshift tent/greenhouse that definitely kept us warm in the 40-something weather although it would probably be sweltering in the summer.


He grows his own grapes on neighboring farms so his wines are highly local. All of his wines were also organic according to him but not labeled as such because of the extra cost of adding the organic distinction to the labels. There were also quite a few port-style wines (or fortified wines as they are technically named).


The owner is a character. He tried selling us the house/winery/business many times in the 30 minutes we spent at the winery; so if you are in the market, he is ready to sell to you. At first this seemed like a good-natured offer. It isn’t the first time we’ve passed through such a place that the owners were looking to get out of the business and sell. We usually politely decline due to the sheer cost and we did the same here. However, it became incessant to the point of desperation and I would be lying if it didn’t make us a little uncomfortable being continuously put on the spot. He told us about 5 times that his wines are the best, which we do appreciate an owner who believes in their product; but we would have to disagree. We were on the other end of the spectrum, we didn’t really like his wine. Although we did end up buying 2 bottles, not only as an excuse to leave but we did genuinely enjoy a few of the wines (although it may have been the heat and several free samples by that point). We opted for Tart Cranberry and Aronia Berry (a first for us). Be warned, these wines are the basis of “Erb Ertlinger’s Fruit Wines” from Schitt’s Creek. Our entire trip can be viewed by watching Moira and David visit that winery in Season Six and we left the winery in much the same manner.


Diving a little deeper into the wines, which, it should be noted, are sulfate free and thus fiercely claimed by the owner to entirely avoid hangovers which is highly dubious:


Cranberry Wine- The owner had a half-dozen or more of different versions of the Cranberry wine but Hannah likes very tart wine even more than the following Aronia. We were fortunate enough to get a bottle straight from the fermenter that was able to satiate that craving for sour. The nose was obviously full of Ocean Spray and brought up images of bogs. The majority of the cranberries were quite on the young and sweeter side.


Aronia Berry Wine- This one was a first, a fruit that we had never seen used in a wine before, and to be entirely honest, didn’t know existed before this trip. Hooray for education!

An aronia berry is a small berry similar to blueberry but more deep purplish-black in color. The berry is known for its health benefits being high in antioxidants and is often touted as a superfood and is brilliantly puckering in taste.

This wine was full of tannins while having a nose of distinct red fruit, but even the smell you could tell there was going to be some tartness.


Aronia Berry Wine bottle in the grass
Photo Credit: Sugar Creek Winery Facebook Page

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


To learn more about Sugar Creek winery, please visit their website at: www.facebook.com/Sugar-Creek-Winery

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