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Wollersheim Winery Unveils Its New Brandy April 13

After a change to a Wisconsin law in 2009 allowing wineries to again have licenses for wine and distilled spirits, Wollersheim Winery is distilling brandy for the first time in nearly 100 years. Wollersheim will release its new, 100-percent Wisconsin Coquard Brandy on Saturday, April 13, 2013 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

During the 1800s wineries used brandy to fortify wine for transport. Wollersheim Winery made wine and brandy then, shipping its wine as far as Maine. The winery stopped making wine and brandy in 1919 due to the Prohibition. After the Prohibition’s repeal in 1933, Wisconsin allowed wineries to resume making wine only.

Wollersheim produces a white-grape wine from LaCrosse and St. Pepin grapes grown in Wisconsin to make its Coquard Brandy. Winemaker Philippe Coquard distills the wine in a Portuguese copper-pot still and then ages the brandy for two years in Wisconsin oak barrels, which gives it an amber color. Wollersheim’s brandy has a delicate and floral aroma from the grapes.

Brandy Available Only In Person

Come to the brandy release April 13 to sample the first batch of Coquard Brandy and purchase a bottle to take home. Wisconsin law doesn’t allow Wollersheim to ship its brandy, so you must purchase it at the winery. And since it only produced six barrels of this first vintage, Wollersheim is limiting sales to one bottle per household and two bottles per Caseclub member. Wollersheim doubled production for the second batch.

April 13 Event Festivities

  • Barrel-making demonstration by cooper (barrel maker) Francis Durand at 11:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
  • Self-guided tour from the vineyard to the underground limestone aging-cellar explains the brandy-making process.
  • Music performed by The Wild Trio from 12:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • Wine and brandy tasting along the self-guided tour route.
  • Admission is free.

Learn more at

Reserve a room today for Wollersheim’s brandy release and enjoy the spring bird migration. Call us at 608-355-9899 or click Check Availability at the top of the page. The Inn at Wawanissee Point is the closest bed and breakfast to Wollersheim Winery, 15 minutes through the Lake Wisconsin valley.

Baraboo Birding Events

April 13:  Annual Midwest Crane Count, 5:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. Join 3,000 volunteers in six states to count cranes during migration. Contact Sauk County’s crane count coordinator, Roy Franzen, at 608-356-8948. Learn more at

April 13:  Lawn Chair Duck Watch, Devil’s Lake Sate Park, Baraboo, 8:00 a.m.–9:30 a.m. Bring a lawn chair, binoculars and a thermos of coffee for this early-morning bird watch near the south shore boat launch. We’ll watch ducks, coots, loons and gulls, and hopefully an osprey or eagle. Meet at the south shore boat launch, less than 10 minutes west of the Inn. Call 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or e-mail [email protected] with questions.

April 15:  International Crane Foundation opens for the season, Baraboo, 15 minutes north of the Inn. Take a guided tour of the world’s 15 crane species residing here, hike the restored prairie, a gift shop and more. Visit

April 17:  Devil’s Lake State Park Trail Trek Through Parfrey’s Glen, Baraboo, adjacent the Inn, 2:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m. Spend an early spring afternoon hiking through this sandstone gorge anomaly in the Baraboo Hills. If the stream is high the trail can be a bit wet, so wear appropriate footwear. Call 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or e-mail [email protected] with questions. Learn more about the state’s first natural here.

Trail Background