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Our Door County: The Wine Trail


If you think you have to go to the West Coast to taste great wine, think again.

Door County’s wine scene has matured to new levels over the past decade as local wineries perfect their craft and new wine-makers have entered the scene. In the latest edition of the Our Door County video series, we take you to the vineyards, tasting rooms, and aboard the Door County Trolley to meet the people making the peninsula a Midwest must-stop for wine-lovers.

“In my opinion all of the wineries have stepped it up over the last 10 years,” said Russell Turco, founder of Stone’s Throw Winery in Egg Harbor. That comes in part due to the increasing standards of wine drinkers, and in part because of strong local efforts to improve the scene.

AJ Frank has been introducing visitors to Door County wineries for 15 years aboard the Door County Trolley. When he launched his business ferrying tourists between peninsula attractions, he didn’t even offer a wine tour. Today, it’s the biggest part of his business. He said the proximity of wineries here makes it perfect for trekking down the Door County wine trail.

“Within 15 minutes you can be in a different winery,” Frank said. “You don’t have to drive an hour and a half to two hours away.”

Carrie Viste at Lautenbach’s Orchard Country Winery in Fish Creek is proud to put a family touch into their wines.

“We sit on 100 acres of fruit,” she said. “We utilize a lot of the fruit we grow here on the property in our wines.”

Frank said his crowd used to be comprised of those looking for, or expecting, only fruit wines, but that has changed in recent years.

“Where once we could please only the person who loves the fruity, sweet wines, now you’ll see experienced wine connoisseurs will find something they like,” he said.

Take a tour through Door County’s wine scene:

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