Wine Pairing of Four Courses

December 21st, 2016 by Brad Schmiling

Wine Pairing Cellar Image

Wine Pairing Tour Includes Four Courses

That feeling is growing; you know, the one where you need to get out of the house! It’s usually coupled with a desire for something new, something involving food, and something with good friends to lift your spirits. Here’s the antidote: grab three friends and sign up for our four-course pairing tour.

What we propose to offset the winter doldrums (instead of a tour and tasting) is a tasting tour. Enjoy a wine pairing tour this winter with at least three others.

You’ll get to take in the production and wine-aging tunnels with pairings of wine and food along the way. Sample a wide variety of wines. Taste in the 150 year-old barrel aging cellars. See the two-story fermenters up close. This tasting experience includes a wine pairing with locally-produced meat, cheese, and chocolate.

Stop #1

Begin in the tasting room at the bar. This tasting is elevated above your typical complimentary experience. You’ll enjoy a sampling of your choice of six fine wines from our complimentary and Select Vintages wine tasting list. The value of this pairing is $5 per person.

Stop #2

Tour our production facility. See the difference our modern equipment makes when used to produce great wines. Fermentation vessels, the first isobaric bottling line of its kind in North America, ozone and nitrogen generators, a computer-controlled glycol chiller system, and the list goes on.

Stop #3

Go underground and explore the tunnels. Tour our Rathskeller, originally built for the lagering of beer by Ahnapee Brewery in the 1800s. Learn the history of von Stiehl, and the art of barrel aging red wines. From hand-split French Gamba Oak to white Wisconsin oak, the barrels make a huge difference in the smoothness of von Stiehl reds. Enjoy a special white wine blend paired with local cheese. Sample red wine paired with meats from local smoke shops. Value $14 per person.

Stop #4

Return to our tasting room to enjoy a chocolate pairing flight. Take a seat at our cork tables by the fireplace, then experience the pairing of three wines with three specialty chocolates. Just don’t sit too close — you’ll melt the chocolate! Value $7.50 per person.

Package Value $106 for four, but we’re offering this experience for only $30 for four people. Are there more friends that you’d like to invite? Bring six guests for $44 or eight guests for $55.

Call 920-487-5208 to reserve this offer. At that time, we will arrange your tasting tour date and time. The special is available through the end of April.

Please call with at least 7 days advance notice. Tours are typically at 10:30 AM and 1 PM on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. We will be able to accommodate up to twelve guests per time slot. It may be possible to schedule other times. Rescheduling due to weather is permitted. Multiple flights of stairs and outdoor walking will be involved. We will do our best to modify the experience for those who are handicapped. Please note that the experience is for 4, 6, or 8. We cannot accommodate parties of two.

 

Wet Whistle Wine Fest

December 12th, 2016 by Brad Schmiling

Wet Whistle Wine FestWet Whistle Wine Fest • Friday, Sept. 15 | 4–8pm (Free)

Saturday, Sept. 16 | 10am–6pm ($10)

Wet Whistle offers award-winning wines, a grape stomp, hearty sandwiches, & live music! It isn’t the 2,000 visitors smiling all the time that’s weird. Nor is it the trombonist standing in a grape-filled barrel while playing an amazing riff. Nor the people with sticky purple feet dancing onstage. This is normal at a wine fest and to be expected. What’s odd at Wet Whistle Wine Fest are all the costumes. We don’t ask anyone to show up dressed as wine bottles, or nuns who smoke cigarettes. And these are just a couple examples of Wet Whistle Wine Fest goings-on that we just couldn’t make up. Don’t take our word for it… come to the wine fest and see it for yourself!

This Wet Whistle Wine Fest is a fundraiser for the Community Improvement of Algoma, and the Algoma Fire and Rescue. Come out to support these great non-profit organizations of Algoma!

Friday

Free admission, but canned food donations for Kewaunee County Food Pantry are welcome! All weekend, children under 12 FREE. Under 21 must be accompanied by an adult.

Band: Cat Five • 4–8pm
Specialty Foods • 4–8pm

Saturday

$10 Admission. All weekend, children under 12 FREE. Under 21 must be accompanied by an adult.

Band: Beaker Street • 10am–1:30pm
Band: The Groove Hogs • 2–6pm
Tours & Wine Tasting • At Winery,  9am–6pm
Specialty Foods • 10am–6pm
Celebrity Stomp Off • 11am & 11:20 am
Grape Stomp Heats: 12:20pm, 1:30pm & 3 pm
Grand Grape Stomp Off • 4:30pm

Vintage Wine Tasting • 12:30pm to 4 pm in the production building. More Information.

Need a place to stay? Visit the Algoma Chamber of Commerce for lodging and a list of other great things to do while in town for the Wet Whistle Wine Fest.

50th Anniversary Celebration – von Stiehl Winery is Turning 50!

December 2nd, 2016 by Brad Schmiling

50th Anniversary Logo

 

We kept a winery in business until its 50th anniversary. With that, a plethora of emotions are flying about. We made it. We’re here – we did it! From the days of flower children and Elvis to the age of smart-phones and millennial bosses. We survived it all.

From English Morello to Montmorency, cherry wine kept us alive for our first 25 years. Cherry wine was the mac ‘n’ cheese of our college years, and Vitis Vinifera filtered its way into most of our wine list by age 35 when we thought that we were becoming refined. Don’t be quick to judge; who hasn’t changed over 50 years?

Maybe you gulped sweet cherry wine from a screw-capped gauze-wrapped bottle under the Forestville bridge at age 16 and nobody knew. Perhaps you found that Kirsche and Coke made a mean mixer in your young adulthood and that’s what got you into von Stiehl wines. Hey, you can’t drink Zima all of the time.

Where did all of those years go? It was seriously just one day at a time. Filter on Mondays and Wednesdays; bottle on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Run the delivery truck on Thursday afternoons to Door County. The delivery truck was just a truck, a 1986 two tone red F150 with an H.O. 302, two gas tanks, chrome rims, and an ugly black cap that Dad put on to keep his sons humble. Saturdays and Sundays were spent in the tasting room and it all started over on Mondays.

There are too many memories to remember and there’s always too little time to talk when big talkers are in the room. These memoirs are the tip of the iceberg and our story is ready to be told. We’d like to give that a shot on March 18, with a 50th anniversary celebration. At first, we thought about a fancy dinner, but we decided it better to stick to a daytime event.

We’ve invited Skaliwags to put on a buffet luncheon and the River City Six to romance us with ragtime. In between the feasting and dancing, we’ll conduct three tours of the new and old production buildings. When we say we, we mean Aric and Brad (me), the owners. The boys… who grew up in the biz while their parents poured their souls into making monthly payments. The tour will be a real-life account of how 50 years went down presented by the boys that saw the last 36.

Leave your dress pants at home and put on a clean pair of blue jeans. Winery owners are always happier when dressing down. Come hear the story of how a winery is full of hard work and art work.

VS anniversary Stamp

Please check out the 50th Anniversary party details below and give us a call if you’d like to be one of the 90 in attendance. We hope that you can make it to share in the finale of the first fifty.

Event Date & Time: March 18, Noon to 5:30 pm

Location: 104 Steele Street (our production building), enter the service door by the loading dock on 1st Street.

Feasting: Skaliwags Lunch Buffet 12:30 pm. to 2:30 pm.

Tours: Sign up when calling for one of the following times. Noon, 2:15 pm., 3:30 pm. (These may not be exact.) Tours will include an account of the last 50 years at von Stiehl Winery by owners Aric and Brad Schmiling. We plan to crack open some tanks and pull some barrel samples for you to taste along the way.

Includes: One signed 50th Anniversary Calistoga Cabernet Sauvignon commemorative bottle per person ($50 value).

Event price: $75 per person.

Please call 920-487-5208 to reserve your tickets or join the waiting list if tickets sell out.

Planning to stay over and stay out of the car once you’re here? Visit the Algoma Chamber lodging list.

 

Montepulciano – An Italian Grape Makes it to Wisconsin!

October 19th, 2016 by Brad Schmiling

Montepulciano

Let’s talk about something that isn’t easy to say. Everyone seems to have finally nailed down the pronunciation of Merlot, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Now, if you’ve also finally mastered Gewürztraminer it may be time for a new challenge: Montepulciano!

Montepulciano is a second-nature wine expression in Italy. It is rarely found in northern Italy because the grape has the tendency to ripen late. You’ll find it mainly in the central and southern part of the country. It follows Sangiovese as Italy’s second most widely dispersed indigenous grape variety. The grapes are plump with a low skin-to-juice ratio. Traditional characteristics are deep ruby color, low acid, and mild tannins.

Since Italy is too far away to ship us grapes, we found a supplier in the Sierra Foothills of California in 2014. After harvest, our small lot of nine barrels spent 14 months in French-hybrid oak before another five months of bottle aging.

Our Montepulciano is rich in color with moderate acidity. Blackberry fruit flavors and barrel spice lead the characteristics of the smooth, mellow red. It’s easy to drink, and will enhance any red sauce pasta dish. Keep a bottle around for pizza night too!

Montepulciano will debut in our tasting room right around the weekend of November 12. Being the astute reader that you are, you’re thinking that you’ll try this new red along with Mourvèdre during your November visit. (We announced the release of Mourvèdre in our November case club newsletter.) After that announcement, we tasted the wine. We know – a little backward. It is wonderful but is still grappling with bottle shock. So the Mourvèdre will stay on its wine stack for another six months.

Pull out those red pasta recipes. Then visit us to sample Montepulciano (not Mourvèdre) in the tasting room this November!

Pinot Noir Returns

September 19th, 2016 by Brad Schmiling

Pinot Noir is back in stock!

Pinot Noir Label

Our timing can be impeccably poor, and we like it that way. In 1967, Doc Stiehl was ahead of his time with screw caps. The closure let in less oxygen, and was less prone to the natural bacteria that is commonly found in natural corks. Af­ter decades of hearing ’why don’t you use corks?’ we invested in a mono-block filler and converted entirely to corks. Guess what happened next? Screw-caps became the new thing! We’re not going back after putting in our 25 years of screw-caps. It’s the principle of the matter.

The same thing is happening with Pinot Noir. This lovely wine was our first dry red release. A 1998 vintage Oregon-sourced Pinot Noir was von Stiehl’s first foray into the dry red market. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot quickly fol­lowed. Many of our reds did (and still do) well, but Pinot flopped. It was an odd grape that garnered no interest so we discontinued it. Then Sideways premiered. You know, the 2004 movie that put Pinot Noir on the map. For a decade to follow everyone asked, “Do you have a Pinot Noir?” No, and now we’re not going to just because. Blame it on our German stubbornness. It’s the principle of the matter.

The buzz has worn down, and we are offering Pinot Noir another shot at standing on its own. We fermented eight barrels of 2015 Columbia Gorge Pinot Noir, and aged it eight months in medium toast French hybrid Oak. If you are one of the few die-hard customers that remembers the last Pinot Noir, we applaud your patience! We hope that it was worth the wait. It is available in our tasting room now for you to sample, or get it online. Just don’t ask us to bring back Robust Red.

You’ll see two other new reds this fall, Mourvèdre and Mal­bec, and in case you’re wondering, we do still use corks. With the exception of our reserve reds, they are 100% green syn­thetic corks (Select Bio Corks) that leave a zero carbon footprint. We’re sticking to that principle.

Vintage Tasting at Wet Whistle Wine Fest

August 16th, 2016 by Brad Schmiling

Vintage Tasting

Von Stiehl Offers Vintage Tasting on September 17

Tucked away in various places of our production building and tasting room buildings are small lots of old vintages. You will only notice them on tour if you look closely to find pallets of mismatched wine boxes. There will be two to ten cases of our favorite varieties spread out, and tucked under pallet racking that look out of place. We like to hide these vintages in plain sight. When the beginning of September rolls around, we go on a wine hunt. The odd lots are gathered, then signs are made. Pricing is negotiated. Tears are shed. You get the idea.

When we come to terms with how many bottles of each vintage to sell, we then come up with a Vintage Tasting List. This list is offered once a year at the Wet Whistle Wine Fest in September. These wines are near and dear to us, so just our family pulls corks and pours them for guests. We love to see the reactions on tasters’ faces as they first try our 2006 Barrel Select Cabernet Sauvignon. Another highlight is to pull and offer barrel samples of a special batch of Cherry Bounce. It’s a bit of an abnormal tasting, set up on planks and barrels in our bottling room. Just the wine is fancy – the rest of it comes down to simple enjoyment of vintages that have enjoyed extra time relaxing within the winery walls.

We’d love for you to join us on September 17, from 12:30 to 4 pm in the bottling room of our production building at 104 Steele Street. You need not attend the wine festival in order to take part in this tasting, but as they say, “When in Rome…”

We ask that you buy a Riedel stemless wine glass for $10. After that, we’ll pour five samples from the special vintage tasting list. No reservations are needed, but keep in mind that we will run out of certain offerings as the day goes on. It’s both a sad, and a happy time!

Hard Cider – Double Gold and Best of Class

August 16th, 2016 by Brad Schmiling

Apple Hard Cider Label

New Hard Cider is Well-Received!

Von Stiehl’s inaugural hard cider release, Apfel Hard Cider, was awarded a Double Gold medal at the 25th annual Indy International Wine Competition. As if that prestigious award wasn’t enough, the cider then received Best of Class in the Apple Hard Cider division.

This competition receives more than 29,000 entries from around the world, the largest independent wine contest in the United States. The event seeks to blend history and culture with modern science.The participants range from small private winemakers to large commercial wineries. It is held at Purdue University in West Lafayette by the Purdue Wine Grape Team.

The Purdue Wine Grape Team is a collaboration between the Purdue University Departments of Food Science and Horticulture & Landscape Architecture, and the Indiana Wine Grape Council. Read more about the program on their website.

Our 2015 Apfel hard apple cider is created from five carefully selected varieties of apples. They are blended to produce a crisp, smooth and refreshing hard cider with just a hint of sweetness for balance.

Apple fermentation requires a bit more finesse and attention to detail than most other fruits. Yeast has a tough time with apple. 49 years in the apple wine fermentation business has its advantages, though. We take extra steps to ensure that the cider yeast gets all of its nutrients. Temperature is regulated and monitored closely. The finest apples are sourced in a specific blend from Hillside Apples.

The first batch of cider sold out in the beginning of August. Look for it to be back in stock by August 24. Apfel hard cider is offered in 750-milliliter bottles in the tasting room only. As production increases, it will be rolled out in twelve-ounce bottles.

Algoma August Amusement

July 20th, 2016 by vonstiehl

Algoma in August

August Amusement in Algoma

If summer was only a month long, then we’d have the entire season left! As it is, the time to give it is here and there’s no shortage of things to see in Algoma in August.

You might think summer activities would be dying down by August, but in Algoma, we’re just getting started!

Cuisine Concerts on August 6, 13, and 20

Our summer concerts are still gaining ground. With extra seating next door, you probably won’t even need a lawn chair. The August band lineup:
August 6 – The Outpatients, led by lord of the lick, Bob Balsley. If you love great guitar, he’s your guy.
August 13 – The Jenirators, led by Jenny Funk. Her vocal range and power is amazing, and not to be missed.
August 20 – 12 Volt, We don’t know much about these guys, but they come highly recommended by a former employee. Come listen and tell us what you think.
Enjoy food at the Skaliwag’s food trailer along with our wine and Ahnapee Brewery beer!

Tall Ship Sneak Peak on August 3

These ships will be in a bit of a race that finishes outside of Algoma. The TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Race finish line will leave them mustering off shore in Algoma before heading to Sturgeon Bay.  There’s something involving a massive floating duck associated with this festival that we haven’t completely figured out. As part of the mystery, a seven-foot baby duck will be set up outside the winery on the 3rd. Ahnapee Brewery is the beer sponsor. So come enjoy a Tall Ships Lager and see the massive ships from our brewery patio. Read more about the Green Bay event here.

Shanty Days August 12-14

Fishing Shanties are the small buildings that used to line the Ahnapee River. They served as the home base for commercial fishing vessels in our port. A couple shanties remain, and they are a popular subject for photographers and painters in the summer and fall. To commemorate these local historic icons Algoma hosts Shanty Days. This annual event supports a number of non-profit organizations in the area. Fair food never tastes better than when a lake breeze is blowing through and at Shanty Days you’ll find everything from fried chicken on a stick to funnel cakes.

Do they have our wine? You betcha! Find five of our top varieties in the Algoma Main Street tent. One note – if you’re planning to visit us on August 13, be aware that the streets around the winery are closed all morning due to the noon parade. Things get flowing around 1 pm when the blockades come down. Until then you may want to wear your walking shoes!

 

Wine Shipping Prices Reduced – As of July 1, 2016

June 29th, 2016 by vonstiehl

Shipping Chart 2016 V3

Ordering wine to be shipped used to require picking up the phone and chatting. We’re pretty sure that 800 numbers were created just for this reason. Remember “order toll-free?” While we always enjoy a good phone conversation, we understand that the convenience of online shopping has caught on and in that world, lower wine shipping prices are commonplace. This has caused us to sharpen our pencils and find ways to compete with West Coast wineries.

We now offer a lower price when you order in higher quantities. Order a little wine – pay a lot per bottle for shipping. Order a lot of wine – pay less per bottle in shipping. We’ll cover the extra shipping costs when your order is larger. That means that it will cost you between $10 and $20 per case for shipping in the continental U.S.A. Order less than a case, and the price goes up a little. Buy more, pay less — who wouldn’t love that?

We hope that this works for you because we’d love to help you to enjoy more of our wines! Check out our new rates:

Wisconsin

12 bottles (one case) $10, 6-11 bottles $20, 1-5 bottles $18

Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, & Ohio

12 bottles (one case) $15, 6-11 bottles $22, 1-5 bottles $19

California, Colorado, Idaho, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Nevada, New York, N. Carolina, N. Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Washington DC, & Wyoming.

12 bottles (one case) $20, 6-11 bottles $24, 1-5 bottles $22

Want even more details? Follow along with the fine print when you place your order. Have questions? Just call us on our toll-free number: 800-955-5208. Thank you for shopping and shipping von Stiehl wines!

We’re waiting for a few new states to come online soon. Have a look at our shipping chart for clarification. Still have questions? Feel free to contact Katie, our shipping manager, at 800-955-5208 extension 100, or email Katie@vonstiehl.com.

Gold Medal Wines

June 10th, 2016 by vonstiehl

Gold Medal Wines

Four Gold Medal Wines Recognized at von Stiehl Winery

Wisconsin’s oldest winery just brought home to the peninsula four more gold medals; three from Tasters Guild International Wine Competition and one from the West Coast Wine Competition.

Tasters Guild Golds were awarded to von Stiehl’s Sangiovese Grosso, Late Harvest Riesling, and Apple Icing. These three wines have become accustomed to the color gold as they have collected many over the past few years.

The 2012 Sierra Foothills Sangiovese Grosso was also awarded a gold medal by the West Coast Wine Competition. It is produced from the vcr6 clone used to produce Italy’s renowned Brunello. Expect aromas of black cherry and red fruits in this wine, along with a subtle hint of sweet pipe tobacco and barrel spice.

In all, 18 medals were awarded to the winery by the Tasters Guild International, West Coast Wine Competition, and the International Eastern Wine Competition.

Tasters Guild International:

Sangiovese Grosso – Gold

Apple Icing – Gold

Late Harvest Riesling – Gold

Cherry Bounce – Silver

Oktoberfest – Silver

Petite Sirah – Silver

Brunello – Silver

Cabernet Sauvignon – Silver

Stony Creek Red – Silver

Sylvester (Marechal Foch) – Silver

Merlot – Silver

Chardonnay – Bronze

West Coast Wine Competition:

Sangiovese Grosso – Gold

Cabernet Sauvignon – Silver

Zinfandel – Bronze

International Eastern Wine Competition:

Stony Creek Red – Silver

Apple Icing – Silver

Cherry Bounce – Bronze

Visit the von Stiehl tasting room in Algoma to sample the gold medal wines along with the rest of the winners, or order online at vonStiehl.com.

Apple Cider

May 20th, 2016 by vonstiehl

Apple Cider Label

It’s working! Our bubble making machine is actually working! The new bottling line is pumping out still AND sparkling wine in a glorious manner. The unexpected add-on of a bottle washer and dryer only makes the end product that much more enticing. Now it’s time to have some fun. Our first batch of apple cider, aka Apfel, will be passing through the machine on its way to our tasting bar in just a couple of weeks.

This isn’t watered down, cheaply-sweetened apple-flavored ale, like what the big beer companies have been marketing so successfully in the last few years. This is true apple cider fermented by a winery. The fruit comes from Hillside Apples, just twelve miles west of the winery. These are, in fact, the same apples that are blended for our Apple Icing.

Owning a winery in Wisconsin is both rewarding and heart-breaking. Most of our customers welcome our wine profiles ranging from Door County cherries to Sonoma reds. So often the judgement is laid down that Wisconsinites aren’t qualified to make wine; that only Californians and Europeans are recognized as quality producers. That’s the heart-wrenching part. Never mind the 49 years that we’ve been putting smiles on wine drinkers’ faces.

That opinion is completely absent when we talk about our Ahnapee Brewery Wisconsin beer since everyone knows Wisconsinites make great beer, even if their family hasn’t been doing it for generations. Suds are received with glee, and guests are open to trying all sorts of beers from light to dark. Never once have we been asked “What? they make beer in Wisconsin?”

There is one category that perfectly suits our Wisconsin winery, and that’s cider! True apple cider can only be made by a winery. Given our great relationship with Hillside Apples, we thought it time to try our hand at apple cider.

Our 2015 hard apple cider is created from five carefully selected varieties of Hillside Orchard’s apples. They are blended together to produce a crisp, smooth and refreshing hard cider with just a hint of sweetness.

Ask for a sample of our apple cider this summer when you visit!

Worker Call – Door County Wine Fest

April 25th, 2016 by vonstiehl

Door County Wine Fest

Von Stiehl is excited to be one of eight wineries participating in the Door County Wine Fest. What began as a small 500-800 person tasting event has grown into a full-blown ‘close down the highway’ kind of party. There are over 1,700 tickets sold so far, and online ticket purchasing is only picking up. Egg Harbor will be a wine taster’s paradise this June 25.

Who are the participating wineries? The list is the same as that of the Door County Wine Trail: Door 44, Door Peninsula, Harbor Ridge, Orchard Country, Red Oak, Simon Creek, Stone’s Throw, and von Stiehl Wineries. Each will bring 10 wines for sampling along with two select vintages for a V.I.P. tasting.

While we are promoting attendance, our equal concern is staffing. We’re looking for a few workers that would be willing to set up, and pour wine samples, on June 25th. Interested? We’ll happily compensate you a bottle of wine or $10 in cash per hour worked. If you’re up for pouring, please email Brad@vonStiehl.com to sign up.

Here’s the scope of the day:

11 am: Set up of von Stiehl Winery tent

Noon: Eat lunch

1 pm to 5 pm: Pour 1/2 ounce samples, sell select varieties by the glass and bottle

5 pm: Clean and pack up

6 pm: Finished

If you’re interested in attending but aren’t too keen on working it, here’s some more information from DoorCountyWineTrail.com:

Calling all wine lovers. This is an event celebrating quality “Made in Door County” wine products. The Door County Wine Trail group and Egg Harbor Business Association partner to bring you a viticulture and entertainment extravaganza. Join us at the inaugural Door County Wine Fest on Saturday, June 25, 2016 for unlimited tasting of more than 80 different wines. There will be plenty of sumptuous food, tasty cheese, incredible music and delicious wines. – See more at: http://www.doorcountywinetrail.com/door-county-wine-fest/#sthash.UT76NunF.dpuf

Red Wine Release – Brunello

April 19th, 2016 by vonstiehl

Brunello

While Brunello may be a great Italian mobster name in a one-act play, it takes on a much more serious tone when applied to the Sangiovese grape. It’s highly regarded in the Italian wine world where very few vintages rise to the esteemed name. Brunellos are rare in the U.S., but one of them resides in Algoma. We released the Brunello vintage in the April 16 futures tasting, and it is now available for sampling on our Select Tasting list.

How does a Brunello take the stage outside of a one-act? In the U.S., it starts with the vcr6 clone of Sangiovese. In the beginning, it can be called Sangiovese. After two years, it grows into Sangiovese Grosso. After one more year all of those intense, condensed flavors develop into our beloved Brunello.

What are the characteristics of this 2012 Sierra Foothills red? Visit our tasting room to see how time has revealed aromas of black cherry and red fruits with a subtle hint of sweet pipe tobacco and barrel spice. Spending 26 months in French oak imparts a beautiful smoothness. After those 26 months, the Brunello earned yet another 12 months of bottle aging. There is no bottle shock to worry about with Brunello!

If you make the journey to Algoma for a taste of Brunello, you’ll discover the opportunity to sample even more new varieties. Right below Brunello on the Select Tasting list are two newly-released 2012 Mendocino Ridge Zinfandels. Both come from the same vintage fermented from California Zinfandel grapes, which were trucked fresh to us in the fall of 2012. Both were aged in French oak, and we’re very happy with the results. There is a difference. The second holds a special place in our hearts, as it was aged in a distinct French Gamba family barrel. The Gamba family hand splits the oak which is grown in the legendary Allier Forest. Since a saw blade never touches the wood, certain naturally occurring green phenolic components stay bound to the wood. They never come in contact with the wine, creating an even smoother aging experience.

Sample Brunello and the Mendocino Ridge Zinfandels on your next visit to von Stiehl. Starting May 1, we’re open longer hours and offer daily tours.

 

 

Ahnapee Little Soldier Bottled Beer

April 14th, 2016 by vonstiehl

Bottled Beer - Little SoldierLittle Soldier Bottled Beer

We held out for as long as we could before offering bottled beer. Ahnapee beer has been put on tap in over 125 restaurants and bars in our five-county area, and for that we are grateful! Draft beer almost always tastes better, but sometimes bottles better fit the occasion. We moved into that category on April 14, with the initial bottling of Little Soldier, the American amber ale named for Henry Schmiling, the brewmaster and eventual owner of Ahnapee Brewery in the 1880s.

Henry was a Civil War veteran, serving in the infantry until the war’s end. After returning to his home town of Ahnapee, now named Algoma, Henry found the foaming beverage to be of great interest. The war was over, and there was cause to celebrate — and what better way to celebrate than with beer? We’re still happy that that war is over, and we offer homage to Henry for his service — and for his brewing skills. As we, the current Ahnapee Brewery owners, can attest, height is not a Schmiling gene. Henry topped out at at 5′ 6″. Now, as Paul Harvey might say, you know the rest of the story.

How would Henry have made an amber ale? Ale wasn’t as much his specialty as lager, so we imagine it would be a crowd-pleasing, easy-to-drink, copper-colored ale with a balanced dose of Wisconsin hops. We’ll never know exactly how Henry’s beers tasted, but are confident that he would enjoy popping a crown cap off of a fresh bottle of Little Soldier.

Bottles are available now in the Tap Room. After a standard hold on the fresh bottling, we should be releasing the first 300 cases to Triangle Distributing on Monday, May 16. Watch for it on store shelves in our six-county area(ish) the following week. Those counties are Kewaunee, Door, Brown, Oconto, Marinette, and Manitowoc.

BrewVino Roast

March 22nd, 2016 by vonstiehl

BrewVino Roast Logo

BrewVino Roast – an Event With a Different Flavor!

You may have enjoyed our inaugural steer roast last June when it was called Meet the Makers. We found that the most exciting part of the event was not the makers, but the steer roast. This year, we’ll be focusing more on the steer in the renamed BrewVino Roast event, but will also offer a unique batch of wine and beer to complement the steer.

You’ll have the chance to taste the most popular varieties of von Stiehl wines and Ahnapee brews during the event, and enjoy the opportunity to buy an exclusive batch of beer made just for the occasion. What’s unique about the BrewVino Steer roast? This steer was raised on Ahnapee Brewery spent grains on the Bryersquart Family Farm in Forestville. Prior to the roast the whole steer is bathed in a von Stiehl cherry wine marinade. This is not an amateur production, either — for starters, the steer is processed by Ottos Meats in Luxemburg, after which Chef Chris from Skaliwags and von Stiehl winemaker Aric Schmiling will prepare the special  cherry wine marinade. Then the full carcass is marinated for 24 hours before it’s laid over a hot fire at 2 am on the day of the event, with a serving time somewhere between noon and 2 pm, or when our experts deem it ready. This is a true farm-to-table experience!

All profits from the steer roast are donated to the Ribbon of Hope fund. Their mission is to be a financial, informational and emotional resource for individuals with breast cancer in Northeastern Wisconsin. Ribbon of Hope assists breast cancer patients regardless of age, gender, race or religion. This is a great organization where 97¢ of every $1 goes to grant recipients!

If tickets sell out online, they will not be available on the day of the event.

Saturday, June 18, 2016 | 11am – 6pm

Buy Tickets for $5

Steer roast, specialty beer and wine, a shopping expo, and great music.

Music: Bob Balsley  11am-2pm, Conscious Pilot  2-6pm.

Steer Plate: $10  To benefit Ribbon of Hope

Wine or Beer: $5

Help Wanted

March 22nd, 2016 by vonstiehl

Help Wanted

Help Wanted

Help wanted! Imagine working in a place where customers enter anticipating a good time. In this world you offer complimentary wine to happy guests, suggest enjoyable ways to save money, and deliver chocolate and cheese to satisfy eager taste buds.

Only a fraction of customers bring problems. Instead, most will visit with you and eagerly anticipate learning a few bits of wine knowledge. Some may even enjoy a tour of the oldest licensed winery in the state, which utilizes the newest winemaking equipment and practices. Our customers are most often looking to have a good time: they are not a standard cross-section of consumers. You’ll witness engagement proposals, first dates, ghost occurrences, and a wide variety of things that just aren’t normal.

Your co-workers have a positive attitude toward life, and will seek to build you up. Nothing will taste better after a full day of giving tours and tastings than a glass of beer with your co-workers two doors down in the neighborhood garage-turned-tap room.

Can you see yourself working hard in a part-time job like this?

It won’t make you rich, but the group of people that inhabit and visit von Stiehl Winery are about as good as it gets.

Sound interesting? Here are more details. Won’t you consider working for us this season?

The position of Hospitality/Tourguide is one of being involved with people. Guests arrive anticipating an enjoyable experience, and we ask that you grant that experience through wine tasting, guided tours, culinary pairings, and your personality. You will be asked to pour wine samples and to entertain guests as you guide their tour through our 15,000 square foot production winery.

You might fit well with us if you:
•Understand the necessity of a positive attitude
•Possess superb interpersonal skills related to customer service
•Have effectiveness in persuasively presenting our product
•Can hustle and think fast while exhibiting a calm demeanor
•Are willing to help clean
•Can entertain, be relaxed, and be yourself while giving tours of our facility

A few more things you’re probably wondering…

Dress Suggestion:
Casual business attire is appropriate; we want you to look professional and be comfortable. Mostly we want our guests to notice our wine, not what our staff is wearing. No open toed shoes, blue jeans or shorts are allowed. NO perfumes or colognes are to be worn while working at von Stiehl Winery. Any personal odors such as cigarette smoke, diesel fumes, halitosis, etc. cannot be permitted.

Scheduling:
Our intent is to be flexible when scheduling tasting room staff. If you have a time when you cannot work please give notification as soon as possible before the schedule is made. Please note that you are responsible for covering the hours assigned to you once a schedule is posted.

Benefits:
• 30% off of the retail price of all merchandise at von Stiehl, Captain’s Walk, and Ahnapee Brewery, including wine and beer.
• Two bottles of wine per month, for a penny each, up to a $30 value, for any employee working a minimum of four days per month.

Compensation:
• New hire starting wage is $9.50/hour.
• Additional commission based on group club sales along with winery dollars.

Please email your resumé to Sal@vonstiehl.com, or call Sallie at 920-487-5208 ext 103 to learn more about becoming part of our winery.

Family Wine Matters

March 18th, 2016 by vonstiehl

Family Plan Brochure Image

Join the Family for wine discounts that matter!

When’s the last time you bought a new suit or dress to go to a neighbor’s kid’s wedding? That’s more of a ‘pick something out of the closet that’s comfortable’ affair, if you go at all. That’s the outside circle. Then there’s the group of those closest to you that get the most of your thoughts and free time. They are as significant to you as you are to them.

We’ve had it with the third cousins that drink three-dollar wine. We at von Stiehl are looking for more close family members like the ones who have been purchasing Crimson Royale and Niagara by the case since the late 80s. If it weren’t for our long-time die-hard wine-buying friends, we may not have made it this far.

If you haven’t yet made the decision to join us, then we invite you to now. Please sign up for a spot in the Family Plan Club. The discounts are higher (up to 36%) than what we give to our actual family, and we go to great lengths to put together special pairings to pique your favorite addictions of cheese, sweets, or dry reds.

Are you thinking… that’s just another wine club and I’m already a member of a few? Well, do your wine clubs carefully pair wines with just the perfect cheeses, and then include some quick notes on how best to enjoy them? That’s dedication, and we’re happy to take on that challenge for our family. We do it out of love! Not really a cheese fan? How about sweets? We pair sweet wines with sweet offerings including chocolate, candy-coated popcorn, hard candy, and other delicacies we find around the state. Getting together with family means desserts in Northeastern Wisconsin!

Don’t care about anything paired with your wine? You can be a red wine purist if you like and sign up for the reds-only option of our family plan where you’ll often receive new releases first. Plus you’ll receive a great discount.

We do all of this to reward our family members for being loyal customers. The prices that you’ll pay as a Family Plan member will almost always be lower than you’ll pay at any retailer, and lower than the options for regular von Stiehl customers. Still interested? Read more about the club and discounts here, or join the plan today?

Moscato for von Stiehl is Orange

February 26th, 2016 by vonstiehl

Orange Muscat Wine Bottle

Sometimes Moscato is orange, but most of the time it is not. For von Stiehl, it is Orange Muscat, but it doesn’t have any oranges, and it isn’t Moscato. Follow?

Orange Muscat is a grape that you’ve probably never tasted. It is one of over 200 varieties of the Muscat, or Moscato, grape family that is best known in Italy. Orange Muscat is part of the family, but isn’t a Moscato. This small part of the family was popular in France at one time, and is now grown in the Veneto region of Italy. Fortunately for us, Orange Muscat is also grown in small amounts in California and Washington. This white grape exhibits Moscato characteristics with, you guessed it, a strong orange nose. Just to be sure that we are all on the same page, we do not add oranges or orange juice to the wine. Oranges are for breakfast… and possibly mimosas, when mixed with Titletown Wine (Sparkling Muscat).

Our Orange Muscat is sourced from Mendocino grape farmers. Now Mendocino is to Napa what Algoma is to Door County. Great quality without the price. A beautiful adventure without the hubbub. Lake breezes without the aroma of exhaust. A slower pace without the long lines.

Made from grapes grown in this laid-back and relaxed region, Orange Muscat is smooth and settled. Clear like your mind when you’re sitting on a warm beach. Sweet like the gratification of a hard day’s work at closing time. Here’s the winemaker’s version:

‘This rare and delicate Orange Muscat grape evokes aromas of peach, apricot, and orange blossoms. The flavors of tangelo and honey meld to produce a perfect accompaniment to cheesecake or peach cobbler á la mode. Residual Sugar 3.0% by weight.’

Just as White Zinfandel was the go-to semi-sweet and easy-to-drink wine of the 80s, wine drinkers are enjoying those virtues in Moscato today. While a limited amount was offered last year in a 500ml bottle, our Orange Muscat  has grown up in quantity and is now wearing a full-size 750ml glass casing. Enjoy it for $14.99.

Valentine’s Day Wine Weekend at von Stiehl Winery

January 28th, 2016 by vonstiehl

Valentine's DayWe know that you and your special someone will be headed out to dinner somewhere on the Saturday night of Valentine’s Day weekend, but what about the magic hours leading up to the main event?

Wouldn’t it be great to skip the usual Saturday chores and add a little more celebration to your Valentine’s Day weekend?

Your experience awaits at von Stiehl Winery in Algoma where we’ll present you and your Valentine an indulgent, but inexpensive way to start the festivities. For $25 you’ll get a bottle of Naughty Girl wine, two Naughty Girl glasses, a box of dark chocolate sea salt truffles, and since you’ll need to stock up on wine for winter, a 10% discount on all purchases. This just may be the highlight of your Valentine’s Day weekend!

We’ll be offering the special all weekend long. Visit us Friday through Sunday, February 12-14, to take advantage of the deal. No reservations are needed. Just show up when you’re ready. We are open from 10-4 every day.

If one day isn’t enough, you might enjoy staying for the weekend. There are plenty of great hotels and motels in Algoma. See the list here. We like the proximity of the Hotel Stebbins, just two blocks from the winery. The Stebbins is a full service hotel, restaurant, and bar. Most everything is within walking distance in Algoma.

A steak at the Stebbins is always a great choice. We also recommend Skaliwag’s for food that’s five star in a crazy little dive bar. Enjoy a fantastic burger or pizza at the Algoma Pizza bowl, or choose from one of these dining options in Algoma.

Need another idea? Visit our brewery’s tap room before or after your Naughty Girl Pairing and dinner. If you want to skip the big dining scene, you can get a pizza in the tap room while you enjoy fresh Ahnapee Brewery beer.

There are lots of Valentine’s Day options available in Algoma, so make a day or an entire weekend out of it! We’ll look forward to seeing you!

Super Bowl Wine Pairing

November 16th, 2015 by vonstiehl

Super Bowl Wine Pairing - Ladies of the Vine

While all eyes may be on football during Super Bowl Sunday, our Super Bowl Wine and Small Plate event is the perfect pre-party way to spend your day!

Ladies of the Vine can now sign up for the Super Bowl event at von Stiehl on Super Bowl Sunday from 1:00pm to 3:00 PM, and still get to a Super Bowl party in time for the big game.

Our event features three small plates including salad, soup, and dessert, all paired with von Stiehl wines. The day will include a bucket raffle and discounts throughout the tasting room. Those discounts will include a free bottle on the purchase of six, and 25% off non-wine merchandise. The Super Bowl wine pairing discounts offer the perfect use for your envelope of cash from Christmas gift returns; find yourself something special at the Super Bowl Wine Pairing Party!

We plan to hold the Super Bowl Wine Pairing in one of the barrel rooms of our cellars. The arched limestone tunnels are the perfect place to hide out on a February winter day!

The Ladies of the Vine is an easy-going group of gals with no membership fees or requirements! Simply attend a Ladies of the Vine event to get into the club. Benefits include special gatherings like this one, and an all-of-the-time discount of 10% on gift merchandise at the von Stiehl Winery.

It doesn’t matter if you are a football lover or football widow, the daytime is meant to give you an alternate experience on Super Bowl Sunday. Bring some friends or make some friends at this intimate event. It’s also a great time for many generations of family to gather in an easy-going environment.

Call now to reserve your spot as space for February 7 – 800-955-5208.  Cost is $20/person.

If you plan to stay overnight, find plenty of hotels in Algoma. Stay at the Hotel Stebbins if you’d like to be in walking distance. Don’t miss this afternoon of fun, food, and, of course, wine!

Great American Beer Festival (GABF) Awards Algoma Brewery

October 1st, 2015 by vonstiehl

Great American Beer Festival Photgraph

Photograph of Nick Calaway, Head Brewer of Ahnapee Brewery (left) and Charlie Papazian, founder of the Association of Brewers and the Great American Beer Festival (right).
Photo © 2015 Jason E. Kaplan

 

Great American Beer Festival (GABF) Honors Algoma Brewery

Ahnapee Brewery was first put on the map in 1868 when sales of the foaming beveragewere in high demand by Civil War veterans. The newly-revived brewery was put on the map last weekend for a second time on a national level by the Great American Beer Festival (GABF). The GABF only awarded 274 medals to over 6,600 beer entries.

Ahnapees Munich Helles, named Long Goodbye, was awarded a Silver Medal. It rated above 53 other breweries in its category. Head Brewer Nick Calaway says, Its great to get a bit of validity for our young brewery in a light (colored) beer category. Lighter beers show all the flaws a brewer may or may not have made; there is no hiding them. I feel the Great American Beer Festival awards represent the highest standard in the craft beer world.

Long Goodbye is well described as a Munich Helles that is light in body, color, and hops. Subtle grainy sweet flavor with a smooth, lingering finish.

The next batch of Long Goodbye will be introduced this fall in the brewerys twostall garage-turnedtap room. Ahnapee brewery, located at 105 Navarino Street in Algoma two blocks from Lake Michigan on the Ahnapee River, is open Wednesdays through Sundays, and is only two doors down from the von Stiehl Winery. To see the entire list of beer offerings, visit www.AhnapeeBrewery.com, or call (920) 785-0822.

 

Wine Festival on September 11 & 12

August 10th, 2015 by Brad Schmiling

Beware of Wine Bottles and Dancing Nuns at the Wet Whistle Wine Festival this year in Algoma!

Wine Bottles and Nuns at the Wet Whistle Wine FestivalThe wine festival is earlier than ever this year — perhaps the earliest it will ever be! Join us on September 11 & 12 for a grape stomping good time!

Here are a few tips:
*For a better time, bring a chair, costume, and lots of friends.
*Plan to eat food and drink water along with your wine.
*You may feel out of place if your party isn’t wearing matching shirts.T-shirts at the Wine Festival

*The brewery patio will be serving burgers Friday afternoon and Saturday night. Wine is now available in the tap room.
*It’s not the best setting for children.
*The nuns aren’t really nuns. The walking wine bottles aren’t full of wine… until the end of the day.

We all get along at the Wet Whistle Wine Festival*The Police uniforms aren’t costumes.

*Intoxicated wine bottles aren’t allowed outside the wine festival grounds without a police escort.
*The wine festival tasting tent is packed from 11 am to 4 pm so plan to sample early or late.
*It’s a great day for a free self-guided walking tour of the winery.

See more details here: Friday & Saturday.

Special Vintage Tasting Saturday at Wet Whistle Wine Festival
We are bringing back the special vintage wine tasting from 12:30 pm to 4:00 pm in the production building. We’re still pretty small Vintage Tasting at Wet Whistle Wine Festivalbeans at von Stiehl so it’ll be just us owners along with our assistant winemaker Dave.
To participate in the event, we ask that you buy one of our crystal Riedel stemless glasses for $10. In that glass we will pour five samples of our special vintages. No reservations are needed. Just knock twice on the alley door on the west side of the production building!

Wine Awards Published

July 27th, 2015 by vonstiehl

Tasters Guild Wine Awards

The von Stiehl Winery in Algoma recently brought home 12 wine awards from the 2015 International Tasters Guild competition.Three wines awards were prestigious Double Gold medals:

Sylvester, a 2012 estate-grown Marechal Foch. Dark ruby in color with aromas of cedar, Damson plums, and spicy black cherry. This lighter bodied red boasts flavors of dark stone fruits with a subtle earthiness on the finish. Sylvester grew up on the Schmiling homestead and spent his life farming the land that is now Stony Creek Vineyard where these Marechal Foch grapes are grown.

Symmetry, an intriguing blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Traminette. Three grapes lend their unique traits to create an ensemble that lingers on the tongue, redolent with the aromas of apricot and honey. This off-dry, smooth triad pairs well with salads, quiche, and shrimp cocktail.

Apple Icing, a cryo-concentrated apple ice wine. A perfectly balanced ice wine that pairs concentrated aromas of freshly picked apples with flavors of butterscotch, vanilla, and honey.

These wines are featured along with top international wines in the Summer 2015 Tasters Guild Journal. This highly acclaimed publication is sent to over 20,000 winery owners and producers, and is dedicated to the education and appreciation of wine. Over 200 retailers, gift shops, wineries and restaurants are in the Tasters Guild national network. Von Stiehl Winery is featured in the journal along with wineries from across the globe.

Rounding out the wine award categories Cherry Bounce, Oktoberfest, and Yakima Valley Cabernet all earned gold medals; Blueberry, Sangiovese and Marquette won silver; and Chardonnay, Stony Creek Rosé and Union Blend #2 merited bronze.

Symmetry pulled double duty in the wine award arena and also brought home a Double Gold medal from the Wisconsin State Fair. Oktoberfest, a blend of Riesling, Vignoles, and Gewurztraminer, continued its medal winning streak and brought home a gold.

Tap Room & Wine

July 23rd, 2015 by Brad Schmiling

Tap Room & Wine
What’s the first thing on your mind when you walk into a tap room? Not everyone would say beer; especially you — after all, you’re reading a winery blog post. The city of Algoma discovered an unused liquor license a few months ago and we were the first ones to ask for it. As of July 1, we are able to serve wine in the Ahnapee Brewery tap room.

Remember it’s a two stall garage, so tap room space is limited. The more we bring in, the less seats there are at the bar. So we’ve selected five von Stiehl favorites to pour: Riesling, Oktoberfest, Cabernet Sauvignon, Stony Creek Rosé, and Crimson Royale. They’ll be available by the bottle only. If you can’t finish the bottle in the tap room you are allowed to cork it and drive it home. If you do finish the bottle, you probably shouldn’t be driving and we’ll call the cab for you. Yes, Algoma has one taxi cab available. Though we do have many other cabs in the winery: Cab Franc, Cab Sauv., Gamba Barrel-Aged Cab Sauv – you get the idea. If you’re drinking and can’t walk home or to your hotel, we’ll call Angel Taxi for you.

Like most things that we do, there’s a level of complication in getting wine to the tap room and that’s why we charge $3 more per bottle in the tap room over the winery. The Tavern League along with big liquor distributors in Wisconsin were successful in forcing wineries to sell through the three tier system to retailers, which requires us to sell our wine to a distributor in Milwaukee, who then sells and delivers it to the Tap Room. Traveling isn’t free, so to make it all work out we have to ask for a few bucks extra per bottle. Our distributor thanks you!

Summer Cuisine Concert Series

June 25th, 2015 by vonstiehl

Cuisine Concerts

Cuisine Concerts

Cuisine Concerts

Legend has it that there was a Green Bay summertime billboard in the 1980s that displayed the air temperature of Algoma. There would be such a thing because in July and August when it is sweltering inland, Algoma typically enjoys a 70-something degree breeze off of Lake Michigan. Two blocks in from the beach you’ll find Skaliwags, a little dive bar that serves five star cuisine. Skaliwags birthed the Skaliwagon food truck, which shows up in front of our tap room and winery during the Saturday Cuisine Concerts.

Let’s do the math…

1 Cool Breeze + 1 Winery + 1 Brewery + 1 Food Truck + 1 Band =

5 Star Summer Bliss!

With a seating capacity of around 200, there’s plenty of room to take in the best parts of summer right in our back yard. Admission is free, so come take in all that Algoma has to offer with this band lineup:

 

Cuisine Concert Series Calendar

12:30 – 4 pm*

7/11 Annie Rose Band (Classic Rock)

7/18 Sly Joe Trio (Earthy Soul With a Funky Stroll)

7/25 Clipper City Cats (Blues and Old School Rock)

8/1 Dr. Bombay (Great Guitar from Buffet to Santana)

8/8 Beaker Street (Rock and Blues)

8/15 The Hits (Covers of 60s-90s hits) 1:30-5 pm due to parade

 

*Bands may be subject to change. Sorry, no carry-ins allowed, but beer, food, water & soda pop will be available for purchase.

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