von Stiehl event tent band and dancers


Award Winning Wines Recognized at von Stiehl Winery

June 18, 2018 by Brad Schmiling

award winning winesTwo von Stiehl favorites were crowned as award winning wines with gold medals from the Tasters Guild International Wine Competition: Crimson Royale and Oktoberfest. What’s more exciting is the double gold medal awarded to von Stiehl’s 2014 Sierra Foothills Montepulciano!

It’s nothing new for Wisconsin’s oldest licensed winery to be recognized for its award winning wines. However, receiving double golds on dry red releases is a feather in the cap for von Stiehl Head Winemaker, Aric Schmiling, and his team.

Montepulciano is a delicate red that required a lot of attention. We had to be exact with fermentation, pump-overs and pressing. If anything would have been hurried, we would have lost the finer berry notes. Careful aging in French-hybrid oak developed a satisfying mouthfeel highlighting the barrel spice.

When asked for the inspiration behind Montepulciano, Assistant Winemaker Dave Pizzala explained…

The development of von Stiehl red wines has taken us to Italy! Montepulciano is a medieval and Renaissance hill town and commune in the Italian province of Siena in southern Tuscany. With so many common varietals on the shelf, we seek to experiment with and provide wines not common among Wisconsin wineries.

Crimson Royale is more than an award winning wine which received a gold, it’s also the largest selling von Stiehl wine on the shelf! Concord grapes are picked and pressed. Juice is then cool-fermented in stainless steel. It pairs well with creamy cheddar or havarti. It’s a great everyday wine for foods like macaroni and cheese and roasted turkey breast.

Oktoberfest is a semi-sweet blend of Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Vignoles. This gold medal-winning wine has grown a following that makes it the winery’s best selling white wine. It was originally developed for the Wet Whistle Wine Fest in 2002.

Critics at the 2018 International Wine Judging by the Tasters Guild awarded von Stiehl an additional eight silver medals. These winners include:

Sparkling Viognier & Chenin Blanc

Stony Creek Rosé

Orange Muscat


BrewVino Red


Cabernet Sauvignon

Pinot Noir

Crimson Royale Celebrates 30 years with a ‘Pop’

April 18, 2018 by Brad Schmiling

Sparkling Crimson RoyaleWhen did you have your first sip of the juicy, sweet red wine known as Crimson Royale? Maybe it was back in the summer of ’88 at a party, or around a camp fire. Perhaps it was during your first Wet Whistle Wine Festival in ’02, or did you try it in our tasting room during your trip last fall to Door County to see the fall colors? Maybe it wasn’t that memorable. What is important though is this announcement of…

Sparkling Crimson Royale!

We’re so excited that we can hardly keep it all bottled up! Though that’s just what we had to do, but with bubbles.

A fruit-forward French-hybrid blend with an effervescence that will invigorate moderately
intense earthy foods. Pair with roasted steer, wild game, savory tomato based dishes, and
heavy, rich foods. A great accompaniment to an Asian feast; pair with Peking or Chinese roast
duck. The slightly sweet balance of low acid and light tannins serves as a great palate
cleanser between bites.

Why release a new version of Crimson Royale on the thirty-year anniversary of the original? No reason. It just worked out that way. But why not mention it… everyone’s 30th birthday should be a blast. Back in ’88, Bill Schmiling, the then owner, winemaker, business manager, etc. of von Stiehl Winery (aka. Dad), didn’t like the idea of his wife Sandy (aka. Mom), drinking Mogan David. Knowing he could do better with the concord grape, Crimson Royale was born.

Mark your calendars! Due to the large following of this new wine, we decided to have a whole weekend dedicated to releasing it. April 27-29th will be our official Sparkling Crimson Royale Wine Release Weekend. Come and visit us anytime* during the weekend to enjoy a sample of it! Starting April 27th, the Sparkling Crimson Royale will be available on the tasting guide, for sale by the glass, and of course, available by the bottle for you to take home and enjoy. Get all the event details here.

To buy our Sparkling Crimson Royale using our online wine store click here!


Man Fire Food Features BrewVino Roast at von Stiehl Winery in Algoma, Wisconsin

February 22, 2018 by Brad Schmiling

Man Fire Food Visits von Stiehl Winery

BrewVino Steer Roast Saturday June 10, 2017 at the Von Stiehl Winery in Algoma, Wisconsin. Photo by Len Villano.

Man Fire Food is a favorite Food Network show of our head winemaker.

So, Aric reached out to Man Fire Food producers with photos of what was happening every June at von Stiehl Winery. They loved the idea and quickly scheduled BrewVino Roast for the sixth season of Man Fire Food. The episode featuring Algoma titled “Heavy Metal Meat,” debuted on August 8, 2017. Not only did this episode run on the Food Network, but the BrewVino Roast was added to a second episode featuring “Fire Festivals”. We’ll be sure to share the links once they become available.

Intrigued by the roast? Here’s the big idea…

•A Steer is raised on Ahnapee Brewery spent grains at the Bryersquart Family Farm in Door County, Wisconsin.
•The steer is butchered by Otto’s meats and allowed to age for 21 days in their facility.
•Two days before the event, the steer is bathed in a von Stiehl Winery cherry wine marinade. See the recipe.
•The steer is taken out and injected with more marinade! It stays in the cooler for the remaining 12 hours before roasting.
•Roasting pit is prepped and the fire is started around 2 am. Pit heats up until the steer is placed by forklift at 5 am.
•Steer cooks for 7 hours (or so).
•Forklift removes and places the animal in the butchering area, where four qualified butchers spend up to two hours slicing and chopping.
•Lunch is served! Profits from the steer plates are donated to the Ribbon of Hope Foundation, where 97¢ of every $1 received goes to grant recipients.

What started as a simple way to use up spent grains, turned into a feat of funding breast cancer survivors.

What would a feeding at a winery be without a few other activities? Join the fun and taste von Stiehl Winery wines and Ahnapee Brewery beers. A special wine and beer is created for the day, and extra tastings are offered inside of the winery cellars. Music by MockingBird keeps us going in the morning, and Donny Pick and the Road Band will light things up in the afternoon with the blues.

Get the whole scoop and purchase tickets on the event page before they sell out.

Happy Retirement Shirley

January 25, 2018 by Brad Schmiling


Shirley thoroughly enjoying a beer at the Tap Room after her last full day of work.

Hundreds of employees have come and gone from von Stiehl Winery in the 30+ years that our family has held the reins. Some make it a week. Others are here for a few seasons. Just a very select few are built to withstand the tremendous seasonality and shifting sands of winery life. It requires a high amount of patience and flexibility. We have been fortunate to employ a select few that have been with us for a very long time. One of those is Shirley, who officially retired from full-time on December 15th.

Shirley started the last season of her career with us in spring of 2001. She was our second full-time employee. By August of that year, she put in her resignation. We convinced her to stay a little bit longer… which turned out to be 16 years! It’s doubtful that she would have stayed had we pitched the idea of managing the books three businesses. (Those included von Stiehl Winery, Captain’s Walk Winery, and Ahnapee Brewery up until February of 2017.) Some things are better left unsaid.

To describe what it takes to manage the books of two wineries and a brewery under one corporate umbrella would take much too long to spell out. Would you say yes to a job that included all of this?

Daily payables, receivables, deposits, deposit tracking, reconciliation, credit card management, answering phones, gift merchandise buying, credit checks, license procurement, liquor tax reports, state sales tax reports, county sales tax reports, state use tax reports, federal excise tax reports, property tax, personal property tax, invoicing, payroll, wholesale product management, common carrier scheduling, collections, 401k management, health insurance management, event cash management… and that’s all just on Monday!

So, we thank Shirley for sixteen+ years of dependability, flexibility, scrutiny, accuracy, astuteness, consistency and sacrifice. Oh, and let’s not forget the award-winning chili that she’d feed us in the middle of winter.

Hard workers never quit. Notice the article began with retiring from full-time. Shirley plans to stay with us on a part-time basis. Her expertise will come in handy as we grow into the next chapters.

From all of us at von Stiehl, thank you Shirley for all that you have done to make our world better. The most thankless jobs are the ones done when nobody is watching. The reason that we didn’t have to watch too closely is that you did the work so well!

Happy Retirement Sallie!

September 25, 2017 by Brad Schmiling

Happy Retirement Sallie!We Wish a Happy Retirement to Sallie!

On von Stiehl’s 38th year in business, the best salesperson to work in a winery this side of the Mississippi River took over our Algoma tasting room. Arriving with decades of experience in the art of service and selling, Sallie Marquardt massaged a ‘sweet cherry wine in a plastic cup’ winery into an elegant upscale tasting room experience. Now we wish her a Happy Retirement.

Over the years, Sal gathered individuals with big hearts and amazing work ethics. She found talent willing to learn and grow. She herself dove deep into learning through wine shows, tastings and seminars. Her experience as a caterer contributed to the development of our wine and food pairings. She led us all into further development of our palates and knowledge of how wine and food marry (she would never say food and wine; wine always came first!)

Building relationships with vendors, long-term customers, and employees was one of her many strong suits. Approachable by all, and a discouragement to none, a simple smile from Sallie was often enough to keep us all going. Having her in the building gave us all a little more peace of mind.

As part of her farewell, we asked her co-workers to write a little something to honor Sallie in her retirement. Here’s what we had to say…

Dear Sallie,
As an Algoma ‘resider’…one who returns home after being elsewhere… you helped me find a new connection to friends, activities, fun, and a sense of purpose. It has been a daily learning experience working with you at von Stiehl. You are an expert at many things–you can calm a tasting room with a ‘look,’ help a clueless wine taster find a perfect wine, encourage tasting room staff in ways we all know!  You have been a teacher, counselor, and instigator!
Thank you!
One retirement phrase is my mantra, and I recommend it to you…
‘Never say never,’
May you find joy and happiness as your life continues to unfold.
Love to you,
Joan, Hospitality


Sallie, you are a wonderful mentor, leader and friend.

Not only have you provided instruction, but also gave direction and inspiration to all of your co-workers, in building this taste room into what it is today.

I am grateful for your support and kindness during our transition over the last seven months, and wish you happiness and health as you move on to the next chapter in your life. Happy retirement!

Patti, Retail Manager


The stories and memories of Sallie are endless as they are priceless. But the thing I’m going to remember and miss most about Sallie is the impression she was able to leave on every person she met. From the smile and hugs she received from customers whom recognized her from past experiences at von Stiehl and Captain’s Walk- as she was able to connect and talk to anyone at a unique and personal level, to the way she was able to teach and guide employees and co-workers and turn anyone into a sales person-it just took that special touch to get to know each person in order to dig deep into their individual potential.

Even though we drove each other crazy at times due to our differences, we always seemed to ‘get’ each other and connected to make things work. Thank you for being an amazing teacher, co-worker and friend for the past 8 years! I wish you nothing but the best in your retirement as you deserve it!

Katie, General Manager


When I think about Sallie, I immediately go to food and wine pairing.  Over all of the years with her at von Stiehl, we’ve done a ton of pairings and have learned a lot from each other about food and wine.  Sallie has a keen sense when it comes to aromas and flavors of food and I’m grateful to have learned from her during her time here.

We are all lucky to have Sallie as a co-worker and friend over all the years here at von Stiehl.  Sallie has brought von Stiehl great refinement, impeccable customer service, increased sales, and most of all an enjoyable tasting room experience for both customers and employees.

Thank you for all of the years dedicated to von Stiehl and we look forward to working with you in the future.  Cheers to Sallie!!

Aric, Master Winemaker and Co-Owner


Of the many, almost forgotten, jobs between college and winery ownership, I had a two-month stint of installing phones in cars at Cellcom in De Pere. Not too many people went out of their way to say hi… with the exception of Sallie, a polished saleswoman who was making the mobile phone business into what it is today. She would always have a kind word walking by as I stopped to look up from under the dirty carpet of a contractor truck. Way back in 1998 is when Sallie earned my admiration, when the only things that I managed were wires, and candy-bar wrappers that had fallen under car seats. Who would have known that she would work for our family business someday?

Now in 2017, we’ve had the honor of employing her for twelve years, and even the higher honor of calling her a friend. I’m sad that we won’t see her smiling, encouraging, face daily at the winery, but am so happy that she now has the free time of retirement to call her own.

My regret is that we allowed her to give so much of herself. We all were so eager to receive her attention, so willing to let her pour into us, so quick to share our challenges with her. She gave so much of herself; and I’m not sure that we gave as much back. Yet she took it in stride without complaint, and did her best with all of us.

In her twelve years at von Stiehl, Sallie left more than a fingerprint. She left an unmatched legacy of priorities and values with our business. ‘Just putting in time’ was never a sentiment that any of us gleaned from her attitude. She showed up with enthusiasm, drive, desire to improve others, and a better future for all of us in mind. Who gives like that?

Sallie – Take extra time to shoot that turkey. Wait it out for the 14 point buck this November. Make your garden and flowers more beautiful than ever next spring. Sleep whenever you want to. YOU EARNED IT!

William Butler Yeats said it best…

“Think where man’s glory most begins and ends, and say my glory was I had such friends”

Sallie, you have made us all better for knowing you.

Brad, Business Manager & Co-Owner




Happy Retirement Sallie!


von Stiehl Winery Named in Top Vineyards All Around the Country by Travel + Leisure

June 15, 2017 by Brad Schmiling

Winery Reviews Help von Stiehl to be Listed in Travel + Leisure

Guests have been enjoying the experience in our little Algoma tasting room for a very long time. While we mostly think of ourselves as a small town winery close to Door County, it would appear that we are getting noticed much further away than the borders of Kewaunee County. While our wine ships interstate to the country’s corners, evidence of our actions are open to the world via winery reviews.

These digital reviews have become the primary place to learn the truths of a business. That means good or bad, everyone can read what anyone wants to post. This time around it’s a positive because Travel + Leisure dug into winery reviews all around the country. It’s no surprise that California came out on top given the density of wineries. However, we’re pretty excited to be on the list just below our West Coast friends.

How did this happen, you ask? Here are details taken from Travel + Leisure’s website:

“Yelp analyzed the reviews of vineyards throughout the country to determine which ones Americans like best. From the Sauvignon Blanc of the Napa Valley to the Rieslings of New York’s Finger Lakes, each area of the country has its own specialties.

To compile the list, Yelp looked at businesses in the wineries category, compared quantity and quality of reviews, and limited results to two per state to ensure geographic diversity.”

Winery Reviews

If you’re thinking, enough already, share the link! Here it is.

We got this far by receiving reviews from our wonderful customers. Here are some of our favorite Yelp reviews:

Wisconsin’s oldest and most delighted winery for sure! They have such a great array of wines to choose from that there is no way you can’t find one that you don’t like. The staff is astute, well kept and very timely in their service.

Free-tasting unless you go to the more expensive wines – your oak-aged wines, the cherry bounce which is borderline brandy, etc. The bottles of wine themselves are priced very reasonably as well.

I come back here bi-weekly in the summer. To stock up, bring friends to try new wines, or to just get out and enjoy the day. I would definitely recommend this stop to anyone who loves wine!   Annabella R.

We have been going to Von Stiehl for years and each year their wine gets better and better. The building itself is wonderful to visit as its gorgeous and historic. They have a varied wine selection, some good, some just okay but they have something for everyone. We are suckers for anything they Gamba age so we always buy a few bottles of whatever they have in stock! The Alexander Cabernet is another favorite.

It always a fun time to stop in and do a wine tasting. Jason B.


Read them all here.

Winery reviews like these are rewarding and we are humbled to be spoken of so nicely. We hope that you stop in this summer and enjoy your experience down the road less traveled that leads to Algoma!

New Sparkling Wine – a Viognier & Chenin Blanc Blend

May 19, 2017 by Brad Schmiling

Sparkling Wine Produced In-House

Welcome to the first page in the new chapter of von Stiehl Winery – in a 50 year old book that we’re still writing!

What makes the Sparkling Viognier & Chenin Blanc blend different from our past pressurized wines? The bubbles are added right here in Algoma. Before our 2016 bottling line, wineries of Wisconsin would ship their wines to a winery in Michigan to be sparkled. We like our neighbors to the east, but those shipping charges add up. In a way, our bubbles are green!

Sparkling Wine - Viognier & Chenin BlancWhat does this new wine taste like? It’s a little on the dry side, so all you Brut drinkers out there can let out a little cheer, unless you’re reading this at home, then you can cheer loudly. Cue the winemaker’s description:

2016 Columbia Valley Viognier & Chenin Blanc

This textured and aromatic wine done in a Brut style offers sumptuous aromas of apricot and honeysuckle with rich flavors of white peach, ripe pear, and mineral. Pairs well with sushi, shellfish dishes, Thai, or softer cheeses such as Chevre’ and Brie.

This test batch was produced in a 160 case lot and will be available on our tasting menu this June, for $17.99/bottle.

You may only slightly recognize the label. We started with the base von Stiehl white label concept, and then reversed it to appear mainly black. The foil label is matched by a matte black foil capsule. Underneath is a new type of closure, developed to look like a champagne cork, but unscrew. This allows it to be easily re-closed should the rare occurrence happen that you don’t finish the bottle with friends.

The first sparkling wine of von Stiehl came in the mid ’90s in a white painted Holiday Wine bottle. You few historians might also remember the same wine under the Cherry Sparkle label for the summer time season.

Next came Sparkling Muscat. The Muscat Canelli grape makes for a fantastic sparkling semi-sweet wine. The branding eventually changed to Captain’s Walk Titletown Wine, and is a favorite of Green Bay and the peninsula.

If you’re still reading this, then here’s an extra nugget. Not only did we offer a Sparkling Holiday and Sparkling Cherry wine, but for a short period of time in the early 90s there was a Cranberry Esprit. That probably won’t come back, but who knows? Maybe a version will resurface as Hard Cranberry Cider!

Bourbon Cider ~ Hard Apple Cider Aged in Bourbon Barrels

April 21, 2017 by Brad Schmiling

Bourbon CiderBourbon Cider ~ Hard Apple Cider Aged in Bourbon Barrels

Life just doesn’t seem to be able to keep up with our minds. It’s a good problem to have and we sure do appreciate the loyal von Stiehl fans that wait patiently to see if our ideas make it to shelves. We tallied up this year’s new releases and the number came up to 7 offerings. Some are ready to drink, but waiting patiently in the bottle, like the ’12 barrel select Cabernet Sauvignon. Others are still aging in barrels, like our Apple Bounce.

Then there are the future businesses. The wine tunnel bacaro is intended to be the pit stop for the future emporium right above the still. It all barely makes sense. So for now, lets’ focus on what already exists.

It just so happens that a lot of slow-moving wines are about to come up for sale shortly. Cue the whole point of this article…

Next up is our Schmiling Brothers-branded Bourbon Barrel-Aged Hard Apple Cider. See, it takes a half a sentence just for some of these names! This Bourbon cider version will surface shortly after the new Hard Apple Cider is released, which should finally be by May 1.

What’s in a Bourbon Barrel-Aged Hard Apple Cider, we ask on your behalf? It’s a brandy-fortified blend of five varieties of Hillside Orchard apples. Aromas of almonds and vanilla beans from six months of bourbon barrel aging are complimented by the heat of apple brandy which adds extra warmth and depth.

We’d like to offer a special event to commemorate this release, but seem to be preoccupied with the steer that we are about to roast. So, it’s just going to show up on the tasting bar one day soon. Be sure to ask about it on your next trip to Algoma. Let us know what you think. Then let’s talk about the Sparkling Viognier & Chenin Blanc blend on the horizon.

Wine Pairing of Four Courses

December 21, 2016 by Brad Schmiling

Wine Pairing Cellar Image

Wine Pairing Tour Includes Four Courses – Winter 2016-2017

(Check back in fall 2017 to see if we renew this offer)

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.


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

December 2, 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 19, 2016 by Brad Schmiling


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 19, 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 16, 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 16, 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.

Wine Festival on September 11 & 12

August 10, 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!

Tap Room & Wine

July 23, 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!

Swap Meet

February 12, 2015 by Brad Schmiling



Swap Meet Sunday, April 19, from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

We women like options when it comes to accessorizing! It’s not that my lime green purse is old or worn, it still looks great! It’s just that I’m tired of it. I have this funky set of earrings that are just too nice to sell to a second hand store, but now that my hair is short with red highlights, they just don’t work. I have this beautiful scarf that went great with that sweater before it got a big red wine stain. My husband recycled the sweater by putting it on the scarecrow in the vineyard, but I wouldn’t let him have the scarf to complete the outfit. What’s a girl to do with all of these fashionable items? I can’t just give them away. I think I’ll take them to the von Stiehl Swap Meet!

Shop without money while you enjoy wine and light appetizers. Here’s how it works: You get a ticket for every item that you bring, then you use those tickets to purchase something new (to you) and different. Not paying a thing for all of those new things is only part of the win. In addition you can take 25% off of wine purchases (6 or more bottles), and enjoy a glass of wine with your $10 admission to the event. Call 800-955-5208 to reserve your spot in the swap meet, then use your new found excitement to start cleaning out the closet!
Disclaimer: This was written by a man. I apologize for the imperfections in thought patterns while writing to promote this event.

Red Wine Tasting

February 5, 2015 by Brad Schmiling

copy-headerHome1.jpgBe first in line at this red wine tasting and sample the newest and oldest vintages currently in barrels. Barrel-fermented Riesling, Brunello, Mourvèdre, Montepulciano, Tempranillo, and Marquette are some that are waiting for you.
Aric, Dave, and Chad will be on hand to pull samples from the barrels in our cellars for you to taste, forecast, and purchase at a discounted price.
Your session will include appetizers, five unique barrel tastings, and past vintage reserve tastings. Cost is $20/person and space is limited, so please call soon to reserve your spot. 800-955-5208.

Free Sandwich Mondays

January 5, 2015 by Brad Schmiling

Visit our tap room from noon to 2 pm on Mondays in July and August for a free sandwich with the purchase of a growler fill. Free sandwiches may vary, but we are planning to offer beef brisket on a regular basis.

How does that work? Here are the details. Growler jars can be purchased for $5. Once you have a jar, just bring it in as often as you like for a refill. The fill of a growler (½ gallon of beer) will cost $15, unless it is a specialty beer.

Are you planning to drink some beer at home this weekend or take it to a party? So are we! Bring it in for a fill on Thursdays during your lunch hour for $15, and we’ll give you a free sandwich (value $6.50). If you want to buy lunch at the tap room, but don’t believe in the value of a whole growler of beer in your fridge, you can do that. We offer a sandwich plate for $10. That includes a sandwich, chips, and soda or water. You can substitute in a beer and pay the difference.

Can you get a free sandwich to go? Sure, just buy a growler to go too. Can you get 10 free sandwiches to go for everyone at work? Sure, just buy 10 growlers to go along with it. But fair warning, very little work will get done on Thursday afternoon.

All of that being said, it’s while supplies last because we have no idea how well the free sandwich promotion will go over. There might be exclusions if there are loopholes that we didn’t think of.

Winter Wine in Wisconsin

December 15, 2014 by Brad Schmiling

Winter Wine in Wisconsin

Have you found yourself turning cold at all the of talk of blustery weather? We live in Wisconsin where weather won’t always be wonderful. If all that we do is wallow in weary alliteration, we’ll wear out those within earshot! Given that we do well with seasonal wines at von Stiehl, we thought, “Why not create a wine for the longest season of the year?” winter wine

Given our unhealthy dose of obsession with the cold, we thought it best to whip up a batch of warming Door County cherry winter wine seasoned with spices, cinnamon, and clove. Heat Winter Wine in a pot on the stove (or cup in the microwave) to a steamy level, but don’t let the alcohol boil away into the atmosphere. The air isn’t the one that should enjoy the alcohol.

While Winter Wine tastes great chilled, we suggest enjoying it warm. Whether the weather or listening to others whine gives you a chill, we hope that the warmth of our cherry Winter Wine keeps you in good spirits throughout the cold months! Now before you run off with new-found inspiration to play Scrabble with the W, find a way to get your hands on some of this new wine before it all disappears.

Find Winter Wine at your favorite Wisconsin retailer, here on our website, or call or visit the winery to purchase bottles direct.

800-955-5208 • www.vonstiehl.com • 115 Navarino Street, Algoma, Wis.

Summer Cuisine Concerts – More Than String Pluckers and Cover Singers

July 2, 2014 by Brad Schmiling

Summer Cuisine Concerts

Live Music is like heat in Wisconsin. It isn’t around for long, but when it’s here there’s no missing it – and the Summer Cuisine Concerts are hot. Finding live entertainment in the Door County area is easy on any given day in summer. So you hear “live music” and think “big whoop, everybody’s got that.” You’re right, and we agree that it takes more than string pluckers and cover singers to make a summer day special. So we start with talented musicians and add wine. If you like von Stiehl, then that’s the start of something good. More of a beer drinker? Got you covered with small batch craft brews from our tap room two doors down. Music, wine, and beer all need food. Good food? No, great food! Hence the Summer Cuisine Concerts name. Who serves the best Door County cuisine? Many would say Skaliwags. The Skaliwagon will be serving fantastic gourmet outdoor faire at all of the concerts. More on them in the next article.
What’s the last thing we all would like to make things perfect? The weather. Typically, the coolest summer breeze is found on the shore of Lake Michigan in Algoma. While the rest of the state is soaking in sticky 80-90 degree temps, we’re enjoying soothing 75 degree air wafting in from the lake. The same lake that you will enjoy viewing while partaking in all that other stuff that goes along with string pluckers and cover singers at von Stiehl this summer.

The Summer Cuisine Concerts Lineup:
7/5 Annie Rose Band (Classic Rock)
7/12 Two Souls (Island and Rock)
7/19 The Blue Gills (Classic Rock & Blues)
7/26 Dave Steffan Band (Blues Rock)
8/2 Givin Up the Ghost (Acoustic Rock)
8/9 The Hits (Covers from 60s to 90s) *1:30 to 5 PM Due to Parade
8/16 Redfish (Cajun & Rock)

Ladies Festival

May 22, 2014 by Brad Schmiling


If you don’t like change then you’ll be happy to know that this year’s Ladies’ Fest will be every bit as much fun as the last five. Shopping, massages, a Naughty Girl glass with two fills of wine, lunch and a chocolate truffle all for $35. Classic rock by Two Souls in the morning, then Men in Suits will return from 2 pm. to 6 pm with cover favorites and disco. Don’t worry, they keep their suits on. If you liked Ladies’ Fests of the past then come this year to relive the day one last time. Due to dwindling attendance, we’ll be making some tweaks to the 2015 festival according to your feedback. Please let us know what you like and don’t like about the structure of the event this year so that we can make it more attractive in future years. We’d like to do away with the $35 admission fee to grow the event and perhaps offer something at the tap room next door for beer lovers. Either way, mark your calendars for the June 20, 2015 mystery event!


Stiletto Stroll

You know how it’s all about who you know? A good friend owns a boutique in Green Bay called Nell’s that specializes in prosthetics and high end wigs to help women fighting cancer. It’s a confidential, classy, and established joint which is Medicaid-qualified. Stacey’s compassion for those suffering from cancer motivated her to get involved in the Northeast Wisconsin Ribbon of Hope campaign. We noticed that a number of Ribbon of Hope supporters were also involved as Ladies’ Fest vendors. After a few glasses of wine, the ideas were flying and the Stiletto Stroll was born. Last year it was known as the Strut, but a cease-and-desist letter from another organization quickly initiated a name-change to Stiletto Stroll.

Long story short, they want you and your heels at 10 am on the morning of Ladies’ Fest. The $10 entry fee goes to the good cause, while you go for a walk along the Algoma boardwalk in comfortable shoes. Save your stamina for the last few-tenths of a mile where you are welcome to strap on heels and cross the finish line in style. Is it a contest? Yes, but not a race. Contestants will be judged on attitude, style, costume, and most interesting shoes. Then there is an overall winner. Want that trophy? Just think outside the box. Here’s a picture of last year’s winner so you know what you are up against. The rest of the prizes are awarded in wine.

von Stiehl Receives Two Gold Medals from Tasters’ Guild

May 22, 2014 by Brad Schmiling

Two High-Class Gold Medals

 Tasters Guild International Recognizes Wisconsin’s Oldest Licensed Winery

 May 20, 2014, Algoma, Wisconsin

 Von Stiehl Winery in Algoma just received six medals from Tasters Guild International, a wine and food appreciation society based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The judging accepts many styles of wine from around the world and places them into classes consisting of fruit type and retail price. While the Algoma winery won awards from the Tasters’ Guild for decades, gold medals in the higher dollar classes are difficult to attain.

Winemaker Aric Schmiling has seen hundreds, if not thousands, of medals awarded to von Stiehl Winery in the 32 years that he has been in the family business. “For a while, the medals were coming so regularly that we didn’t see much reason to keep sending out for more. Instead, we invested in equipment and practices that would turn out higher end wines,” Schmiling comments. “It’s not that uncommom to receive a gold medal in a class under $20, but to receive two gold medals in $30+ classes is a fantastic feeling!”

Both gold medal awards were presented to wines made from Wisconsin fruit. Doc Stiehl’s Cherry Bounce, a sweet and smooth concoction of Door County cherry wine and cherry brandy distilled from von Stiehl’s cherry wine was the first to receive a gold in the $30 class. The high-alcohol bounce is produced from Door County Cherries grown by Seaquist Orchards in Sister Bay, and is aged in red wine barrels for six months prior to release. Barrels help to smooth out the high alcohol, which comes in at 20.5%. The second gold was awarded to von Stiehl Apple Icing. The ice wine is produced from fruit grown at Hillside Apples in Kewaunee County; a perfectly balanced ice wine that pairs concentrated aromas of freshly picked apples with flavors of butterscotch, vanilla, and honey.

Silver Medals were awarded to two new dry red wines, Zinfandel and Union, and the winery’s classic Blueberry Wine. A silver medal was awarded to a new French-hybrid oak barrel-fermented Chardonnay.

The oldest licensed award-winning Wisconsin winery was the first to produce wine from Door County cherries, and specializes in red varietals. Tour barrel-filled arched limestone aging cellars, and a modern winemaking facility. A positive staff and value priced wines make this a “must-stop” destination. The winery is located at 115 Navarino Street in Algoma, and is open seven days a week. More information can be found at vonStiehl.com or by calling 920-487-5208.

Join the Trolley Tour

April 22, 2014 by Brad Schmiling

The second annual Gala Wine and Beer Tasting Trolley Tour on behalf of Money Manager Counselors is scheduled for 5:30-9:30 p.m. May 14.

The budget, credit and financial planning counseling agency is formally known as Money Manager Counselors powered by FISC/CCCS, incorporating the former names of the nonprofit that has been helping Door County families for decades.

Participants in the trolley tour will meet a Door County Trolley atop the Second Avenue parking ramp between Kentucky and Louisiana streets between 5:15 and 5:30 p.m. May 14, then depart for Von Stiehl Winery and Brewery in Algoma.

After about an hour at Von Stiehl, the group will board the trolley for a trip to Red Oak Winery in Sturgeon Bay. There, the group will partake of more wine tasting with heavy hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction and cash bar until about 9:15 p.m.

Tickets are $50 per person, and space is limited. Reservations for the fundraising event can be made by calling (920) 743-1862.

All-inclusive, fun-filled weekend!

March 14, 2014 by Brad Schmiling


Doesn’t a little weekend getaway sound appealing right now? A Caribbean cruise is probably not in the cards for most of us, but the idea of an all-inclusive, fun-filled weekend really hits the spot. Here’s an idea: come to Algoma! Take a look at this invitation from our friends at the Hotel Stebbins and come on up! We’ll have your Wine and Chocolate Pairing ready for you.


Valued @ $275

For Only $159/couple(+ Tax)!!!

Available 3/20/14 (1st day of Spring:) thru 4/26/14 (Thursday thru Saturdays only)

Booking Info: (920) 487-5521 or see package here.

(Choose the “Spring Fever” Package when booking)

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