If you like wine, stop at the Door Peninsula Winery in Carlsville, Wisconsin the next time you get to Door County. The winery is north of Sturgeon Bay on Hwy 42. It is located in an old schoolhouse.
My husband, one of my grown sons, and myself stopped there during a recent trip to Door County. The evening before we had dined at Shipwrecked in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin (also in Door County), and had been given a coupon for a free tour of the winery and free wine tasting. It seemed like too good of a deal to pass up.
Even if you don’t have a coupon for the tour, it’s a bargain at $2 for each adult. And if you’re not interested in the tour but just in the wine tasting, the wine tasting is free to anyone 21 years of age or older.
We decided to take the tour and then taste some of the wines. The tour started in the front of the schoolhouse where our guide told us the building had been used as a schoolhouse for 100 years, from 1868 to 1968. At one point in time, the school had 60 students in 8 grades with only 2 teachers. The building was purchased and turned into a winery in 1974.
After being given some history on the building, we were taken to the basement of the building, which is where the wine is made. We saw how the wine was bottled, the vats it is made in, along with the barrels it is stored in for aging. Along the way we learned how the fruit juice the winery uses gets turned into wine. Then we headed back upstairs to the wine bar to start tasting the wines.
With over 50 wines being produced by the winery, it was difficult deciding which ones to try but we managed. The winery produces quite a few fruit wines from apple to blackberry to plum to cranberry to peach to strawberry, along with their signature cherry wine which is made with Door County cherries. The fruits for some of the other wines come from other places, such as California, but all the wine is made at the Door County facility.
The top selling wines at the Door County winery are the Strawberry Zinfandel, Blackberry Merlot, and Razzle Dazzle Raspberry. Our favorites were the Blackberry, Cranberry, and Sparkling Razzle Dazzle Raspberry. Other wines we liked included the Port Reserve, a sweet desert wine; Sweet Cherry, a sweet wine; White Christmas, one of the winery’s holiday wines; the White Zinfandel, one of the winery’s signature series wines; and Cranbernet, a wine made with a combination of cranberry and grape juices.
The winery also offers several non-wine products including cherry juice, sparkling juices, wine jellies, gourmet mustards, and Door Peninsula Wine Cheese Spread which we thought was so good that we bought two containers to take home.
The large shopping area in the winery also has hundreds of other items for sale including wine glasses, wine racks, gourmet foods, gift baskets, and wine butlers.
In addition to taking home some of the winery’s cheese spread; we bought a mixed case of wine to take with us. And we didn’t break the bank buying the wine. The wines at the winery are a good value. The wines start at around $8 for the fruit wines to a little under $30 for some of the winery’s signature series wines.
We enjoyed the couple of hours we spent at the Door Peninsula Winery. It was a fun way to spend part of our afternoon during our trip to Door County. During our next trip we plan to visit some of the other wineries in Door County to see what they have to offer (www.doorcountycountry.com/shop/doorcountywine).