That is the question...
Our guests often ask us about the shelf life of the variety of wines we offer and whether they should age them.
Most of us know that wine should be stored in a cool, dark place.
But why is that?
“The earliest evidence of stored wine comes from 7,000 year-old pottery jugs that were buried in the dirt floor of a Neolithic kitchen in Iran. The Romans used their catacombs. The French began the practice of digging wine caves designed specially to store their adored beverage. Wine collectors turned from catacombs to caves, and from caves to cellars. Today, wine cellars and cabinets function as the ideal wine storage sites, with temperature, humidity, and light controlled to the last degree. Wine enthusiasts can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to install a fully equipped wine cellar.”
Chemistry & Art
Remember in high school when you said you’d never use what you learned in chemistry class?
“Wine aging is a science. A single bottle of wine can contain hundreds of chemical compounds that react over time. The reactions common to each type of wine are understood, and the type of changes in aroma that occur in them are rarely surprising. But wine aging is also an art. Each crop of grapes is different. Each bottle of wine will age a little differently from the next; the perfect time to uncork a particular grape varietal will change with the region, the year, and the specific process the grapes undergo as they are being smashed and fermented into wine.”
- Stephanie Warren www.vintagecellars.com
Which brings us to the answer of how long a shelf life our wines have.
No need to dig a cave! Just find a cool, dark place and the fruit & apple wines from Bayfield Winery will stay fresh for up to three years.
The grape wines from Seven Ponds differ between the whites and the reds. The white grape wines can be kept between three to five years while the red wines can be kept for five years and beyond.
The question that usually follows how long of a shelf life our wines have is what temperature to serve them at.
“The fruit & apple wines and the white grape wines are best served chilled. Red wines can be served at room temperature but are typically served at cellar temperature which is fifty to sixty degrees” says Seven Ponds owner and vintner Ian Hauser
So whether you have a small rack that holds a few bottles or an underground cave that extends the length of your property you’ll be able to safely and effectively store our wine.
And the best news of all is we’ll make more.
Wine purists may want to look away now.
This post is all about adding other beverages to wine to create new and delicious cocktails.
Conversation around the tasting bar recently had a guest trying the Spring Fling (Bayfield Winery's strawberry/rhubarb blend) and exclaiming "This would also be delicious with some whiskey in it!"
This got us to thinking about what other beverages would blend well with some of our wines?
We brought out the bar one evening and had fun concocting. The only rules to the following recipes are have fun, be creative and trust your taste buds.
Here's a sampling of what we came up with:
Spring Fling New Fashioned - Our guest was right on with this one. Add a splash of whiskey to your glass of Spring Fling and a wedge of lime and you've made an Old Fashioned new again.
Sea Breeze Sangria - The citrus component of Sea Breeze added just the right amount of tartness to the fruit in this refreshing favorite. Add your favorite fruit, some white soda and brandy and you've created a sangria your friends will go ga-ga for.
Looking for a sweeter option for your sangria base? Try Bayfield Winery's Berrylicious.
La Pointe On Point - What could possibly be added to our most popular selling wine?
Brandy! La Pointe's rich aroma and plum sweetness partnered perfectly with brandy. "Brandy derives its name from the Dutch word "brandewijn", meaning "burned wine", and is a liquor distilled from wine or other fermented fruit juices." - The Spruce.com
WARNING! Drinking this may cause visions of relaxing on one of the most beautiful islands in the world; Madeline Island.
Raspberry Ferry - Ahoy maties! This version of a Salty Dog contains Bayfield Winery's Raspberry Farm House Cider and vodka. And just like Lake Superior it is salt and shark free. Add a dash of lime, lemon or orange to keep the scurvy away.
We hope you enjoy these recipes and we'd love to hear any other suggestions you have for "mixing things up" with our wines.
We had the best time pairing our wines with cheese from the Benoit Cheese Haus!
We're grateful to owner Jill & her staff member Christine for their expertise, hospitality and for putting together an impressive & delicious cheese tray for our Anniversary Celebration.
Stop in Friday, September 1st between 1-4pm to sample what they have created.
Seriously - what is better than local wine & cheese?
(See that center area of the cheese platter? Yeah, that's chocolate cheese...drool).
We are lucky to have the wisdom of the ladies from the Benoit Cheese Haus, but what if you want to try pairing cheese with your favorite wines at home?
You don't need to be an affineur, fromager, Maitre Fromager or wine connoisseur.
You just need to like cheese and wine!
Here's a fun and informative link to take the intimidation factor out of pairing: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/wine-and-cheese-pairings-for-dummies_us_567851b6e4b06fa6887e237c
We invite you to spend an afternoon with us on Friday, September 1st from 1pm-4pm to celebrate.
We'll be offering complimentary tastings, wine & cheese pairings featuring Benoit Cheese Haus Cheeses and Mayana Chocolate and half price glasses of wine.
We're grateful to you for supporting local wine created with local ingredients.
Everything that goes into our wines is either grown in our orchards, the surrounding area farms or sourced from other Wisconsin growers.
We look forward to what the future brings and have many exciting plans for expanding our tasting room, production facility and outreach to local retailers and restaurants.
Cheers to you and cheers to a future filled with local wine!
"I only like dry wines."
"I don't like fruit wines."
"I won't like a wine made from apples."
These are just a few of the comments we hear daily at the tasting bar.
Part of what we love about offering tastings is seeing the joy and surprise in people's faces when they try a wine they normally wouldn't think they like and find a new favorite.
It is not at all unusual for someone who "only likes dry wines" to purchase a bottle of Raspberry Farm House Cider or someone who "doesn't like apple wines" to walk out the door with numerous bottles of Autumn Crisp.
We are even surprising ourselves with the popularity of LaPointe!
LaPointe is a sweeter red wine but it is appealing to almost everyone - the dry wine drinkers and the non-red wine drinkers alike.
Another comment we frequently hear from people that may shy away from tasting is "I don't know anything about wine."
Hey - that's okay! In fact it's more than okay, that's why we're here. You don't need to be an educated wine drinker to enjoy a tasting. Ask questions, enjoy the experience and start your journey to discovering the beauty of wine with us.
No experience required.
We currently have fifteen wines to try and encourage you to be adventurous!
Give it a swirl and see what surprises may await you.
One of our guests recently commented on the rock formations at our front door and asked why he has been seeing so many of these around the area.
We explained it was a cairn and he said he had never heard of these before.
"A cairn is a human-made pile (or stack) of stones. The word cairn comes from the Scottish Gaelic: càrn [ˈkʰaːrˠn̪ˠ] (plural càirn [ˈkʰaːrˠɲ]). Cairns have been and are used for a broad variety of purposes, from prehistoric times to the present." - Wikipedia
There is much history around these stone formations which can be found in places all over the world and some of the residents and visitors to this area enjoy leaving their mark, and creating a bit of art, by stacking stones.
There is also come controversy regarding cairns created for pleasure and not solely for trail marking or religious purposes. Some people would rather not see markers in a remote area reminding them that others ventured there before them. And there is also the view that stacking stones near the water can cause erosion and take away homes for animals.
Whatever your stance on stacking stones we wanted to share a bit of insight into the formations welcoming you at our front door.
The 2nd Street Bistro in Ashland is the first local restaurant to offer Seven Ponds Winery wines on their menu.
Stop in for a glass, try some of their delicious fare and thank them for offering a local wine.
"The Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia on the 4th July in 1776, and saw 13 American colonies become independent sovereign states free from British rule. The United States of America was born.
It was a momentous moment in the country’s history, however what many might not know is that the historic moment was celebrated by the founding fathers with a glass of Madeira.
Madeira, a fortified wine made on the volcanic island of Madeira on the west coast of Africa, was a popular beverage in the US, which accounted for the majority of the country’s sales. Because the wine was fortified, it travelled well, making its export to the US viable." - The Drinks Business
We're not drinking Madeira today - we're toasting with glasses of Sevona and LaPointe.
Approximately 85% of Madeira is produced with the red grape, Negra Mole. We produce Sevona and LaPointe with St. Croix grapes.
And even though Madeira was a favorite of Thomas Jefferson, Bayfield Winery's own Hauser's Colonial is created from a 300 year old recipe of what Mr. Jefferson drank for breakfast.
If you're in the area stop in and join us! We have great tunes on, a great view, great wine, great weather and promise great fun.
Autumn Crisp is here and available exclusively at Seven Ponds Winery!
Created with 100% estate grown honeycrisp apples this semi-dry apple wine is always a favorite.
A great way to get your "apple on" this summer.
In its second year this has become a big favorite and ap-peels to all wine drinkers whether you prefer a dryer wine or sweeter one.
A semi-dry apple wine this is a refreshing, easy drinking wine that tastes just like biting into a honeycrisp apple
Please help us welcome the newest additions to the Seven Ponds family of wines: La Pointe - Moonlight - Sevona - Sea Breeze
Ian has been busy creating four new blends to add to the Seven Ponds familly - two red and two white:
La Pointe - Moonlight - Sevona - Sea Breeze
LA POINTE is a sweet red 2016 St. Croix grape wine true to the historical island town it is named after with rich aromas of pipe tobacco & prune and flavors of dark plum & blackberries with a finish of exotic tea.
MOONLIGHT is a dry fruity white made from 2016 La Crescent grapes. Named after a ship in Lake Superior it contains flavors of apricot, key lime with a soft minerality finish. We recommend drinking this wine in the moonlight, sunlight and/or on a cloudy day.
SEVONA is a dry red 2016 St. Croix grape wine with flavors of blackberry, black current and has a dry finish reminiscent of cedar. Also named after a ship in Lake Superior this blend is quickly becoming a favorite of dry and not-so-dry wine drinkers.
SEA BREEZE is a sweet-tart white wine made from 2016 Frontenac Gris. This easy breezy drinking wine contains flavors of lemon & honey with a finish of orange blossoms and will bring a refreshing Superior breeze to all your summer gatherings.