March 21, 2013
We had the opportunity after leaving the cold climate convention to visit the Dancing Dragonfly winery in St Croix Wisconsin to drop off their new Munckhof Tower sprayer. And winemaker Ken Salemi generously took the time to give us tours and tastings of not only the wine making facility but also the future tasting and event hall now under construction.
I was very impressed with both the scale of the operation they had undertaken, and also the professionalism and craft used. The grapes grown in the Wisconsin and Minnesota are different in taste and verity from those grown in the west, or anywhere else for that matter. A point that Ken uses to his advantage, stating on the wineries website;
“Our grapes are wonderfully unique to our climate and area. Unlike California and Washington grapes, our vines have to be able to tolerate a wide temperature swing. They are unlike any other grape and I mean that in a good way”
I had a chance to experience what Ken was talking about first hand when sampling the wines. As we toured the vats, he poured us a sample of a hybrid verity that, while being well vinted, had a distinct sharpness and, dare I call it, a kind of “hybrid” taste to it. He then took the glass we were sampling and mixed in a sampling of another cold climate verity, and the transformation was exceptional, the sharp taste melted away, leaving a wine that had a great taste, unique to the growing area and certainly competitive with the wines of any other American growing region.
But my area of expertise is not as a wine connesiour, so I will leave my own opinion as simply that, and wish the staff at Dancing Dragonfly the best of luck with their new purchase, though I’m sure it will serve them well.