Life on The Vineyard
 
     We are often asked: "What do you do at the vineyard?" The answer is quite a bit. Running Quinney Estate Winery is a year round job. But just because it is a job, doesn't mean it can't  be fun. Below you can find photos capturing our process of wine making, the transformation of the vines through the seasons, and some of the fun things we encounter while on the estate. 
The Vineyard, Our Family and Friends

We have been planting grapes since 2000.   It's been a long haul but we've been lucky to have lots of help from friends and family.   The vineyard has grown and so have our kids.   
Spring
Springtime starts out small.....but the work is HUGE!   Every single vine needs to be pruned in a special way to maximize production.   We need to make sure all the equipment is working.  There's always something to fix!!!  And then there's the weather.  Wisconsin springs are soooo unpredictable......

Summer
Everything is green and GROWING!    The grass between the rows need to be cut, the overgrowth needs to be pruned and trained,  and the ground beneath the vines needs to be kept clean, using MINIMAL chemicals. Due to the unique site of our vineyard, we have been lucky enough not to need to use any chemical sprays on the grapes themselves in the past two years. When we do have to spray the grapes we use only organic sprays.

Late Summer and Fall

Getting excited!   The sugar content of the grapes need to be checked frequently to decide on when to harvest the grapes.   It's a waiting game......   The problem is waiting long enough and worrying about the birds and racoons and other animals eating up the ripe grapes. 
Harvest Time
We are so blessed to have wonderful friends who pitch in to help.   The problem is that our kids are all getting old, so we are losing labor!   Too bad Connie the vineyard dog doesn't have thumbs to help.  She does make sure that everyone is working and she tries to keep company with our "pickers" , especially her best friend Jeff.
Making the Wine
For red wine, we crush and de-stem the grapes, add yeast and let the grapes ferment with the skins. The skins of the red grapes are what gives red wine it's color.  For white wine, we crush and de-stem and press the grapes right away to get the juice.   We then add the yeast and let the juice ferment.  And that's why white wine is white (no skins).  The red wines are put in oak barrels.  Our barrels are made out of Wisconsin oak.   The oak is harvested from Wisconsin, sent to California to be made into a barrel and then shipped back to us (BUY LOCAL!)   Our wines age about 9 months in the oak barrels.   We have the fun job of tasting to test the amount of oak flavoring and then we bottle!  Our "Q" was specially designed by our friend Deb who hand drew the letter until she found the perfect "Q".  
Winter

It's a little quieter, we don't need to tend to the vines but we do have indoor work.   The bottles need to be filled, labeled and put in cases.   We also need to get the wine to our sellers.  So far we have been excited to sell our wines at LA CLARE FARMS in the Malone/Pipe area, MUD CREEK COFFEE in Stockbridge, and FESTIVAL FOODS in Darboy and on Northland in Appleton.   We get to kick back and enjoy the fruits of our labors and we hope you enjoy the wine as well!!!
Barrels
Our barrels are made from Wisconsin oak. The oak is harvested in Western Wisconsin, Seasoned for 2 years in Minnesota and fabricated into barrels in Calistoga California by Nadalie USA. 
 We work closely with the coopers at Nadalie to develop a barrel which complements our Wisconsin grapes.
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"Great Wine is Made in the Vineyard."
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