July 20, 2016

Wine Tasting at Branches Winery and River View Winery

Posted by: Jennifer

Summertime… and the sipping is easy at two of our favorite wineries near Sparta, WI!

Branches Winery, located in Westby, WI, produces wines from estate grown grapes. They produce award-winning wines and specialty ice cider wines. In July of 2016 Branches was honored to have Two Gold medals, two Silver Medals, and one Bronze Medal from the Mid-American Wine Competition. Wineries from 19 states brought wines to the competition and “Explorer”, a Marquette wine, and “Celebration Berry”, a Wisconsin Cranberry wine took top honors in their classes. “Vine Dance”, an Edelweiss wine, and “Wisconsin Ice Cider” both took the Silver Medals. The Bronze Medal went to “Coulee Crisp”, made with LaCrescent grapes.

The winery’s hours during the summer are Sunday & Monday, 1 – 6 pm; Thursday, 1-6 pm; Friday & Saturday 1-8 pm.

On Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays enjoy a gourmet wood-fired pizza to go with your wine. The pizza is baked in an outdoor oven with lots of specialty toppings and local, artisan cheeses. You can also enjoy an appetizer featuring locally produced foods on the covered patio or large deck, or in the picnic grove overlooking the vineyards.

Branches is located a short 25 minute drive south of Sparta and is well worth the visit!


River View Winery and Vineyard is another of our favorite area wineries. As the name suggests, the view from atop the bluffs in La Crescent, MN, across the river is just spectacular! You can watch the barges transporting goods up and down the Mississippi.

River View Winery makes a limited variety wines but they know what those wines are all about!

There are three red wines to choose from: “River Boat Red” (a medium bodied, dry to Semi dry wine), “Marquette” (a full bodied, semi dry wine), and “Frontenac” (a full bodied, semi dry wine).

There are two wonderful blush wines: “River Boat Blush” (a crisp, light-bodied, sweet wine), and “Frontenac Gris” (a light-bodied, semi-sweet wine).

They produce four white wines: “La Crosse” (a crisp, light-bodied, demi-dry wine), “Edelweiss” (a crisp, light-bodied, semi-sweet wine), “La Crescent” (a crisp, light-bodies, semi-dry wine), and “Brianna” ( a crisp, light-bodied, semi-sweet wine).

River View Winery and Vineyard has a wonderful new video to tell you all about their vines (specially selected for the northern climate), their wines, and about the view and location.

Taste the fruit of the vine near our B&B at these two nearby wineries. Taste, sip, snack, and marvel at the beautiful views! Make your reservations soon.


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