Although it prompted a high level of participant satisfaction, Take Our Wines to Work Day was cancelled after a reckless batch of young Rieslings was caught making inappropriate use of the photocopier. Deepen your vinous relationship in a more suitable environment with today's Groupon: for $22, sippers get a winery tour and tasting for two (normally $20 including tax), cheese platter ($8.44), chocolate ($6.33), and two full-size vineyard wine glasses ($10.55) to take home (a total $45.32 value, including tax) from Chateau St. Croix Winery & Vineyard, located in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin. Tours are subject to availability; call in advance and show up with a celebrity for the best results.
During the half-hour guided tour, guests will explore the Old World charm of the Chateau St. Croix Winery, glimpsing each stage of the winemaking process from start to smooth, oaky finish. The 55-acre grounds house an estate built by Troy and Laura Chamberlins that features 2.5 acres of verdant vineyards, a carriage house, stables, formal gardens, gently rolling hills, and a Brontë ghost or two in the attic. After completing a leisurely stroll of the grounds, parched patrons are served a flight of five wines and a drive of cheese and chocolates to refresh their sophisticated blood-sugar levels. Encounter enchanting elixirs such as the acclaimed Wild River Rosé, a light, fruity selection with floral aromas, or the Packers-themed CheeseHead White, a tempting, semi-sweet table wine flavored with the forbidden fruits of NFL rivalry. Leave the Chateau with plans to build a winery in your own kitchen around your two Chateau wine glasses.
Inspired by European vineyards the Chamberlins toured while living in Germany, the Chateau injects a healthy dose of aristocratic romance into a seldom-tapped vein of the St. Croix Valley. Board your beau's high-flying phaeton or squeeze into a Shriner's minicar with your nephew's orthodontist for an enchanting afternoon for two at Chateau St. Croix Winery & Vineyard.
While Chateau St. Croix Winery has yet to receive many online reviews, the vineyard's numerous wines are highly recommended by a variety of sources. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune's Bill Ward featured the winery in his Ward on Wine column and three Snooth reviewers provide reviews of three of the winery's vintages:
- Unlike Minnesota wineries, which must use at least 50 percent Minnesota-grown grapes in their total output, Wisconsin wineries can do pretty much what they please. And Chamberlin does make some juice from cold-climate grapes, including a table wine and a port from the often-challenging Frontenac. – Bill Ward, Minneapolis Star-Tribune
- Good wine. Beautiful color, floral parfume and really balanced. – LWT, Snooth
Chateau St. Croix Winery
A true appreciation for wine can be uncovered in the lush wine valleys of Europe, where history and tradition are as rich as the wine itself. Chateau St. Croix Winery was created in the image of a French estate, complete with vineyard, a carriage house, stables, gardens and art gallery. The heart of the winery, though, is its 2.5 acres of grapes, nearly five tons of which are grown in six varieties for use in their award-winning wines. Visitors can sample Chateau St. Croix's sundry varietals and blends, pairing each sip with Artisan cheeses and crackers.