At the height of summer before the bustle of autumn, it’s the perfect time to take an afternoon or evening and relax with wine and a platter of tasty morsels at Staller Estate Winery. On a warm summer day, the winery is perfectly peaceful and smells delicately sweet, both inside and out. One can’t help but feel cozy and settled immediately upon stepping foot on the property. Owner, Wendy herself is calm and welcoming, making it even better that she and her husband provide the tours.
“We keep it pretty personal, whether the tours or the private tastings in the evenings. When people come back, they’re able to keep us updated about what’s going on in their life. Even if we’re crazy busy, I go out of my way to talk with those returning customers. They’re like family. “Wendy Staller, Owner of Staller Estate Winery
That family feeling is definitely important to Wendy, and since they live on the same property as the winery, patrons will often see the Staller’s kids around. It’s been that way since day one when they were carried around in backpacks during tours.
The winery opened in 2008 after Owner, Wendy, and her husband received good feedback from friends and family on their homemade wines. Both graduated from UW Whitewater with degrees in Biology and Chemistry and her husband became the head brewer at Randy’s Steakhouse (now 841 Brewhouse) where he gathered a lot of experience. What started as a hobby quickly became a serious business venture.
“It really was a hobby that got slightly out of control.” *laughs*Wendy Staller, Owner of Staller Estate Winery
Wendy flew out to California and took wine making courses and entered some of their wines in competitions. Before they knew it, they had settled on their current countryside location and opened to the public.
“We bought this property because we wanted to raise our family out in the country. It’s close to town, but you still get a little bit of seclusion.”Wendy Staller, Owner of Staller Estate Winery
Staller Estate hosts Farm to Table dinners six times a year with local restaurant The Black Sheep, and the Bethel House’s annual fundraiser event every November. They love giving back to the community with occasional donated private tastings.
“I like Whitewater because it’s a small community. You get to see a lot of people you know. In a big city you often see/run into strangers. We love being able to suggest places to stay or eat in Whitewater because we know the owners of the businesses.”Wendy Staller, Owner of Staller Estate Winery
When Staller Estate first opened, there were 35 wineries in Wisconsin and now there are 125.
“Wisconsin wineries exploded in a decade. The more the better. No matter where you go, you’ll always get a different experience. Everyone has their own grape varietals and puts their own personal spin on the experience.”Wendy Staller, Owner of Staller Estate Winery
When it comes to Wendy’s personal spin, not only does she recommend the beloved platters they offer, whether meats, cheeses, or chocolates, she often recommends certain wines depending on the season. The Estate Reserve is best in the fall and the port is warming in the winter. Since it’s 20% alcohol, it’s sure keep you warm on a cold day! But if you plan to pop in over the summer, try the Reserve Le Crescent and order the picnic platter to indulge in at a picnic table or on a blanket out in the vineyard.
With cold-climate winter grape varietals, Staller Estate’s wines are a true taste of Wisconsin.
Open daily from 11-6p. You can find more information or book your next event here.