The Traveling Growler is back in action! We have put the temperance movements in South Dakota and Minnesota behind us, and are amongst the Packers fans and German folk in Wisconsin. We crossed the border and took a detour in more ways than one.
While traveling on I-94, we wandered off the freeway and found ourselves alongside the Mississippi River. By following the signs, we ended up at Maiden Rock Winery and Cidery outside of Stockholm, WI. Despite being located about three miles off the highway, the winery was packed when we stopped by on a Sunday afternoon.
Since opening their doors in 2008, they have grown to produce six hard ciders three apple wines and four grape wines. While I was there, I opted to taste only their hard ciders. First, I sampled their Bitter Love semi-dry cider and found the name to be appropriate: the cider was flavorful and dry, but bitter. After tasting Bitter Love, their Somerset had little flavor. Then came the Honeycrisp and things changed. I want to say that I loved this cider. It was sweet but not too sweet, flavorful but light, carbonated and the perfect beverage for a hot afternoon. A brief discussion with one of the owners indicated that Wisconsin did not have as restrictive laws as Minnesota, I talked the her into filling my growler with the Honeycrisp. This was a great call.
We continued touring down the Mississippi and stayed in Perrot State Park. While there both of us were able to enjoy the cider in a relaxed manner, and ti was as good at the campsite as at the farm. While the microbrew industry has been thoroughly documented, the growth of cider production in the US has not seen a much press. That is why it is such a joy to find a place such as Maiden Rock. They make a high-quality product that deserves attention.
On a side note, Maiden Rock is part of Harvest Hosts, an association that provides RV travelers and campers with a network of wineries and farms to stay on. As their grounds were perfect to park an RV on, we opted not to stay here. It was only 1PM and we had another 100 miles to go before stopping for the night. But based on my visit, I would recommend this as a place for Harvest Host members to stay.