Farm Progress

Sip and savor

Slideshow: Seven wineries and seven dairy and cheese producers have come together to create the Sip and Savor Driftless Wisconsin Wine and Cheese Trail.

Harlen Persinger

September 8, 2017

6 Slides

Autumn leaves hug the hillsides and patches of frost cover golden pumpkins. It’s the perfect formula for a fall excursion and fun weekend. To jump-start that trip, seven estate wineries and seven dairy and cheese producers recently formed a collective group to create the Sip and Savor Driftless Wisconsin Wine and Cheese Trail.

“This venture marks an exciting collaboration between the state’s renowned dairy industry and expanding wine enterprises,” says Therese Bergholz, trail director and owner of Branches Winery near Westby, Wis. “Our goal is to attract consumers from major metropolitan areas to visit these 14 local food growers and producers in the scenic Driftless Region between Madison and La Crosse.”

The trail will be promoted as a yearlong opportunity for people to experience and shop at these businesses with three special event weekends, starting Oct. 13-15. The economic impact will also benefit those folks associated with lodging, shops and restaurants.  

“We are very excited to connect with this new agritourism trail,” notes Pete Kondrup, general manager of Westby Cooperative Creamery. “It will be a total win-win situation, both tasty as well as educational.”

“This project is an excellent opportunity to meet the cheese- and winemakers and sample their creations,” Bergholz adds. “Each business can showcase various products and facilities in their own unique way. Better yet, no tickets are needed, as admission is free.”

To learn more about all the participants and weekend excursions, go to or check on Facebook: Driftless Wine and Cheese Trail.

Persinger lives in Milwaukee, Wis.

About the Author(s)

Harlen Persinger

Harlen Persinger is a photojournalist who lives in Milwaukee. Since 2004, he has freelanced for regional and national farm publications such as Wisconsin Agriculturist and Farm Industry News, plus many others.

Persinger grew up on a farm in Grundy County, Iowa. He received a degree in ag journalism from Iowa State University in 1972. He has traveled to more than 40 countries and has been a member of the American Agricultural Editors’ Association (now Agricultural Communicators Network) since 1976. In 2016, he was the first photojournalist/freelancer to receive the organization's Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2017, Persinger began providing college scholarships to 4-H’ers from his home county who have an interest in photography/journalism and agriculture. He was inducted into the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame in 2023.

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