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Our Story - Whispering Bluffs Winery

Our Story

Original Whispering Bluffs winery building photo and current building photo
Left photo: Original winery building was constructed in 1902. Photo from early 1960's. Right photo: Winery building after restoration in 2012.

Whispering Bluffs Winery opened the doors for business on May 26, 2012. Located in Potosi, Wisconsin and nestled along the scenic Mississippi River, Whispering Bluffs Winery is a purveyor of an assortment of fine wines. Our wines feature  local varietals such as Maréchal Foch, Marquette, Noiret, LaCrosse, Brianna, and Edelweiss. Many of our grapes are grown in the Whispering Bluffs Vineyard located in nearby Cassville. In addition, many wine enthusiasts are fond of our specialty fruit wines and seasonal wines.

All of our wine bottles are collector's items. The labels are beautiful reproductions of original artwork depicting the birds of the Upper Mississippi River Valley painted by Wes Helmick, a local artist who is also our winemaker. His original acrylics of birds and the landscapes of the Upper Mississippi Valley hang throughout the Winery.

Click the numbers 1 - 4 to see different areas of the Vineyard and Our Store

 

Our Vineyard

The Whispering Bluffs Vineyard sits on bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River near Cassville, WI. The land was purchased in 1997 and is part of the "Driftless Region" of S.W. Wisconsin. About 100,000 years ago glaciers bypassed this area leaving our grape vines to grow in soil untouched by the glaciers, but experiencing natures hundreds of thousands years of change. The higher altitude of this land exposes the vines to the sun as well as the warming influence of the Mississippi River. The geographical formation of the bluffs forces the cold air out of the vineyard. This is a perfect vineyard setting. Today we grow cold hardy grapes on this untouched soil, giving our wines a truly unique and wonderful flavor.

The Upper Mississippi River Valley is the largest viticultural area {AVA} in North America, and the largest designated wine producing region in the World.  This area was designated as an AVA in July 2009. The reason for this prestigious grant was due to the unique topography and resulting climate due to the glacier activity of the last ice age. Our S.W. Wisconsin soil allow us to grow distinct cold hardy grapes unavailable in most other climates and topography in the World .

Whispering Bluffs Vineyard has over 2100 grape vines including the red varieties of Marachel Foch, Marquette, Noiret, Frontenac, Petite Pearl, Concord and the white grape varieties which include Brianna, St. Pepin and Lacrosse.

We have the following vines:

  • Red grapes: 17% Petite Pearl, 5% Concord, 13% Marechal Foch, 11% Marquette, 7% Noiret, 3% America, 3% Alpine Glo
  • White grapes: 17% Brianna, 12% Prairie Star, 2% Itasca, 7% La Crosse, 2% St. Pepin

By mixing the various reds , and whites with different formulas , we can create distinct different wines and characteristics for our Blended wines .

Our vineyard is tiny compared with the tens of thousands acres the large wineries have or buy from. Our small vineyard allows us to create Estate Grown wines with the most unique favorable wines found anywhere.

We invite you to visit our winery, taste the distinct flavor of our wines and enjoy beautiful southwest Wisconsin!

The Winemaker

Wes and Janet Helmick

Wes and Janet Helmick retired in 2006 from Ginkgo Intl. Ltd, the company they founded in 1977. While with Ginkgo, they traveled in the USA, Europe and Southeast Asia. They also supplied many customers through their San Francisco office and warehouse. Travel gave them the opportunity to enjoy the vineyards and wineries in northern California as well as the wine regions of France. The ambience and lifestyle of the French countryside inspired their vision for a vineyard and winery in southwest Wisconsin.

The award-winning wines of Wes Helmick are created from the grapes in their vineyard and from fruit locally grown in Wisconsin. Enjoy the many wines from the distinct terroir of southwest Wisconsin.

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