Botham VineyardsBotham Vineyards
Botham Vineyards & Winery, located amid the rolling hills of the Iowa County Uplands, is an unexpected treasure in Southwestern Wisconsin. Established in 1989, this former dairy farm now boasts a 15-acre vineyard, growing three varieties of French Hybrid red grapes and producing distinctive regional wines.
That crop is used in making four of the nine Botham Vineyards international medal-winning wines. Estate-grown grapes are used in Uplands Reserve, a medium-bodied, dry red; Field III, a full-bodied, dry red; Big Stuff Red, a bold, fruity semi-dry; and Badger Blush, a light-hearted and refreshing semi-dry. The remaining five wines – Seyval Blanc, Vidal Blanc, Cupola Gold, Riesling, and Finis – all white, are made with grapes grown in the Finger Lakes Region of New York. “Our experience has shown that white grape vines are just too fragile for Wisconsin’s harsh winters”, Botham said. It just makes more sense for us to buy the grapes and then make the wine here.
The wine is sold and served on-site in a restored and renovated 100-year-old barn that functions as a tasting room, art gallery and gift shop. Adjacent to the barn a large open-air terrace offers spectacular views for those who care to picnic or simply relax with a glass of wine in the comfort of these peaceful surroundings.
On the Second Sunday of August each year, Botham Vineyards & Winery hosts the Vintage Celebration. Approximately 100-150 vintage cars from throughout the Midwest are displayed against the backdrop of the vineyard — lush and green at the peak of its growing season — in a non-technical competition whose premise is vintage automobile aesthetic and nostalgic appreciation.
Style award winners for 2009, Greg Barber and Colleen Mielke of Fond du lac, WI next to a 1930 Ford Model A, with 1930’s clothing.
“This event is the marriage of two of our favorite things – vintage cars and wine”, Botham affirmed. “We encourage show participants and spectators alike to come and enjoy in the spirit of good fun. It is, after all, a celebration.” Live outdoor jazz, open-air wine bars and a sumptuous array of picnic foods augment the vintage car show to make this a must-attend annual event.
Botham Vineyards & Winery is open weekends from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Mid-March through Mid-April, then Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mid-April through December 24. The gift shop, art gallery and tasting room are open daily during regular seasonal hours.
Botham Vineyards is located approximately 1.5 miles south of Barneveld and 25 miles southwest of Madison. To get there, take County Road K south off Highway 18/151 and follow the signs. For more information, to schedule tours or to inquire about the Vintage Celebration, please call or visit their web site.