WAUSAU – When it comes to wine and grapes, most think of France, Italy, California, or, more locally, Door and Sauk counties. But in the last few decades, an increasing number of wineries and vineyards have emerged in colder areas across the Midwest, where winemakers have benefited both from the development of cold-hardy grapes and a rich abundance of fruit and honey. Crafting wines and meads with flavor unique to north central Wisconsin, area wineries are growing in number and popularity, and they’re having a significant impact on the local economy.

At 10 a.m. today, June 18, Wisconsin Public Radio’s “Route 51” host Shereen Siewert welcomes Jon Hamilton of White Winter Winery, Iron River, and Lynita Delaney of Elmaro Vineyards, Trempealeau, for a conversation about north central Wisconsin wine and winemaking, and the trends inspiring more people to drink local. 

Listeners are encouraged to call 800-780-9742 with their questions during the program or email questions to route51@wpr.org.

“Route 51” is heard Fridays at 10 a.m. on The Ideas Network stations 101.3 & 91.9/Wausau, AM 930/Auburndale-Stevens Point, 99.1/Stevens Point, 100.9/Marshfield, 90.3/Park Falls, 89.1/Adams-Wisconsin Rapids, and 89.9/Rhinelander-Eagle River. It is re-broadcast Fridays at 7 p.m. on 90.9/Wausau. Program archives are available at wpr.org/route51.