Open: Summer and Fall
Nestled in the heart of apple orchard country, Autumn Harvest Winery was opened in July of 2005, by John & Marykay McIlquham. The John McIlquham family has been growing apples for three generations, nearly 90 years, in the small township of Lafayette, Chippewa County, Wisconsin. Our story goes like this:
In 1924, John D. McIlquham and his brother, James, purchased an orchard on County Hwy OO. They operated the orchard together until 1929. At that time, orchard was split (each brother taking half). John D. and his wife, Elsie, and their four children operated the orchard until 1976. After John D.'s retirement in 1976, their eldest son, John J. Mcllquham and his wife, Katherine, purchased the "OO" orchard. John and Katherine already owned and operated an orchard one mile north, which they purchased in 1964, called "J&K Orchard"(our current location) They made this orchard their home along with their three children. The J&K Orchard was so named for two reasons (first initial of each of their names) and (it is was located on the corner of county highways J & K). John J. and Katherine owned and operated both orchards as John McIlquham Orchards until their retirement in 2000.
Today, John E. McIlquham, his wife, Marykay, and their two children own and operate the families orchard on the corner of Co. Hwy J & K. Sadly, John J. McIlquham passed away September 22, 2004 and never saw the reopening of the "J&K Orchard". By taking Marykay's hobby of wine-making and adding it to the existing John McIlquham Orchard family business, they have added something new to the traditional orchard experience.
Since opening, the winery production as grown from 6 wines 12 wines. We produce wines that are light, crisp and full of fruit flavor. All of our wines are fermented in small batches (300 gal). We use a variety of apples, grapes, whole fruit and fruit juices to produce our wines. Our apple wines are fermented using apples grown in our orchard. Everything from start to finish is done by hand - that is, bottled, corked and labeled by hand at our winery facility east of Chippewa Falls!
In September of 2007, Grampa Mac's Hard Apple Cider was introduced. The cider is a crisp, lightly carbonated fermented apple beverage. With an alcohol content of 6%, this beverage is lighter than an apple wine yet still has the full apple flavor cider enthusiasts crave.
In 2011, four of our wines brought home medals from the inaugural Wisconsin State Fair Professional Wine Competition! 2012 brought two new wines. Our first 100% Wisconsin grape wine was introduced in May. Frontenac Limited Reserve is a dry Wisconsin red from locally grown vineyard. Harvest Moonis a sweet, peach & grape blend. If you like Muscato wine, you'll LOVE Harvest Moon! 2013 will be the second release of a 100% Wisconsin white wine. LaCrescent is a semi-sweet white wine from Chippewa Falls growers, CR Vineyards.
Schedule:This is a GREAT annual family, fun event! This event is a full weekend of family FUN!Live music, Firewoods Traveling Pizzeria will be cooking up fantastic pizza, and we will have free wagon rides, pick-your-own apples, wine tasting and FREE…Read More »