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Wisconsin wine: Picking grapes at a Prescott vineyard

When you think of Wisconsin, your first thought is probably either the Green Bay Packers or cheese. But what about wine?

PRESCOTT, Wis. — Nestled among neighboring corn fields in Prescott, Wisconsin, is the Foy family's two-acre chunk of wine country.

The vineyard is made up of one acre of red grapes, the other white, both bred by the University of Minnesota to withstand the Midwest's cold temperatures.

"It's been 35-below here and they've survived," said Erroll Foy, who moved to the acreage with his family from Minneapolis several years ago.

"It wasn't a vineyard when we moved here... this area here was just a pasture," he said. "We just thought, well, we're going to get into growing grapes, so that's what it is."

The Foy family's hobby, which they call Big River Vineyard, is an intensive one. On a Saturday morning in September, it was all-hands-on-deck for "picking day." Family and friends helped to pluck nearly 9,000 pounds of grapes.

With the right amount of help, the white grapes are loaded up by noon and taken to Villa Bellezza winery in Pepin, Wisconsin, where they are made into wine.

"I was joking when we planted [the vines], I was kind of waiting for the little bottles to start growing off those vines, you know," Foy said.

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