Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Wollersheim Winery: Vino de Wisconsin?

In an effort to broaden my horizons and explore the world of wine, I've been trying to visit different wineries in my travels. Wollershiem Winery is located in Praire Du Sac, Wisonsin. This is located on the steep slopes next to the Wisconsin River. There are over 30 wineries in Wisconsin- although many of them make cherry or fruit wines.

The grounds are well maintained and quite attractive. This vineyard is set up really well for visitors, who get a glance of real grape vines, the aging cave, and a great tasting/retail area.
I wish I would have purchased more wine, but these two were some of my favorites. The Praire Fume is a light, off-dry fume blanc with fruit, light minerals, and low acidity. It is unoaked and clean tasting, that represents the fume blanc taste well.

The Dry Riesling is the first non-sweet riesling I've tasted. The Gold Riesling (sweet) and the Dry Riesling were both pleasant tasting, delicious and juicy examples of the riesling grape. The difference is the dry riesling has lower sugar content- it's more of an off-dry or semi-sweet wine, and I find that it really goes well with the unique riesling taste. The best part about these wines are, they are reasonable- the three whites I've referred to are only $8/bottle at the winery, which is quite reasonable for a decent, local wine.

This winery also made a lot of French-style "light" red wines, in the style of Beujolais wines. While lighter reds are not my favorite style of wines, these were very true to the style and still moderately priced.

If you are in the area and want to check it out, I recommend it- the free tasting was informative, and their retail area was impressive. A good experience, and some good wines to boot.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Longs Peak Summit!

Longs Peak

First 14er attempt/summit!

I recently climbed Longs Peak in Colorado. It's 14,255 feet above sea level, with roughly 5,000 feet of elevation gain. It's also 7.5 miles each way. It is rated as "difficult" because of the altitude, exposure, and a few somewhat technical sections. I'm happy to say that my friend and I were able to summit it on our first attempt. We did pass people on the way up, on to a respectable time of 4 hours and 41 minutes from trailhead to summit.

The first 3 are taken in "the trough"; It's very hard work climbing up a loose 40% average grade.
Danny climbing near the bottom of "The Trough"
Looking up at the exit to the trough section

Looking down on "the trough" from the top

Looking Northwest from the top of the trough.

Looking West from "the Ledges" section at Mt. Pagoda
Looking South from "the ledges" area towards the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area

Danny navigating the crux of "the narrows" section.
Danny on "the ledges" section

Danny resting at the end of "the narrows" section
"the homestretch"

Danny getting ready to top out on Longs Peak

Looking NW on the summit, which is as big as a football field.

Looking SW from the summit.
We are happy to summit! We dont' even know these people.
 Awesome mountain, great route, and a fun time! I will be back to this awesome place. I felt like this was a huge accomplishment being my first 14er. Our success was due in part to our extensive training, and also the great weather and early start.