Top 5 Reasons to Visit Vino in the Valley During the Last Weekend of our Regular Season

Wow folks, we can’t believe it’s already that time of year.  Yes, after this weekend we’ll be putting the pasta pots and sauté pans away for the 2012 season. If you just thought to yourself, “Wait! I didn’t get my fill of Vino in the Valley yet!” then you’re in luck!  We would love to invite you to visit us during this last weekend of the regular season!  

There are 5 reasons why we think you should come down and spend some time with us on Saturday, October 27 and Sunday, October 28!  Here the list David Letterman style…

  1. As mentioned above, this will be your last opportunity to enjoy our delicious pastas, appetizers, and salads until we open in May for the 2013 season.  That’s six whole months from now!
  2. We’ve wrapped most of the pavilion and have the heaters ready to go.  As you know, we can keep things pretty toasty in the pavilion.
  3. The bonfires will be going and there’s nothing like enjoying a crisp fall day and a glass of wine in front of one!  
  4. This weekend is your last opportunity to use your Vino in the Valley Living Social coupon.  Don’t worry, we don’t judge procrastinators. (NOTE: Per the offer’s terms, one Living Social deal per table).  
  5. And finally, the Reis Belgians will be here giving horse-drawn rides throughout the vineyard and down to the Rush River.

Yes, we’re looking forward to our last Fall Family Weekend this weekend!  Hope to see you!

P.S. Keep your eye on our Facebook page for details regarding Christmas at Vino in the Valley! Featuring our famous brick oven Pizza’s and Italian Nachos, along with baked potato bar and hot Chili to enjoy by the fire. Horse-drawn sleigh rides, Santa and Mrs. Claus, local choirs performing traditional Christmas songs. Choose your family’s fresh cut Christmas tree. It’s a little like walking into a Norman Rockwell painting. Beginning Friday, November 23 and running each weekend up until Christmas, be sure to reserve a weekend on your calendar to spend with us!

Pavilion Ready for Cooler Temps

Don’t think because the weather has turned cooler that you still can’t enjoy Vino in the Valley!  Most of the pavilion has been wrapped to keep the cooler temps out (and rain!) and the warmer temps in.  Looking forward to another Fall Family Weekend this weekend!  Hope to see you!

Announcement: Closed this Evening, October 4

Due to falling temps, clouds, and wind today we will NOT be open this evening. A perfect evening for you to put those feet up and relax in front of the fireplace at home…rest up cause we’re sure you’ll want come down to Vino this weekend! We will be open regular hours tomorrow (and will have the NW side of the pavilion wrapped to keep the wind out), Saturday from 12-10pm for Fall Festival, and Sunday from 12-6pm.

Our Favorite Day of the Year: Fall Festival/Customer Appreciation

We would also like to extend a formal invitation to you and your friends to join us for our upcoming customer appreciation day!  Join us this Saturday, October 6, for Fall Festival: Swirl, Sip, Savor!  We’ve planned a big event for you this year, full of activities, food, artisan vendors, and prizes!  And best of all, it’s dedicated to you – our customers. 

Slight Schedule Change this Saturday, September 29…

We’ll be celebrating a bit of history this Saturday as the last wedding will be held at Vino in the Valley (Unless Larry ever gets married! Ha!). And, we don’t think it could be any more fitting that this event be in honor of two of our very own! Sending out a great big early congrats to Jenna and Shawn! The ceremony will take place at 2:30 on the lawn west of the pavilion. Bella Sera Patio Bar will still open at 1:00, but the pavilion will not open until 3:30 to allow the staff to rearrange and prepare for the public. Thank you for your understanding and we look forward to seeing everyone!

Plan a Trip to Western Wisconsin

When planning your “end of summer getaway” this year you don’t need to go far to take pleasure in beautiful sights, sounds, and food!  A trip close to home that the entire family will enjoy is just the ticket!  Vino in the Valley is honored to be a part of Western Wisconsin Taste & Tours, and is proud to showcase our fellow members in this month’s edition!  How about combining your next visit to Vino in the Valley with a stop to one or all of these wonderful businesses…

Explore the underground world of stalactites and stalagmites at Crystal Cave in Spring Valley. You can discover the wonders of Crystal Cave on their one-hour tour and learn about the history, geology, and bats of Wisconsin’s longest cave!  There’s a lot to do above ground too: gem panning, hiking, picnicking, and shopping in their educational gift shop. There’s always something new to see at Crystal Cave and you are guaranteed an adventure that is truly under this world!

Sailer’s Meats in Elmwood has been servicing Western Wisconsin since 1923 (five generations of professional meat processors).  Often their meats are featured on our menu.  They offer a full line of retail cuts along with many award winning sausages, including brats, wieners, summer sausage, bologna, snack stix & strips. Sailer’s also carries many smoked and cured products, including award winning smoked beef, bacon and smoked ham.

Don’t miss stopping in at the Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery, also known as the Cheese Curd Capital of WI, for their famous fresh cheddar cheese curds.  Pick them up warm and squeaky-fresh 7 days a week at 11am!  Their retail store also carries a vast selection of flavored curds and specialty cheese, as well as meats, crackers, souvenirs, unique kitchenware and gift items. For the latest in events and specials be sure to ‘like’ them on Facebook!

At Flat Pennies Ice Cream, Hwy 35 in Bay City, you’ll find food so good it can stop a train, literally. It’s not uncommon for the crews of passing Burlington Northern Sante Fe trains to stop along the tracks for a BBQ Hot Beef Sandwich and ice cream treat. With so many options along their route, you know Flat Pennies has to be good.  We’ve been featuring their Turtle Ice Cream Cakes here at Vino all season, and they’ve been a hit!  The kids will love exploring their authentic SooLine Caboose (#27) before continuing on your travels! They have a fun Facebook page you’ll want to follow, too!

So plan your own Western Wisconsin Taste and Tour this fall, and after exploring all the beautiful scenery and sights, end your day with dinner at Vino in Valley along the beautiful Rush River in Maiden Rock.

We’re Worth the Wait

We’re heading into a busy time at Vino in the Valley.  While we’re sure to have some warm days ahead, the cooler temperatures and spectacular colors of Fall tend to attract larger crowds than normal.  Don’t get us wrong, we’re not trying to deter you from visiting, quite the contrary.  We just wish to make you aware and share some “insider” information about less busier times, so you can plan your visit accordingly.

Through the month of September we’re open Thursday evenings from 5pm – 10pm and just this year we also added Friday evenings, from 5pm – 10pm, to our schedule.  We’ve welcomed same great crowds on Thursdays and Fridays, however, these would be among our slowest times.  If you can plan a weekday visit, you won’t regret it!

Saturdays are by far our busiest days!  We open Bella Sera at 1pm for cocktails, with the Pavilion open from 3pm – 10pm for dinner.  Bella Sera starts out the day in leisurely fashion; however, once 4 o’clock rolls around, things can get busy.  There have been waits as long as 3 hours for dinner, and to be honest, we’ve had to turn people away upon occasion, which is disappointing for us and for them.  

There are many factors that determine how busy a Saturday will be, including the weather, the entertainment scheduled, and the number of larger groups with reservations (our reservation policy can be found here).  While we can never guarantee how busy we will be in advance of the day, if you are coming from a distance to visit us, we welcome you to call ahead.  We’re happy to share any insight with you regarding the size of crowds we expect.

On Sundays we’re open from 12pm-6pm.  We tend to start and end the day a little busier, which coincides with traditional meal times.  However, if you’re flexible enough to enjoy a late lunch or early dinner, Sunday afternoons are generally a wonderful time to visit, with much smaller crowds and a more leisurely tone to the day.  Again, we welcome you to call ahead in advance of your visit to confirm any unusual crowds or events.

Believe us when we say, “We’re worth the wait!”  If you visit our Facebook page you’ll see all the wonderful posts and comments from our followers sharing about their Vino in the Valley experiences.  Our philosophy has always been open and honest communication with our guests.  We’ve become a popular destination and there can be a wait time of up to an hour or more.  Even with a reservation, there could be a wait time as we put tables together for your group.  Please know we will always do whatever we can to get all our guests seated in a timely manner.

If you do experience a wait, we have plenty of options for you to pass the time:

  • Enjoy a glass of wine and take a stroll down to the river, or through the vineyard
  • Sit by the gazebo with friends and listen to our live entertainment
  • Check out the offerings in our gift shop and the Farmers Market
  • Play a game of bean bag toss or ladder golf

When you come to Vino in the Valley, plan on a leisurely, relaxing experience! We want you to take your time and enjoy all that Vino in the Valley has to offer!

Larry and the Vino in the Valley team

Reed Grimm to Perform!

We are very excited to announce that Reed Grimm (local boy turned American Idol finalist) will be here to perform with his mom, Colleen Raye, on August 5, 2012.  Mark your calendars!  You can look forward to a couple music sets and then Reed just hanging out with Vino guests and signing autographs!  We’re excited and expect to have a great turnout!  Come on out and join in the excitement of welcoming our hometown celebrity!

Faces of Diabetes Fundraiser at Vino

Those of you who know Vino in the Valley owner, Larry, know that he’s very passionate about juvenile diabetes.  His nephew, Nathan, was diagnosed at the age of 13 and Larry seen firsthand the effects this disease can have on young lives.  Unlike adult-onset diabetes (also referred to as type 2), juvenile diabetes cannot be reversed through exercise and diet like type 2 can.  That means a lifetime of constant management, medical care and sometimes complications.  What we need is more knowledge about the cause of this disease and funding for a cure.  We’re inviting you all to join Larry and the Vino in the Valley staff in supporting this cause by attending a great event we have each summer at Vino, The Faces of Diabetes.

Vino’s New Bar now has a Name

The idea for a separate outdoor bar area has been brewing in our minds for a while now.  People really enjoy being close to the vines and soaking in the beautiful surroundings!  We started construction on the new Vino in the Valley fixture on March 19 and it quickly began to take shape.

It really is a beautiful structure, if we do say so ourselves.  In true Vino-style, a cupola adorns the bar’s roof.  Interior accents of burned cedar add a warm and rustic feel.  Acid stained, diamond polished countertops of re-enforced cement are a classy touch to the bar’s top.  Complete with sandblasted Vino in the Valley logo and inlayed fiber optic lighting, the surface looks like a sky full of stars at night.

It’s been a popular attraction since its completion in early May.  As we suspected, the bar location is perfect for our guests to enjoy the vineyard and the surrounding valley.  There was just one problem; the bar had no name.  They say a bar with no name is a bar just the same, but we figured a name would make it feel more like part of the family. Thankfully we have some very creative minds among our many newsletter subscribers and Facebook followers!

The “Name That Bar Contest” began on June 1.  As expected, we had over 340 bar name suggestions (you can see the full list here).  A group of our staff members gathered to narrow the long list of submissions down to the top 5, which was a difficult and nerve wracking feat.  From there we opened up the final voting to our Facebook page followers; we turn to them first whenever faced with a difficult decision.

The voters came out in droves, the winning name was determined by 488 votes, and we announced the new name at our Summer Solstice Party on June 22.  The bar was officially christened Bella Sera.  We wish to thank everyone for contributing so many wonderful name ideas, especially Rita Lawton who suggested Bella Sera.  “You can’t find a more beautiful place than Vino in the Valley.” said Lawton. “Bella Sera just fits.”

And our owner, Larry Brenner, agrees.  “I love it! We wanted something that fit with Vino in the Valley but still felt like its own entity. Bella Sera is the perfect mix!”

For submitting the winning entry, Rita Lawton received $300 in Sun Country travel vouchers, a $50 Vino in the Valley gift certificate, and most important, everlasting bragging rights. “That’s the best part of the prize,” said Lawton.

If you have yet to visit Bella Sera, we invite you to spend an afternoon or evening with us to test out the ambiance for yourself.  We’re in the height of our summer season and our hours can be found here.  Enjoy a glass of wine or a beer at Bella Sera and dinner under the pavilion.  We also have some fun events and entertainment planned for the coming weeks.  Regardless of when you visit, you’re sure to have a wonderful time.