Summer Strawberry Slush

At our June cooking class, Kathy McCarthy from Schoolhouse Artisan Cheese, in Door County, shared a wonderful slush recipe with those attending.  Of course, we had an opportunity to try it also and just HAVE TO SHARE WITH YOU!

We were able to use FRESH strawberries from Prellwitz Produce, which are amazing, however since the season is over in our area, pick up some fresh or frozen from the grocery store.

READY?  It is super easy:

1 – 12 oz. package sliced frozen or fresh strawberries
1 Can Cream of Coconut
1 Large Can Pineapple Juice

Mix first 3 ingredients in a blender and blend till smooth.
Either pour the mixture in a bowl, or better yet, use ice cube trays!

The worst part…you have to wait until this mixture is frozen!  :(

We were able to use FRESH strawberries from Prellwitz Produce, which are amazing, however since the season is over in our area, pick up some fresh or frozen from the grocery store.

Scoop slush, or place ice cubes in a serving glass and pour

Vine & Rushes Wiskonsan Sweet strawberry grape blend


Lead Shot Strawberry Hard Cider

over the slush.

You may need to allow the frozen slush to thaw a bit, then stir.

Homemade Wine Flavored Ice Cream Recipe

We have a "guest blogger" who created this amazing recipe using our Wiskonsan and Marquette Rose` wines.  Veronica Shah is a photographer & recipe creator. 

Thanks Veronica for sharing with us!

Besides pairing very well with a wide range of dishes, wine can be incorporated into lots of delicious recipes. A good wine can be used as an ingredient in appetizers, mains and desserts.

Using your favorite wine and a few other key ingredients, you can make your own wine flavored ice cream at home, which we will be showing you how to do in this post!

Ingredients required

You can either use red or white wine for this recipe; you will need a one cup serving of either. Because the recipe makes use of fresh berries, fruity wines such as Vines & Rushes 2015 Wiskonsan and 2015 Marquette Rose` work really well. You want to use chilled wine, so you can either chill a bottle in an ice bucket or grab one straight from your cooler (check out these dual zone wine cooler reviews if you’re on the lookout for a cooler to store a variety of wines.)

Together with the wine you will also need one cup of granulated sugar, two cups of cold heavy whipping cream, two tablespoons of dry milk powder, two tablespoons of corn starch, one teaspoon of salt, one cup of pureed mixed berries and the scrapings from two vanilla pods.


Add all of the ingredients besides the whipping cream and berries to a bowl and whisk together with an egg beater until everything is well combined.

In another large bowl, use a hand mixer to beat the whipping cream for a minute or so, until it is nice and fluffy. To it add the pureed berries & wine mixture and combine everything with the hand mixer until you are left with a homogenous mixture. Then pour the mixture into a deep container and place it in your freezer overnight.

The following morning your wine flavored ice cream will be ready to enjoy. Be sure to share it with friends and family!

Why do I get headaches from drinking Red Wine?


This is a question that I am often asked when serving wine in the tasting room. There are times when I have had several glasses through the course of an evening and felt absolutely great, and there are times when I have had one glass and felt less than great. The answer is obviously more complicated than the amount consumed.

Many people tell me they think it's the sulfites in wine, particularly red wines, that give them headaches. I guess people make that correlation because 99% of all wines state on the label, "Contains sulfites". The reality is that sulfites exist naturally on the skins of grapes and are produced through the process of fermentation. It is virtually impossible to produce a wine that is totally sulfite free. The problem with the red wine sulfite theory is that white wines generally have a lot more sulfites than red wines. In addition, there are more sulfites found in cheeses, beer, french fries and dried fruits.

Another theory is that the tannin in red wines can give you headaches. Tannin is an acid found in the skins and seeds of grapes that leave your palate with a sense of astringency and give wine texture and structure. I am not aware of scientific proof that tannin is difficult for the body to metabolize. The cold climate varietals used at Vines & Rushes typically have a chemistry that has often half the tannins of our California and European red wine counterparts.

The most likely culprit is the histamines that are contained in the skins of red grapes. These can be anywhere from 20 to 200 percent more than in white wines. If you have a sensitivity to histamines you may be more prone to get a headache. One suggestion I have heard of is to take something like Allegra or Zyrtec before drinking a glass of red wine.

If you are not sensitive to histamines, then the reason you may sometimes feel less than great is that the wine may be of poor quality. If the wine was only five dollars for a bottle, then chances are it was mass produced and industrially processed. These cheap wines can contain preservatives and higher levels of sulfites in order to avoid spoilage for the large volumes of wine that may sit a long time before you get to consume them.

In the end the jury is still out on this issue. The goal is to enjoy wine in moderation and to find those wineries and wine styles that you find most pleasing to you.

Avoiding the Spring Frost

The recent frosts throughout Wisconsin have had a significant impact on grapes and some other fruit crops in Wisconsin. Our 5 acre vineyard here at Vines & Rushes came through the frost relatively unscathed. Our Marquette vines had just started showing green growth and about 5% of the buds froze. We left a few more buds at pruning time so that won't be noticeable at harvest. The Petite Pearl and St Pepin vines were just starting to push new buds out and were therefore more safe and weren't affected at all by the frost.

For the other Wisconsin growers that we purchase grapes from, the damage is more mixed. Some growers had extensive damage, some moderate damage and some very little. We've built great relationships with many growers throughout the state over the past few years and don't foresee an issue with meeting our grape needs for our 2016 harvest.

As a winery that produces our wines exclusively from Wisconsin grown products, the risks of agriculture in any given year or season can certainly have an impact on our grape supply and the amount of each wine that we can make. With that said, we work with a number of great growers from throughout the state that help us to ensure you of a supply of delicious wines year after year!


It is time for the old guy, the one with the beard, also known as the winemakers father or Nolia and Sadie’s Pa Pa, to write a blog post.

I am also known in other circles as the strawberry grower. We at Prellwitz Produce are extremely happy to be able to provide the strawberries that go into the Wiskonsan and Lead Shot strawberry hard cider.

The most asked question when the winery was being built was will you make a strawberry wine. Although Ryan the winemaker is partial to great Wisconsin grape wines he had no choice but to make a strawberry wine. By blending the best of both worlds he was able to come up with a winning wine we call Wiskonsan. It has become a very popular wine. If you have not tried it, you should, it might surprise you even if you are not a fruit wine drinker.

Now to where I fit in. We, my wife Diane and I have been growing strawberries for more than twenty years and have developed a following of people who love strawberries. We have around 12 acres of berries that we pick every year. We allow you to come to the farm and pick your own (PYO) or we hire local school kids to pick berries for you that we sell in a building behind the winery. We have some awesome young people that pick a lot of berries, some days they pick more then we can sell so those berries come up to the winery and get pressed into juice for wine. It is a win for both of us as we never have to hold berries over to try and sell the next day and Ryan gets the strawberry juice he needs to make the Wiskonsan. When I started farming 40 some years ago, I had no idea where it would lead me.

To be where we are now was not on the map, but I would not change a thing. It is exciting to be where we are now, serving people who enjoy the products we produce and the experience we provide.