Hitting up Von Stiehl for a tour, wine tasting, and perhaps a beer from the new Tap Room is quite simply an obligation if you are anywhere close to Algoma.
The building is fascinating. The production areas are pristine and modern. The staff are extremely knowledgable and pleasurable. And finally, no other winery in Door County or anywhere else in the immediate region can touch Von Stiehl.
Let's get right down to business: The Barrel Select Cabernet is absolutely remarkable and would hold its own against some of my favorite red wines. It easily is on my top 3 list of reds which include Justin Isosceles (Paso Robles) and some nice French reds. As a Wisconsinite and new resident of Algoma, I'm proud that the Barrel Select is produced so close to "home" and very pleased that I have a few bottles in my personal collection.
The Von Stiehl "normal" Cabernet, Merlot, and Merlot Gamba are all excellent wines, and once, again, exceed the quality of many wines from more traditional wine producing areas. If you are a fan of dryer, more sophisticated reds, I don't think you can go wrong with the Von Stiehl cabs. I'm not a fan of sweeter reds, but understand that Von Stiehl has several wines that would match this type of palate.
As for whites, I typically will only buy dry whites from the French Burgundy or Alsace regions. That said, the Von Stiehl Chardonnay is an excellent white and, while perhaps not a substitute for some of my favorite French chardonnays, certainly a wine that can thoroughly be enjoyed. The Tranquility Lookout and White Stiletto are also great wines.
I do not have experience with any of Von Stieh's "fruit wines," but I'm tempted to open up a bottle of the Cherry Bounce after completing this review.
Beyond wines, Aric, Brad and the Von Stiehl team have an operation that makes the community of Algoma proud and produces products that will pleasantly surprise (if not shock) even the most sophisticated wine drinkers.
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