The Driftless Region is a land of surprises. The glaciers that shaped the majority of the state spared this region bordered by the Chippewa, Mississippi and Wisconsin Rivers. It is a landscape of high plateaus webbed with crystal clear rivers and cut by deep green valleys. Nearly every small stream that flows through the region is loaded with native brook trout and wild brown trout.
The wineries of the Driftless Region offer more traditional varieties of grape wine than any other region. The south-facing hillsides of this area offer an entirely different microclimate that allows for traditional grape varieties to be grown. Several of the hillside vineyards are reminiscent of vineyards in many parts of Europe. Maiden Rock Winery & Cidery is located on the scenic bluffs above the Mississippi River at Lake Pepin. Danzinger Vineyards sits high above the picturesque river city of Alma. Seven Hawks Vineyards offers a historic tasting room in Fountain City and vineyards overlooking the Mississippi River. Perched in the hills of Trempealeau County, the Tenba Ridge Winery rewards visitors with tasty wine and unbelievable views in an exquisite tasting room.
Elmaro Vineyard & West Prairie Winery grows cold-hardy grapes in a the beautiful Mississippi River Valley. The Burr Oak Winery features 100-year-old stained glass windows and vineyards set amid rolling farmland. Fawn Creek Winery is located in a quiet grove of maple, oak and pine, just minutes from the bustle of downtown Wisconsin Dells. Vernon Vineyards overlooks the Bad Axe River in western Wisconsin. Weggy Winery, in the beautiful rolling hills of Southwest Wisconsin, offers a one-hour narrated tram tour of the vineyard and orchards. The beautiful Spurgeon Vineyards & Winery is a great place to learn about grape growing and care. Fisher King Winery is in the charming Village of Mount Horeb. Wollersheim Winery is one of America’s oldest winery estates, with vineyards established before the Civil War. And the New Glarus Primrose Winery offers a wide selection of grape wines, as well as wines made from Wisconsin-grown cherries, apples, cranberries and rhubarb.
The winding roads dictated by the rugged landscape invites the traveler to savor the numerous rock formations, storybook farms and frequent panoramic views. The Mississippi River offers incredible scenic vistas and outstanding recreation. Lake Pepin and Lake Onalaska offer sailing and boating. The Wisconsin Great River Road winds through 33 historic river towns and is Wisconsin’s only National Scenic Byway. The Great River State Trail runs along the Mississippi River.
The communities of the Driftless Region are as interesting as the landscape. New Glarus is the perfect place to enjoy some authentic Swiss food, culture and architecture. Mount Horeb is located along the Military Ridge State Trail and is a favorite stop for bicyclists. Highland, Blair and New Lisbon offer countryside views and friendly communities. Viroqua serves as the unofficial capital of a region known for organic farms, incredible trout fishing and eclectic artisans. The Wisconsin Dells offers boat tours that provide up-close views of the dazzling rock formations that give the area its name. Trempealeau, Fountain City, Alma and Stockholm, all on Wisconsin’s Great River Road, offer historic Main Streets and breathtaking views of the Mississippi River and the bluffs. Muscoda and Prairie du Sac are ideal jumping off points for exploring the Lower Wisconsin River, whose wide banks and scattered islands present a timeless landscape to paddlers, hikers and sightseers.