GREENLEAF, Wis. (WFRV) — For Miranda Demske, the vineyard growing outside her Greenleaf home is a dream come true.
“I actually consider my vines like my babies,” she told Local 5. “I care about them, every day in the summer I’m out here walking, in the winter I’m always concerned about what the weather’s doing to them.”
On Monday, she gave Local 5 a tour of Winealot Vineyards.
“These ones surrounding me are Frontenac grapes, in the back behind us will be, in spring, Marquette and Petite Pearl, and then I’ll plant some white ones,” she described.
Winealot is a vineyard with roots in the pandemic after Miranda’s hours in the healthcare field were cut.
“I was working less and less, and so I kind of used the opportunity to start building Winealot,” she said. “I always had the dream: I want to start a business, I want to start a winery, and I just took the extra time and took the opportunity and ran with it.”
The pandemic has also made some aspects of getting a vineyard up and running more complicated.
“I can’t go out and promote Winealot in-person as much as I would like to,” Miranda said, “with a lot of businesses being shut down it’s hard to get funding, it’s hard to just find everything and just doing it all by myself, I don’t have a lot of help.”
She does have the help of her husband and co-owner, Charlie.
“We really worked hard last summer getting all of these posts in and the vineyard set up, it was a lot of work,” he said.
The hard work isn’t done yet.
“Five acres of vineyard by the time I’m done planting,” Miranda said when asked how large the vineyard will be. “It might go bigger, we’ll see.”
Miranda’s vision for Winealot goes beyond the vines.
“Eventually my dream is to actually build a great big winery with the vineyard surrounding it,” she said. “That’s a long ways in the future.”
Miranda is currently working on acquiring the permits and licensing needed to produce wine and operate a winery.
She expects to have Winealot’s first wine produce by the end of the year.
For now, Miranda says she’s happy with the progress they’ve made.
“I keep such a close look on all my vines and all my stuff,” she said. ‘It’s a huge sense of pride. I absolutely love them.”