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Wine on the water – a grape combination

Door County's newest and only winery on the lakeshore opens in Baileys Harbor

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June 28, 2023

BAILEYS HARBOR – Melissa Joppe – the co-owner of Forgotten Fire Winery in Peshtigo and now Lake Fire Winery in Baileys Harbor – said she knows a thing or two about wine.

The Door County native said when she and business partner/husband Chris started talking about opening a second winery, locating it somewhere on Wisconsin’s peninsula – more specifically Baileys Harbor – was always part of the conversation.

“Lake Fire Winery is a combination of our history and our new winery in Baileys Harbor,” Joppe said. “When we began planning for a second location, Door County was a way to bring childhood memories and future business opportunities together.”

Growing up in Door County, Joppe said she credits frequent visits to Baileys Harbor, along with its atmosphere and variety of food and drink options, as the inspiration for opening the winery in the area.

“Baileys Harbor didn’t have a winery,” she said. “We thought by opening Lake Fire Winery, we could complement the other great restaurants and drinking establishments in town.”

The winery, located at 8054 State Highway 57 in Baileys Harbor, opened last month and is Door County’s only winery located on the lakeshore.

In connection with its sister winery – Forgotten Fire Winery in Peshtigo, which opened in 2011 – Joppe said Lake Fire Winery also has a flame in its logos, highlighting the two establishment’s brand connection.

Keeping with the fire theme and being located on the shores of Lake Michigan, Joppe said they felt like Lake Fire Winery seemed like a good fit for a name.

Not just wine
Joppe said the winery offers a diverse assortment of wines – available at the tasting bar or on the patio overlooking Lake Michigan.

“Our wines range from dry to sweet and include red, white, fruit, sparkling, dessert and port-style varieties,” she said. “We’ve only been open a few weeks, but our Cabernet Franc Aged in Bourbon Barrels and our Pinot Gris are both popular.”

The winery also offers a rotating variety of hard apple ciders, wine spritzers, hard seltzers and wine slushies, as well as a Wisconsin beer option and non-alcoholic sodas.

Joppe said ciders are handcrafted using apples from Seaquist Orchards Door County.

Melissa Joppe

Flavors on tap include blueberry apple, strawberry apple, pineapple apple and hop apple.

Joppe said mimosa Flights are also available in cranberry, orange, blackberry and of course, the iconic Door County cherry.

While the primary focus at Lake Fire Winery is the beverages, Joppe said there are a handful of light snack options available onsite.

However, Joppe said she hopes her winery will also encourage customers to support other local establishments, too.

“Many wonderful restaurants and food trucks are only steps away,” she said. “We encourage customers to grab take-out or bring a picnic lunch to enjoy on-site at our winery. We have a beautiful patio, garden and lawn that leads down to the shoreline of Lake Michigan to enjoy.”

Joppe said the winery not only offers a scenic spot to relax and have a glass of wine, but it welcomes everyone.

“We hope you bring your family in to enjoy our winery,” she said. “We have outdoor games and
casual spaces for you to hang out with friends and family.”

Between service and hospitality, Joppe said the winery’s ambiance mirrors the town’s congenial community.

She said the entire team – which she said she “deeply appreciates” – at Lake Fire Winery is looking forward to serving customers and connecting with the closely-knit Baileys Harbor community.

“Our staff is family,” she said. “Whether it be family by blood or our ‘fire’ family from Peshtigo, we couldn’t do it without them.”

Joppe said the winery will soon kick off summer with live music on the patio on select nights from 5-7 p.m. 

More details can be found on the winery’s Facebook page.

The tasting room and patio are open daily from noon to 8 p.m.

“We hope you enjoy your visit,” she said.

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