Adam Rabe, The Wine Gardener

My name is Adam Rabe and I am the wine gardener. I have been growing grapes for eight years here in Wisconsin. I first got the grape addiction nine years ago from a garden client of mine (Tim) who is now a close friend. After completion of a pond garden that I constructed for Tim he gave me a few bottles of wine that he produced. While enjoying a glass of wine with Tim he got to telling me that he wished he was younger so he could start a vineyard. That’s when it hit me. I love wine, I’m good with plants, and I myself am young. From then on the addiction had a hold of me. That winter I found whatever resources I could find on growing grapes in Wisconsin. That next spring I planted 325 vines of six different varietals Marechal Foch, Leon Millot. St. Pepin. LaCross, Kay Gray, and Mars seedless table grape. Needing more knowledge than what books could give I headed west to California and got a job with Laprenda Vineyard Management in Sonoma. I overwintered there for two seasons growing skills that I needed to become a successful grape grower. Feeling the need for more, I traveled to New Zealand and got a job at Villa Maria Winery. There I learned their farming techniques and moved into the winery when harvest came in. That season the winery had a record crush of over 14,000 tons of grapes. It was an experience which I will never forget. Ever since then my time has been spent in Wisconsin sharing the knowledge I have acquired with my peers. In the present I am a member of the board of the Wisconsin Vintners Association on of the largest clubs in the state. The club has been a great asset to growing the wine and grape industry in Wisconsin.

Now that I have become a successful vintner I am now taking my grapes to market. I keep most of the wine grapes for myself, but am offering my delicious Mars table grapes to the public. I chose this variety because of its strong decease resistance to our unforgiving climate. It also has a hard leathery leaf that keeps insects from eating them which allows me to avoid having to spay insecticides. Mars is a dark purple grape similar to concords without the seeds and tough skin. Eating them is like drinking strait welch’s grape juice and also great for jam. If you get a chance to enjoy these grapes know that they’ve been grown with much care and love. Cheers!

The Wine Gardener,
Adam Rabe