Badger NAMA Grape-Picking Adventure

Written by NAMA on Wednesday, October 25, 2006 , 8:01 am

Badger NAMA membersAbout 20 Badger NAMA members braved the chill of Wisconsin’s fall September air to experience a firsthand look at the state’s winemaking industry while raising funds for NAMA students.

The UW-Platteville and UW-Madison student NAMA chapters utilized an offer from Botham Vineyards & Winery to help with the annual grape harvest in exchange for donations to each chapter’s treasury.

Volunteers spent the day walking in teams of two down each side of a row of grapes, clipping bunches from the vines and putting them into lugs that hold approximately 25 pounds of grapes. The lugs were then hauled to the winery to be crushed.

About 40 percent of Botham’s grape crop was harvested that day, which will be made into a Wisconsin Dry Red Wine called Uplands Reserve. Uplands Reserve is the only red wine made solely from grapes grown at Botham Vineyards. Botham supplements their crop with grapes grown in the Finger Lakes region of New York and make 10 wines, four of which are red and six white.

This was a significant fund-raising opportunity for both student NAMA chapters,” said Sarah Botham of Botham Vineyards.

She also said that both the professional and student NAMA volunteers received an education about one of Wisconsin’s alternative ag sectors.

“People generally have a very romantic perception of wine making, but agriculture is very much involved,” Botham said.

Sarah Botham owns Botham Vineyards and Winery with her husband, Peter, in Barneveld, Wis. Sarah is also the UW-Madison student NAMA advisor. For more information about Botham Vineyards & Winery, visit their website at

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