PESHTIGO, Wis. (WFRV) - Wisconsin's wine industry is booming. That's no secret to Joe Callow. He and his wife opened Forgotten Fire Winery in Peshtigo last October.
"We make a lot of mid-western fruit wines," Callow explained. "Everything from Door County apples to cherries and blackberries."
He said what started as a hobby grew like wildfire.
"We thought it'd be just a nice side project, just weekends," said Callow. "A way for me to make more wine and do more fun things and be more a part of the community. We made our cranberry wine for Thanksgiving and then we ran out in 9 days so we really started thinking we had something here."
Callow said it only took about six weeks to realize he needed to expand. He's now working to add about 3,000 square feet of production space, and rooms for events and private parties.
The winemaker is pouring almost all of his time into the business. He put a cork in his old career
and now runs Forgotten Fire Winery full time.
Callow currently bottles around 200 cases a month, and that's just enough to keep up with the demand.
"The reaction from the community and all of our friends and new customers, it's so positive," he said. "We see so many people coming back. We have people coming from Manitowoc and Sheboygan and Wausau coming for their second and third time."
Callow said sees Wisconsin's winery success flowing into the future.
"We're in a lot of local restaurants around town so we're actually seeing a lot of good things happen for us. We're going to go full steam ahead now."
Callow said the expansion project should be complete by the end of the month.
For more on Forgotten Fire Winery, click here.