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Discover Wisconsin: Stops on the Driftless Wisconsin Wine and Cheese Trail
The Driftless Wisconsin Wine and Cheese Trail welcomes its travelers to enjoy Wisconsin's agritourism industry by taking in the region's stunning views and delicious wines and cheeses. And let's be honest - wine, cheese and beautiful vistas is the perfect recipe for happiness. While these businesses are wonderful year-round, there are two weekends each year when visitors are welcomed in a special way: April 13, 14 and 15 and Oct. 12, 13 and 14. Here are just a few can't-miss stops along the trail.

1. Arena Cheese Inc. (Arena)

Arena Cheese is one of Wisconsin's oldest continuously-operating cheese plants. Famous for dubbing the Wisconsin original "Colby-Jack," Arena Cheese has crafted this favorite since 1979. Stop by on the way to Taliesin, the famous home of Frank Lloyd Wright, just a few miles away.

2. Rock N Wool Winery (Poynette)

Rock N Wool Winery prides itself on making Wisconsin wines with purely Wisconsin-grown grapes. Located on 40 acres in Poynette, its grounds are perfect for picnics, tastings and parties ... plus, the sheep and donkeys are an attraction themselves!

3. Carr Valley Cheese (La Valle)

Carr Valley Cheese is more than 100 years old and is nestled in the rolling hills of central Wisconsin. Famous for making cheese the old-fashioned way, Carr Valley has won several awards over the years while remaining one of Wisconsin's traditional cheese plants.

4. Weggy Winery (Muscoda)

One of the state's largest vineyards can be found at Weggy Winery, as well as an extensive orchard. The winery and tasting room are housed in what remains of an old 1935 dairy barn with massive stone walls and a cave-like atmosphere. The grounds are also available for RV camping atop a beautiful hilltop overlooking the winery and vineyard.

5. Nordic Creamery (Westby)

Nordic Creamery is a small, family-run dairy farm, which has been owned and operated by the Bekkum family since its immigration from Norway in 1917. Nordic Creamery has won dozens of national and international awards for its products, including artisan cheeses and handcrafted small-batch butters.

6. Wollersheim Winery and Distillery (Prairie Du Sac)

We've covered cheese, we've covered wine ... it's time for a distillery. Wollersheim Winery sits on a gorgeous hillside overlooking the Wisconsin River and is home to 30 acres of vineyards. While Wollersheim Winery is a leader in the Midwest, the recently opened distillery on the property is a huge hit too. Try the apple brandy, or go the classic route with rose, Riesling or chardonnay.

Wisconsin's Driftless region is gorgeous in its own right and should be at the top of anyone's Wisconsin bucket list, but when the rolling hills and stunning views are paired with the unrivaled duo of wine and cheese, this experience can't be topped. What stops have you made along the Driftless Wisconsin Wine and Cheese Trail?

- Kristen Finstad is a crew member of the nation's longest-running tourism TV show, "Discover Wisconsin." The column is published Tuesday on the Life page in the Times.