In an effort to tout local businesses and thriving agro-tourism enterprises, the Poynette Area Chamber of Commerce and four organizations teamed up with Discover Wisconsin on an upcoming episode of the long-standing show.
Launched in the 1980s, Discover Wisconsin installments take viewers around the state, with each program highlighting specific tourism gems in various communities. In recent months, the show has featured segments on Baraboo, Sauk Prairie, Merrimac, Hudson and Richland Center. In March, Poynette will join the list of showcased areas.
Airing on March 14, a Discover Wisconsin program about Columbia County will include four Poynette area stops – Rock N Wool Winery, the MacKenzie Center, Creek Bed Country Farmacy and Lapacek’s Orchard. Additionally, the episode will highlight places in Portage, Columbus and Cambria.
According to Luke Walz, president of the Poynette Area Chamber of Commerce, the organization was approached by Discover Wisconsin to be a part of the regional episode. Walz, who said he’s always looking for ways to promote Poynette, was interested from the get-go.
“I felt because of the familiarity I personally had with the television program and how much it’s done for the state of Wisconsin, that it was a really good opportunity for us to showcase some of these newer businesses in our area,” Walz said.
The chamber ended up sponsoring one-third of Poynette’s share of the production costs, with the four selected places kicking in the rest. Walz said the chamber wanted to focus on things unique to the area that attract tourists.
“We were really trying to find those places that pull people in from outside of our area,” Walz said. “All four of them really are perfect fits for that.”
Poynette’s agricultural tourism is strong, according to Walz, making Rock N Wool Winery, Creek Bed Country Farmacy and Lapacek’s Orchard natural selections to highlight. And the MacKenzie Center, a widely-known educational and nature site, is another distinctive entity in Poynette. All four places are family-oriented, according to Walz, and appeal to a range of people.
“There’s something to do all year long,” Walz said, listing off the spots’ seasonal activities. “If you want to hang out and sip wine, you can do that. If you want to take your kids to the pumpkin patch, you can do that. If you want to pick strawberries, you can do that.”
Rock N Wool Winery, located off of Drake Road, uses only Wisconsin-grown grapes for its wines. Open Thursdays through Sundays, the winery also hosts weekly ladies nights and bingo twice a month.
On the corner of County Highway CS and Mountford Road, Creek Bed Country Farmacy offers pick-your-own strawberries, sweet corn, sunflower fields, a corn maze, pumpkin patch and other activities throughout the year.
Visitors can sample over 60 varieties of apples at Lapacek’s Orchard, located off of Kroncke Road, as well as pick pumpkins, enjoy the tractor tire playground and browse an on-site shop featuring gifts, food items and more.
Wedged between U.S. Highway 51 and State Highway 22 on County Highway CS, the MacKenzie Center boasts trails, exhibits and programs for all ages. The center hosts yearly events, such as the Maple Syrup Fest, candlelight hikes and a fall festival.
According to Jessica Murphy, the Discover Wisconsin producer working on the county’s episode, crews spent about four days filming in Poynette last year. In an email, she wrote that each installment is about 20 minutes long, with four different segments.
Locally, episodes of Discover Wisconsin air Saturdays at 6:30 p.m. on WKOW TV 27. The program can also be streamed on various smart devices, such as Roku. For more information about how to watch or upcoming episodes, visit www.discoverwisconsin.com