EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the second article in a series on Milton-area wineries.

Located in the historic Sunnyview Orchard Warehouse at 232 S. Janesville St.—the lime mortar building dating back to 1844—the Northleaf Winery has a rustic coziness perfect for sharing a bottle of wine with a special person or a group of friends.

The winery has been a family-owned staple in Milton for nearly 13 years. With a dozen holiday seasons under their belt, owners Gail Nordlof and daughter Jaimie Dewey are ready for another.

With deer-hunting wives’ weekend already behind them, the annual “Shop Small” event comes up this Saturday. The winery has donated prizes for drawings which shoppers can register for at local businesses. Northleaf is offering free canvas tote bags to customers who purchase four bottles of wine.

On Dec. 17, the winery will host its annual Christmas Carol Piano Bar and Ugly Sweater Contest.

“This is our most well-attended winter event of the year,” Nordlof said.

The event starts at 7 p.m. with music teacher and pianist Lannette Calhoun leading the crowd in sing-alongs of favorite Christmas songs. Donning their “best” ugly Christmas sweaters, guests will parade around the room. Votes are cast and prizes awarded.

When asked how the vote is conducted, no clear answer was given. “Various ways” was said amidst laughter from the mother-daughter duo.

“We’re not kidding when we say ugly,” Nordlof said, produced three examples of sweaters that have been worn for the event. One had Christmas patches hand-sewn on the front.

“This has to be the ugliest of all. It’s like amazingly ugly,” she said.

While every ugly sweater is unique, Nordlof said the winery offers tasteful but also one-of-a-kind wine bottle labels for customers who are giving wine as gifts.

“We do holiday labels, custom labels for the wine,” she said, adding that the labels can incorporate business names.

“We’re also the go-to for holiday baskets,” Dewey said. Baskets, also popular as business gifts, can be customized, too. They contain a variety of cheeses, sausage, chocolates, snacks, cookies and a Christmas trinket.

“And wine,” she added. “Always wine.”

Beginning this weekend, guests can sip a warm, mulled wine at the Northleaf Winery. Spice packets can be bought and added to favorite wines for mulling, include a green apple riesling, cranberry shiraz and pomegranate zinfandel.

They also offer Winter Spice Wine already mulled and bottled to be served warm or cold. It’s a port-style wine fortified with brandy.

Groups can host Christmas parties in the winery or tap room next door. The guest house has quite a few bookings already, so call for availability.

Nordlof said they are committed to providing whatever customers need.

“If anybody has something they’d like to do, they can contact us and we’ll make that happen,” she said.

Check out their website, northleafwinery.com, or call 608-580-0575.

Recommended for you