Hayward, WI

How a Challenge Turned Into Award-Winning Wines in Hayward Wisconsin

Curtis DeCora

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Tamarack Farms Winery in Hayward WisconsinUnsplash

Nestled in the woods of Northern Wisconsin, you'll find a combination of BBQ ribs, Brisket, Farm Pizza, and award-winning wines. It sounds like an odd concept, but "Famous" Dave Anderson has a knack for making concepts work. Here you will find Tamarack Farms Winery, just 5 miles east of Hayward Wisconsin.

What started off as a “I betcha I could make wines” challenge—“Famous" Dave Anderson the founder and creator of many award winning restaurant concepts and the brain trust for some of the best selling retail products in Grocery Stores and Big Box Retailers—his line up includes: BBQ Sauces, BBQ Seasonings, Spicy Sweet Pickles, Cornbread Muffin Mixes, Bloody Mary Mixes & Hot Sauces. The national seasoning companies Dave works with for his restaurant concepts has shared, “There are probably 5 people in America that are blessed with Famous Dave’s extraordinary palate! Its uncanny how he can create recipes that are tasty, delicious, mouthwatering, and totally 'his own' flavor profile that is quickly discernibly different from all the other thousands of products on the market!"

The Birth of Tamarack Farms

One day, Dave's brother-in-law, Paul Rynning who farms the family farm watched a group of ladies carrying out some big buckets of strawberries from the farm. When Paul exclaimed, "it looks like you ladies are making some strawberry pies tonight!", they replied with, "No, we're making wine."

That brought a discussion between Paul and Kathy (Dave's wife) how growing up their mom & dad always a few A&W gallon jugs with balloons on top sitting in their basement. Their mom & dad made homemade wines using stuff around their family farm—crab-apple & dandelion wines. Dave chimed in, "I betcha I could make wine too!" Dave is 50+ years sober, so it sounded like an odd idea, but he's been making award winning & nationally best selling barbecue sauces, and felt he could excel with wine making.

Dave Anderson hooked up with Dave Von Rueden, one of his best friends and right-hand-man, who has been with Dave since the beginning of Famous Daves. It was Dave Von Rueden who witnessed the first Famous Dave barbecued rib ever eaten. Dave has German roots and is a curious foodie himself. Von Rueden shared that he loved the idea as in years past he has tinkered around making homemade beer.

Dave squared started by using the natural fruits that grow in our Northland environment: Blueberries, Blackberries, Raspberries, Cranberries, Strawberries, and Apples. Once they made up some batches, the first ones weren’t so good, but the only way to find out was to send them to some wine contests.

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"Famous" Dave Anderson with Dave Von RuedenCurtis DeCora

Some months later, Dave squared received a special package from Winemaker’s Magazine which sponsor’s an international Wine Competition and inside the package were several medals. Out of 2500 entries they had been awarded 2 Golds + 2 Silvers + 1 Bronze Ribbons for being Best In Class. Right out of the gate the two Dave's are award winning wine makers. What first seemed like a fluke, Dave decided to start sending out more wines and they kept winning.

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Award-Winning Wines in Hayward WisconsinDave Anderson

With the help of some good friends, Dave and Kathy Anderson launched Tamarack Farms Winery.

The Evolution of Tamarack Farms

Today, you will find a once empty gravel lot used for parking while picking fruits, berries, and vegetables - now is filled with patrons looking for award-winning wines, farm pizza, and world-famous barbecue. Touted by many customers as having the Best BBQ in Northern Wisconsin, Tamarack Farms Winery serves daily, Old Southern BBQ directly from the smokers. In addition to Old Southern BBQ, Dave has come up with a recipe for a Farm Pizza that includes fresh, locally sourced ingredients, proprietary crust, and made-fresh-daily sauce.

Dave and Kathy invite you to stop out to experience the re-imagined pizza parlor and winery concept.

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