Construction begins on $4M Wisconsin distillery

In this Dec. 6, 2010 photo, Wollersheim Winery winemaker Philippe Coquard stands by a copper still that was made in Portugal and is used by Coquard to make brandy in Prairie Du Sac, Wis.. A $4 million distillery facility scheduled to open next summer will also make room for a second still at the winery near Prairie du Sac and help increase production of brandy, whiskey, gin and other spirits.
In this Dec. 6, 2010 photo, Wollersheim Winery winemaker Philippe Coquard stands by a copper still that was made in Portugal and is used by Coquard to make brandy in Prairie Du Sac, Wis.. A $4 million distillery facility scheduled to open next summer will also make room for a second still at the winery near Prairie du Sac and help increase production of brandy, whiskey, gin and other spirits. (AP Photo/Wisconsin State Journal, Craig Schreiner)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – A new $4 million craft distillery will bring a line of spirits made with local ingredients to Dane County.

Construction of the 25,000-square-foot facility near Prairie du Sac began Tuesday, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

The distillery is owned by Philippe and Julie Coquard of Wollersheim Winery. When completed, it will be connected to the winery’s existing fermentation building.

“It will create two reasons to come to Wollersheim,” Philippe Coquard said. “It’s like two destinations in the same place.”

The distillery building will house two stills and an aging room for 20 large fermentation tanks and 400 oak barrels. The equipment includes a 100-gallon copper Portuguese pot still, a custom-made 250-gallon still from Kentucky and 5,800-gallon fermentation tanks. The building will also include a retail space.

Philippe Coquard said the distillery will focus on locally sourced and grown ingredients to produce its brandies, whiskey, absinthe and gin. Fruit for the brandy and grains for the whiskey and gin will be grown on Wisconsin farms.

Wollersheim is the largest winery in the state and is expected to produce 240,000 gallons of wine this year. With the addition of its distillery, Wollersheim joins a handful of other distilleries in Wisconsin.

Construction of the distillery is expected to be complete next summer.

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