Maiden Rock Winery & Cidery is a small, family-owned business in western Wisconsin, near the quaint village of Stockholm. Started by Herdie Baisden & Carol Wiersma who, by 2008, had received all of the necessary permits and licenses to be able to open for business. This was not their first venture, as Carol had established and was running The Good Apple, while Herdie developed their apple orchard – Maiden Rock Apples – and was learning how to make wine and cider. The Good Apple sold “everything apples” – from wine, cider, and beer to apple décor, housewares, jams, jellies, and preserves as well as other apple-related products.
From its inception, The Good Apple was designed and operated by Carol to help her and Herdie do some test marketing and learn how to sell apple-related merchandise. While The Good Apple was sold in 2008, it served its purpose; and -- to this day – both their Cider Pub & Tasting Room and retail sales areas reflect what Carol and Herdie learned.
They have not ventured far from their original business plan of growing but remaining small enough to require limited staff and equipment. They choose to be distinguished – not by their size, fanciness of their equipment, number of people they employ, or number of ciders and wines they make – but the quality of their products. When distributors or other business partners have pointed out that they could use cheaper ingredients to reduce their costs and become price competitive, Herdie and Carol have pushed back. They want to create, produce, and purvey products for which they can feel proud. This approach has resulted in their winning awards in international competitions – sometimes out-competing other cideries and wineries that may be much bigger, have more sophisticated equipment, and a much broader distribution.