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Winzer Stube takes to the road with travel and catering

Marie Schmidt has operated Winzer Stube German Restaurant in downtown Hudson for the past several years, and the restaurant has built up a loyal clientele that comes from throughout western Wisconsin and the Twin Cities. It is because of some of those clients that Schmidt has decided to launch "Travel with Winzer Stube."

"Customers are always asking me where they should go in Germany and Europe, where they should eat, where is the best wine or hotels. So after several of them asked me to take a tour back home, I decided 'why not'?" said Schmidt.

Schmidt grew up in Trier in the heart of the Mosel River Valley in western Germany. Her family has always been in the restaurant and hotel business and she regularly travels back to her home to check out the famous wine in the region and, of course, the restaurants. When she considered a tour to her homeland, she contacted a high school friend that was an experienced travel guide and organizer.

The result, according to Schmidt, is what she believes will be a first-class tour that will include time in Koblenz, Germany, where the Mosel and Rhine rivers meet, a cruise down the rivers, guided tours of Trier and Bernkastel, a trip into Luxembourg and stops in the Alsace region of France.

Schmidt said that as a restaurateur and former innkeeper, she has paid special attention to where tourgoers are staying and eating. "The hotels will be first-class and the meals will be authentic food from the region. That is what people what to experience when they travel."

Schmidt and an employee of Winzer Stube will be on the tour. She plans on taking an employee on every tour. "It is something nice to do for my employees, and it would be nice for them to see Germany for themselves. I think of it as a kind of benefit for them. But they'll be helping with the tour as well."

The first eight-day tour is already booked. Another trip is planned for October and will go to the Black Forest region of German, France and Switzerland. Tours are limited to 30 people and include breakfasts and dinners, wine tastings, hotels, air and land travel. Schmidt says she plans to take two tours a year.

World Cuisine

World Cuisine is the name of Schmidt's catering business. Using the kitchen at the Winzer Stube, Schmidt has launched a full-service catering business that can accommodate parties of all sizes and tastes.

While the restaurant can accommodate parties of up to 50 onsite, Schmidt says she can deliver for parties of up to 1,000 to any location in the area.

And her menu is not limited to German food. World Cuisine can custom design a menu, from appetizers to buffets to sit-down dinners, featuring French, Italian, Spanish, Greek, Moroccan, Cajun and Mexican food in addition to German specialties.

Among the events already booked is a groom's party at the restaurant with 50 guests flying in from Germany and an "April in Paris" dinner planned for St. Patrick's School.

Schmidt, who is the chef at Winzer Stube as well as the owner, said she has been pleased with business since she opened her restaurant in the Hudson Opera House three years ago. "It can get a little quiet during the week sometimes, but the weekends are pretty lively. We have very good word-of-mouth on the restaurant, and people come from all over pretty regularly. I've gotten to know so many wonderful people, and I am looking forward to traveling with them and showing them my home."

Winzer Stube is located on the lower level of 616 Second St. For more information about the restaurant, the tours or World Cuisine, call 381-5092.

Meg Heaton

Meg Heaton has been a reporter with the Hudson Star Observer since 1990. She has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and Native American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

(715) 808-8604