Winery’s Postcard Setting Hosts Classic Cars

B otham Vineyards & Winery of Barneveld is a family-owned business nestled in Wisconsin’s Iowa County Uplands. Peter and Sarah Botham love winemaking and their Go Racing Red American semi-dry wine is well-known to vintage racing enthusiasts. Sarah and Peter enjoy participating in venues at Road America, a famous sports-car-racing track that her father, James Fletcher, helped found in the mid-‘5os. For the past 12 years, the Bothams have also thrown a Vintage Celebration at the vineyards for collector car fans.    

Botham Bel Air
Earl and Carole Stewart brought their yellow, first-year 1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Impala Sport Coupe over from Boscobel.

    Their Aug. 12 event featured more than 130 cars that ranged from George Stauffer’s Silk-Cut racing car to Ron De Woskin’s 1930 LaSalle 340 7-passenger Touring. Arranged in North and South Paddocks on a hilly terrain (participants are advised to bring wheel chocks along), the car arrangements varied from a clubby cluster of Nash Metropolitans parked on top of the hill to an unrestored Model T touring car that sat off by itself in a picture-postcard setting.  

    The range of vehicles at this event was amazing. There were British Healeys, French Citroens, Italian Alfas, German Porsches and good-old American Chevys. Sporty-type cars included Ranged from Allards to Zagatos. Those who liked antiques could pick from ’20s Packard sedan, a Classic ’30s Packard roadster or a ’47 Custom Super Clipper. A nice thing about the show was there was not too much of any one type or brand of car. In fact, there was an amazing mix of motoring memories to marvel over.

Botham Contenental
Bruce E. Nichols of Madison had the top lowered on his Classic 1941 Lincoln-Continental cabriolet. Bruce is not related to famed car collector and Lincoln lover Clay Nichols (the “Farmer in the Dells”), but he does know Clay.

    Judges (officially described as the “guys with the clipboards) began their tough task at 10 a.m., giving them an hour to make their assessments before the public was admitted to the grounds. Live music ‘ including rhythm & blues, reggae and jazz) ‘ echoed from the vineyard’s terrace. Next door, the people at the show could visit the vineyard’s tasting room or view the Botham’s fine collection of Road America memorabilia.  Reasonably-priced food was available in another tented area.

    The featured marque for the 2007 show was Jaguar and George Stauffer’s purple Silk Cut racing car was in a class of its own. Dr. James P. Beck of Madison exhibited his one-of-a-handful-built alloy-bodied XK-120 and Mike Kornell showed a competition type XKE. Other Jaguars were scattered throughout the lower paddock where Bill and Maria Tess were promoting the Wisconsin Jaguar Ltd. Auto Club.

Botham Model T
Parked near the edge of the vineyard, this ’24 Model T touring owned by William and Christine Doleshal of Oconomowoc looked like it was a postcard car.

    Awards given out after the judging included Best of Show, Vintner’s Choice and the James E. Fletcher Award. There was also a Style Award that goes to the owner best dressed in the period of a car, a new Big Stuff Award and the Featured Marque trophy for the best Jaguar.

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