Laura Delaney Roessler ’03 found her student days at UW–Madison filled with the excitement of unlocking new opportunities.
She was a housefellow and student leadership adviser in Kronshage Hall, worked at Frank’s Place and the Large-Animal Teaching Hospital, was on the staff of the summer engineering program for urban youth, and was a world-class curler.
“It created a community,” the graduate of Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau High School says. “I came from a class of 100 and a town of 1,000, and went to a place where my dorm house had 75 people in it. And, the UW–Madison experience created the business person I am and the community person I am. I never wanted to miss out on the next thing.”
Roessler left Madison with a biochemistry degree in 2003 and worked in the field for several years before returning to Trempealeau to help run the Elmaro Winery with her family.
“… every time I go back to Madison, I feel that energy and the warmth. You can’t take the student out of you, no matter how old you get.”
The family developed a passion for wine on a 2003 trip to Italy for the World University Games, in which Roessler competed in curling.
Today her husband, Todd, does marketing; her father, Mark, manages the vineyard; her brother Cameron runs the tasting room; and her mother, Lynita — a former master plumber — administers the whole operation and is the artist behind the wine creation.
Roessler is co-winemaker at Elmaro, which was named the 2016 Wisconsin Winery of the Year by the Wisconsin Grape Growers Association. The winery sits on a part of the verdant family farm, which dates to the 1850s.
“It is the most gorgeous view of the Mississippi valley. It’s like Napa,” she says.
“I love being back here,” she adds. “But every time I go back to Madison, I feel that energy and the warmth. You can’t take the student out of you, no matter how old you get.”
Thank you, Trempealeau County, for Laura Delaney Roessler and other adventurers and creators who build businesses that contribute to local economies across Wisconsin.