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Wisconsin tourism is being transformed by its grape growers

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin might be best known for its beer offerings, but the state's wineries are drawing tourists from across the Upper Midwest.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports that a Michigan State University study estimated that 1.78 million visits were made to Wisconsin's winery tasting rooms in 2015, bringing in nearly $50 million in wine tourism.

The study's author, Dan McCole, is an associate professor of tourism and sustainability at Michigan State University.

McCole found that most people don't visit Wisconsin's wineries to learn about wine, but rather for leisure, such as family gatherings.

He says the state's wineries are easy to get to from bigger cities, including Milwaukee and Madison.

McCole says Wisconsin doesn't need to produce the highest quality wines. He says visitors are looking for a good experience.

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