11 Popular Wineries and Vineyards to Visit in Illinois (2022)
Who doesn’t love tasting multiple wine varietals altogether? All the wine lovers definitely do. And if you are an Illinoisan, you don’t need to travel all the way to Napa Valley for that. Though not in competition with Napa Valley and or other Californian vineyards, Illinois still has impressive wineries on display. From the ones with an array of wine varietals to the ones hosting full-packed entertainment, Illinois is full of Wineries and Vineyards. All thanks to the local families growing multiple varieties of grapes and other wine-producing berries.
Wineries and Vineyards in Illinois offer great taste and range and adds up some fun with their events and festivals. From couples’ appropriate places to family-friendly, Illinois has so much to offer. However, with multiple choices comes the confusion of selection.
11 Popular Wineries and Vineyards To Visit In Illinois
Do not worry; to ease down your search, here we have the 11 popular Wineries and Vineyards in Illinois. For more information, have a look:
1. Valentino Vineyard and Winery
The Valentino Vineyard and Winery have been serving for two decades and is the best wineries to explore in Illinois. One can reach here 35 miles northwest of Chicago and tour their 20 acres of lush vineyard. The owner of Valentino is known for his winemaking skills and 25 different wine varietals. Their produce is dedicated to grapes with American oak casks and Barrel fermentation in fine French, adding the last elegance. Their tasting room is operational during weekends from May to December. Or for in-depth tasting and tours, they also offer Tasting and Wine Appreciation Seminar, Vineyard Tour, and other schedules. Call in advance or drop by for a fresh booking.
2. McEachran Homestead Winery, Caledonia
McEachran Homestead Winery is a small but must-visit winery in Illinois. It is located in the Caledonia village nearly 80 miles Northwest of Chicago, housing a tiny 2 acres vineyard. They are masters of cold-climate vines and supply their products for smaller batches. Enthusiasts can visit their tasting rooms all days throughout the year, from morning to evening. Or, for more advancement, book their guided vineyard tours or informative wagon tour with other individuals. McEachran is also popular for weddings, events as well their Summer Music program, which is organized during summer.
3. Fox Valley Winery Inc, Oswego
Another extremely popular winery in Illinois, the Fox Valley Winery Inc., is a must-visit. It is less than an hour’s drive from Chicago (towards its west). Unlike other wineries and vineyards, Fox valley focuses on quality over quantity. Despite their smaller menu, you will absolutely love every single offering from them. Do try both dry and sweet wines and pair them with their seasonal and local food. While tasting here is open all week long, for tours, one requires to book in advance. If you are looking for a celebrative evening, consider visiting here during the Wined down Friday. The event is all about the tastiest wines, artisan cheeses, and live music.
4. Alto Vineyards, Alto Pass
Alto Vineyards is one of the very first in Illinois and the oldest vineyard in Southern Illinois. Established back in 1985, you can reach Alto at the foothills of the beautiful Shawnee National Forest. This popular vineyard has earned nearly 500 awards that alone talk about its extravagant success story. Today one can visit their 5,000-foot tasting room and sip their excellent collection of in-house production. Dawg House Red, Chambourcin, and dry-white Chardonel are some of their finest serves. If you happen to be nearby during weekends, do attend the Friday night at Alto and enjoy the vibes. For tasting alone, you can also visit their tasting room in Champaign.
5. Mackinaw Valley Vineyard, Mackinaw
Located in Central Illinois, Mackinaw Valley hosts an 86-acre lush vineyard producing over 20 wine varietals. Running for 18 years, they have mastered Corot Noir, Niagara, Chardonnay, Frontenac, Baco Noir, and other varietals. While your first three wines come for complimentary tasting (free), they charge a nominal amount for every next. While sitting in their tasting room, visitors can observe 30 miles of gorgeous valley views. Visitors can sit around the lake, small fish pond, garden, porch swings, a gazebo, deck, and of course the indoor sitting. They also host regular events, festivals, and music, all of which are highly entertaining.
6. Acquaviva Winery, Maple Park
Acquaviva Winery is a must-visit winery in Illinois, offering three excellent sites to choose from. While the winery and tasting bar is within Maple Park, they have a wine bar/ tasting room in St. Charles and a restaurant in Sycamore. Every single site has a unique feature though the Winery and Vineyard in Maple Park top for its all. Their forty-acre vineyard estate is home to multiple grape varietals and breath-taking views. You can visit their tasting room and try six delectable vines, including dry and sweet. Or eat at their on-site restaurant Italian joint, the Ristorante di Acquaviva. For a detailed experience, you can book their Signature tour that includes wine plus food tasting along with vineyard tours.
7. Grafton Winery and Brewhaus, Grafton
Located in downtown Grafton, the Grafton Winery and Brewhaus is a unique place to explore in Illinois. While only rare sites have both Winery and breweries tacked together, Grafton is a similar one you will love. Their menu has options for wine and beer lovers’ visitors can enjoy them with great food. They have options from indoor and outdoor sitting to river views and whatnot. For visitors who are interested in something more, they also offer vineyard tours in their nearby facility. One can walk across their lush green farms, overlook the making process and sip on their drinks overlooking the lake and vineyards.
8. Bretz Wildlife Lodge and Winery, Carlyle
Bretz Wildlife Lodge and Winery are located in beautiful Southern Illinois. The Winery offers a unique atmosphere for sipping wine in their truly African-themed tasting room. Some of their best offers include Riesling, Niagara, Chambourcin, Concord, and Chardonel varietals. True to the theme, all their wines are named with interesting African references. While sipping on their delicious wines, visitors can enjoy amazing food along with the beautiful sunset on the horizon. To top all that, the small-town vibe of Carlyle compliments everything so well.
9. Hill Prairie Winery, Oakford
Located in the rolling hills of Oakford, the Hill Prairie Winery is a must-visit when in Illinois. The Winery was established in an 1800s family farmland. Today it produces a range of wine in its 100-year-old barn and serves it in an elegant setting. Wine enthusiasts can visit here from Wednesday through Friday for tasting. Or on a Sunday afternoon, one can enjoy their famous live music featuring famous artists from the State. Hill Prairie also hosts a country day out, which one can attend with the whole family and sip some great wines, beers, and tasty snacks. As locals suggest, Hill Prairie Winery is by far the best Winery to visit when in Central Illinois.
10. Famous Fossil Vineyard and Winery or the Muse on Cedar Creek, Freeport
True to its name, the Muse on Cedar Creek is undoubtedly a famous Vineyard and Winery to visit in Illinois. It is a relaxing and scenic destination offering craft beers, local wines, gourmet food, all in a rejuvenating experience. They produce 15 different wines, mainly using Marquette, St. Croix, LaCrescent, Prairie Star, and other cultivators. They follow bio-dynamic farming practices and everything you will find here is fully organic. Visitors can use their tasting room or the large outdoor setting and enjoy the wine samplings. Along with that, also do try their sweet and savory bites.
11. Jo-Al Winery, Mascoutah
Try the unique Jo-Al Winery in the Prairie land while all the regular wineries and vineyards have filled your heart. It is located in Southern Illinois and in the oldest county (St. Clair County) of the State. Jo-Al Winery is one of the two places that produce pure fruit wines in Illinois. Visitors can begin with their flight of three wines (sampling). This flight includes one mellow semi-dry apple wine, dry cranberry, and other dry and fresh fruit blends. While their sangria is supremely refreshing, it, along with great views, will make your day. Jo-Al Winery is a great place to chill, meet up with friends and relax. While going back, take back some fine fruit jams, jellies, pickles, dips, and salsas with you.