Taste the regional characteristics in our locally produced wines. Browse our guide to the closest and best Illinois wineries and vineyards for. Sunset Lake. But Illinois' wine industry is showing signs of a comeback. Coon Creek Road, Metamora, 14 miles northeast of Peoria; , office-com.us East North Road, Carlock; 18 miles southeast of Metamora and 25 miles southeast of Peoria; , office-com.us Danenberger Family Vineyards.
Central illinois wineries -
These destinations are perfect for date night or a fun day out with friends. Explore award-winning wines at the tasting room to find your favorite. Alto Vineyards also hosts several special events throughout the year such as trivia, Friday Night Pizza and Wine, Comedy Night, and so much more. Address: N. Here you will experience German heritage in a comfortable atmosphere. Enjoy beautiful views while you try some of the most delicious wine varieties. It is also a great place to host your next party or event.
Try your favorite wines in the tasting room or outside by the pond. Sleepy Creek Vineyards also hosts concerts and events. You can also stay at Sleepy Creek Vineyards when you visit. This vacation rental is beautifully rustic and refined. Address: E. It is also a wonderful and scenic space to host your wedding, bridal shower, rehearsal dinner, bachelorette party, or other special events. Experience the stunning view from the tasting room, where you can look out at the valley and farms below, which are situated on a glacial moraine.
Address: State Rt. This winery is located in a barn that is approximately years old. The wines are produced right on site on land that has been in the family of the owners since the s. Contact us today for more information. Do not drink and drive. Find a designated driver or call a taxi or rideshare service to ensure a safe drive home.
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Central illinois wineries -
Peoria's location is also an ideal base for a wine country weekend. That's right. A grape-focused getaway in Central Illinois. Advertisement Before you scoff, know that at the turn of the 20th century, Illinois was the fourth largest wine producer in the United States.
Prohibition forced grape growers to pull up their vines and switch to money crops, decimating the industry.
But Illinois' wine industry is showing signs of a comeback. Two decades ago, there were just a dozen wineries in the Prairie State.
Today there are in a network of eight wine trails. Advertisement We recently dropped in on several vineyards in the Peoria region, and each one said it had plans to grow and offer more amenities. If you decide to check it out for yourself, note that wineries near Peoria can be up to 40 miles apart, so allow for travel time when you plan your itinerary.
Old Mill has been producing wine since , but its tasting room opened last fall. Owners Donna and Kurt Grohsmeyer designed and built the room that's only steps from their vineyard. Bent Tree is a sleek, inviting venue whose windows overlook both the acre vineyard and the grounds. For years, distillers have aged whiskey in used wine barrels to add character to their product.
The Grohsmeyers have flipped the script for their Broken Barrel wine, aging it in used bourbon barrels. The result is a hearty, unconventional sip where the whiskey nuance comes through in the aftertaste of this wine made from chancellor grapes. I found it to be one of the most drinkable Illinois wines we tasted. The Hofmanns started their winery, formerly called White Oak Vineyards, in when "the idea was to grow grapes for other wineries," she said. That changed in when Mary, who is from Central Illinois, and her husband, Rudi, who is from Ebrach, Germany, bought the house and 11 acres next door to theirs and started making wine.
Today the house is an expansive tasting room and the acreage is the source of 15 wines, each with a whisper of German character. Likenesses of their beloved dogs, Maxl and Moritz, adorn labels on almost every bottle. The vintners' Feierabend dry traminette is off-dry with lush, peachy fruit notes that make it a delightful, low-alcohol patio sipper.
From carefully labeled rows of grapevines to the outdoor deck with a mile view of the pastoral valley, Mackinaw Valley is a peaceful oasis where you can dial down the roar of city bustle to a murmur and sample among more than 20 wines produced here.
The vineyard also hosts concerts, murder mystery dinners, festivals and trivia games — all of which can be paired with its wines, most on the sweet spectrum. Kickapoo Creek Kickapoo Creek Winery makes more than 20 wines, including fruit-infused and chocolate dessert varieties, from locally sourced produce and grapes grown on 14 acres of the estate.
It offers walking trails, tours, wine dinners, event facilities, lunch in the cafe and a tasting room. The setting and amenities make Kickapoo Creek a popular destination for vineyard crawls and weddings alike, but its award-winning wines are the marquee attraction. Smith Road, Edwards; 31 miles northwest of Mackinaw and 8 miles west of Peoria; , www. Big Horse This vineyard is named for the draft horses raised and raced by owners Don and Trinity Archdale on the family farm that's home to the 2-year-old winery.
The Archdales have big plans to make the winery a destination. It already offers live music and comedy acts on weekends and serves lunch and dinner in its bistro. Sunday Fun-Day dining experiences include a taco bar buffet and a crab boil with a bloody mary bar. Big Horse has hiking trails and carriage rides with plans to install a zip line.
The Archdales recently purchased a nearby motel that they're renovating and converting into a room boutique hotel scheduled to open next year. Big Horse plans to open its own processing facility in a refitted barn down the road this fall. Of the nine wines Big Horse makes, we especially liked its drier, Italian-style white called Moonlight. County Highway 9, Lewistown; 44 miles southwest of Edwards and 40 miles southwest of Peoria; , www. Advertisement Native Trails This winery with its recently opened tasting room is literally next door to Big Horse.
Its first vintage also was produced in , said owner Bill Nayden. But Native Trails' vibe is more low-key, with activities restricted to tastings and trail walks. Nayden said he's especially proud that the grape varieties he grows date back to the days when Native Americans occupied the land.
Nayden's seven wines, which are pressed from corot noir, frontenac, vignoles and chardonnel grapes, are made by Hopewell Winery. Karen Torme Olson is a freelance writer. Vintage Illinois Oenophiles will want to mark their calendars for Sept. The state's largest wine festival takes place at Matthiessen State Park , 4 miles south of Utica, 90 miles west of Chicago. The adult-oriented festival includes food from local eateries and live music.
Buy tickets and get details at www. Tasting Room and Illinois River Winery. Advertisement August Hill's sleek tasting room at Mill St.
Customers can do a tasting at the bar, indulge in a flight of wines and a plate of local charcuterie in the sophisticated lounge, or munch on local cheeses on the patio. The actual winery is 10 miles away near Peru. Tours by appointment; www.
Clark St. Twenty-minute tours of the winery across the street are available Saturday afternoons. Be sure to sample the "Viagara" wine sold in pink bottles for women and blue for men; www.