Many of the vineyards and wineries in Illinois offer not only wine tastings but also casual meals, live weekend entertainment and regular festivals and events. In general, most of the vineyards grow just a small handful of grape varieties including Chambourcin, Chardonel, Traminette, Frontinac and Seyval vines, from which a range of distinctive and delicious Illinois wines are produced.
1.Acquaviva Winery, Maple Park
© Acquaviva Winery
Located in Maple Park, Acquaviva Winery invites you to come and experience a true Italian vineyard experience in the heart of Illinois. Vito Brandonisio fondly remembers his childhood in Italy and he now endeavors to bring Italian wine culture and food to Illinois, for all to enjoy at his Acquaviva Winery. The estate’s forty-acre vineyard is planted with several grape varietals specially chosen to flourish in the mid-west climate. When you visit the tasting room you can look forward to tasting a flight of six delectable vines ranging from dry to sweet. For a more in-depth look at the production process you can request their Signature Tour which includes a wine tasting/food pairing experience. There is also an on-site restaurant where you can enjoy traditional Italian fare.
Acquaviva Winery, 47W416 Route 38, Maple Park, IL 60151, Phone: 630-365-0333
2.Alto Vineyards, Alto Pass
© Alto Vineyards
Established in 1985, Alto Vineyards is one of the very first vineyards planted in Illinois. A small family venture into the unknown has turned into an exceptional success story, earning the winery a staggering 500 awards since they started producing their own wines in 1988.
The winery is justly proud of their 5,000-foot tasting room (which can be rented for private functions and events) where you can taste a selection of their award-winning wines. A few of the most popular wines produced include their dry-white Chardonel, their premium Chambourcin and the easy-drinking Dawg House Red. On Friday nights you can enjoy a delicious pizza to accompany your Alto wine.
Alto Vineyards, 8515 Highway 127, Alto Pass, IL 62905, Phone: 618-893-4898
3.Mceachran Homestead Winery, Caledonia
© Mceachran Homestead Winery
You will find the Mceachran Homestead Winery nestled in the heart of historic Boone County, where a two-acre vineyard of cold-climate vines supplies the grapes for a limited collection of small-batch wines. The winery is open to the public daily and you are invited to step inside the tasting room to try whatever vintages are currently available. You can order a tasty cheese board and other light snacks to savor alongside your wines. If you fancy a tour with a difference you can gather together a group of eight and book an informative wagon tour of the vineyards followed by a wine tasting. The winery offers an ideal venue for weddings and other events and a Summer Music program from May to October.
Mceachran Homestead Winery, 1917 Wyman School Rd, Caledonia, IL 61011, Phone: 815-978-5120
4.Blue Sky Vineyard, Makanda
© Blue Sky Vineyard
You will find the Blue Sky Vineyard towards the end of the popular Shawnee Hills Wine Trail where a beautiful Tuscan-style winery and vineyard awaits you. In order to ensure that the Blue Sky wines truly reflect their unique Illinois Terroir, varietals which thrive in the area take center stage and you can look forward to sampling a number of excellent blends using Vidal, Traminette, Seyval, Chardonnay, Chambourcin and Cabernet Franc grapes. The winery was purpose built to bring all the charm of the Italian countryside to Illinois and provide a beautiful and relaxing place to enjoy a delicious glass of unique Illinois wine alongside a delicious sandwich, pizza, salad or soup.
Blue Sky Vineyard, 3150 S Rocky Comfort Rd, Makanda, Il 62958, Phone: 618-995-9463
5.Bretz Wildlife Lodge and Winery, Carlyle
© Bretz Wildlife Lodge and Winery
Located in southern Illinois, the Bretz Wildlife Lodge and Winery combines owner Sandy’s love of South Africa with her dream to set up a winery in the heart of Illinois. The winery derives its name from the South African term “Lodge” which is usually a place where people come to observe wildlife in a natural environment. Visitors to the lodge are met with a uniquely African –themed tasting room where you can enjoy their range of delicious wines made from Chambourcin, Concord, Chardonel, Riesling and Niagara grapes which grow particularly well in the region. Continuing the African theme, all the wines have interesting African names. The full-service restaurant features all your favorite dishes to enjoy alongside the wines.
Bretz Wildlife Lodge and Winery, 15469 State Route 127, Carlyle, IL 62231, Phone: 618-594-8830
6.Famous Fossil Vineyard and Winery, Freeport
© Famous Fossil Vineyard and Winery
Rows and rows of stately young vines welcome you to the Famous Fossil Vineyard and Winery located just outside Freeport. Over 450 million years ago this land was covered by ocean and when the vineyards were being established many sea fossils were uncovered, including the “famous fossil” from which the name of the vineyard derives. The winery produces a range of fifteen wines using mainly Frontenac, Marquette, St. Croix, LaCrescent, LaCrosse and Prairie Star cultivars which are grown on-site using organic and bio-dynamic farming practices. You are invited to come and visit the tasting room or the large outdoor area where you can enjoy sampling some of the current available wines alongside a plate of sweet and savory small bites.
Famous Fossil Vineyard and Winery, 395 W Cedarville Rd, Freeport, IL 61032, Phone: 815-563-4665
7.Fox Valley Winery Inc., Oswego
© Fox Valley Winery Inc.
Easy to reach from Chicago, the Fox Valley Winery is waiting to introduce you to the unique flavors and aromas of their award-winning Illinois wines. You can stop by for a tasting or tour (tours need to be booked up-front) any day of the week or join in one of their popular “Wined down Friday” events when you can enjoy live music along with your wine and a selection of delicious artisan cheeses. The winery produces a wide range of wines both sweet and dry using Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay and Petite Pearl grapes grown both locally and on other premier vineyards in Sheridan and California.
Fox Valley Winery, 5600 US Route 34, Oswego, IL 60543, Phone: 630-554-0404
8.Grafton Winery and Brewhaus, Grafton
© Grafton Winery and Brewhaus
It’s not often that you can visit a winery and brewery in the same building, but that is exactly what you will find at the Grafton Winery and Brewhaus in historic downtown Grafton. Here there is something for wine and beer lovers to get excited about as you savor the opportunity to enjoy a tasting flight of five Grafton wines in the tasting room or a flight of six artisan beers at the Brewhaus, while enjoying delicious food and regular live music. The award-winning Grafton wines are produced close-by at the Grafton Vineyards, where you can also enjoy a tour of the facility as well as a wine tasting overlooking the lake and vineyards.
Grafton Winery and Brewhaus, 300 West Main, Grafton IL 62037, Phone: 618-786-3001
Grafton Winery The Vineyards, 21028 Eckert Orchard Rd, Grafton, IL 62037
9.Hill Prairie Winery, Oakford
© Hill Prairie Winery
Scenically located amid the rolling hills of Oakdale, the Hill Prairie Winery was established on a family farm which was settled back in the 1800’s. The Lounsberry family planted several acres of land with grape varietals which thrive in the Illinois climate and now produce a full range of wines in their 100-year old barn. The winery is open to the public from Wednesday to Friday each week and on Sunday afternoons you can attend their very popular live music Sundays which feature prominent guest artists. You are invited to bring the whole family to enjoy a country day out while sipping some great wine or beer and enjoying light snacks.
Hill Prairie Winery, 23753 Lounsberry Rd, Oakford, IL 62673, Phone: 217-635-9900
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10.Jo-Al Winery, Mascoutah
One of only two Illinois wineries which specialize in producing pure fruit wines, Jo-Al Winery is located in Mascoutah. If you cannot imagine a wine made without using grapes you have a great surprise in store for you at the Jo-Al Winery. You can look forward to sampling a flight of three wines including a dry cranberry (Sexy Redhead), a mellow semi-dry apple wine (Jonnie be good) and several other mostly-semi-dry fruit blends. In addition to their large range of wines the winery tasting room stocks various delicious fruit-related jams, jellies, pickles and salsas. You can visit them from Tuesday to Sunday between 11am and 6pm.
Jo-Al Winery, 10213 State Route 177, Mascoutah, IL 62258, Phone: 618-566-9463
11.Lavender Crest Winery, Colona
© Lavender Crest Winery
The Lavender Crest Winery first opened its doors in 2004 and today provides a delightful venue for wine lovers to come and try some of Illinois’ finest wines. In addition to a tasting room where you can sample a range of wines, the winery also has a food area where you can have lunch and a reception area which you can hire for private parties and events. If you visit on select Fridays you can join their weekend wind-down which features All You Can Eat Prime Rib, live music and great wine. If you would like to see how the wines are made you can join a guided tour of the vineyards and production area before you visit the tasting room.
Lavender Crest Winery, 401 US Highway 6, Colona, IL 91241, Phone: 309-949-2555
12.Lynfred Winery, Roselle
© Lynfred Winery
In 1975 a small-batch wine experiment in the basement of the Koehler family home led to the opening of the first winery in Illinois in 1979. Since then Lynfred Winery has set the standard for wine production in the state. The original seven grape varieties have grown to over eighty varieties sourced from Washington, California, Michigan and Chile, used alongside locally grown Illinois grapes by two expert wine makers from Chile. You can visit the original tasting room in Roselle where regular wine/food pairings, sales and tastings are hosted, or opt to visit one of the other tasting rooms located in Wheaton, Naperville or Wheeling. If you love their wines you can join their Wine Club to ensure you never miss a special event or promotion.
Lynfred Winery, 15S Roselle Rd, Roselle, IL 60172, Phone: 630-529-9463
13.Mackinaw Valley Vineyard, Mackinaw
© Mackinaw Valley Vineyard
Mackinaw Valley Vineyard recently celebrated their fifteenth year as a wine producer in the beautiful Mackinaw Valley. The wine estate is home to 15 acres of vines including unusual Frontenac, Baco Noir, Corot Noir, Niagara and Seyval hybrids as well as Chardonnay vines which are masterfully blended to produce several award-winning wines. When you visit the tasting room you can choose from 24 wines available for tasting and purchase. Each visitor may enjoy a complimentary tasting of three wines and pay a nominal amount for each additional tasting. Light snacks are available in the tasting room and the winery hosts several regular events including concerts, festivals, painting classes, Murder Mystery evenings and more.
Mackinaw Valley Vineyard, 33633 State Route 9, Mackinaw, IL 61755, Phone: 309-359-WINE
14.August Hill Winery Tasting Room, Utica
© August Hill Winery Tasting Room, Utica
Established in 2002 on a quiet hillside overlooking the Illinois River, August Hill Vineyard and Winery has gone from strength to strength, producing an impressive selection of wines. Concentrating on French-hybrid cultivars which enjoy the bracing Illinois climate, the winery uses mainly La Crescent, Frontenac Gris, Frontenac, Marquette and Frontenac Blanc grapes to produce a wide range of delicious wines sporting modern eye-catching labels. You can taste (and buy) the wines at their light and airy tasting room in downtown Utica, which boasts a comfortable lounge and outdoor deck where you can enjoy live music on the weekends. To learn more about the vineyards and production methods you can book a guided Ultimate Wine Tasting Experience.
August Hill Winery Tasting Room, 106 Mill Street, Utica, IL 61373, Phone: 815-667-5211
15.Pheasant Hollow Winery, Whittington
© Pheasant Hollow Winery
The Pheasant Hollow Winery was established in 1999 and currently produces a large range of cold-climate grape and fruit wines. Not content with just making and marketing their range of wines, the family-owned winery wants to firmly establish itself as a popular venue for people to come and enjoy good company, excellent wine and great music. To this end the winery offers a comfortable outdoor area where you can bring along a picnic and enjoy live music on Sunday afternoons while you sip you favorite Pheasant Hollow Wines. In addition the winery is planning to host Murder Mystery Dinners and various other seasonal festivals for visitors to enjoy.
Pheasant Hollow Winery, 14931 IL-47, Whittington, IL 62897, Phone: 618-629-2302
16.Prairie State Winery, Genoa
© Prairie State Winery
Established in 1998, Prairie State Winery set out to produce the best possible Illinois wines and introduce them to the public by the friendliest tasting room staff in the state. They believe they have achieved their goal and now invite you to come and find out for yourself. The winery produces an extensive range of around 35 individual wines, several of which are the result of co-fermentation of cold-climate Illinois grapes and California varieties. You can visit the winery from Wednesday to Sunday to enjoy a tasting or simply relax in the patio garden with a glass of your favorite wine and a tempting light meal from the on-site kitchen.
Prairie State Winery, 222 W Main Street, Genoa, IL 60135, Phone: 815-784-4540
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17.Spirit Knob Winery, Ursa
© Spirit Knob Winery
Located on an elevated bluff overlooking the Mississippi River valley, Spirit Knob Winery was established in 1999 and began selling wines in 2002. Just fourteen years later owner and enologist Matt Schulte was awarded the coveted “Enologist of the Year” award by the Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Alliance. Matt produces a range of wines from his own vineyards, where cold climate grape varieties like Vignoles, Chardonel and Traminette thrive. You are invited to stop by their tasting room to try a few of the wines or to purchase a bottle to enjoy out on the patio. The winery hosts regular music events and can be rented for private parties or weddings.
Spirit Knob Winery, 2211 E 640th Place, Ursa, IL 62376, Phone: 217-964-2678
18.Sunset Lake Vineyards and Winery, Carlock
© Sunset Lake Vineyards and Winery
Scenically located in the heart of McLean County, Sunset Lake Vineyards and Winery have been producing fine Illinois wines for around twelve years. The vineyard is planted with cold-climate grape varieties including Seyval, Frontenac, Traminette and Chardonel, as well as some Johannisberg Riesling vines, which the estate’s German owners turn into a selection of nine delicious wines. The winery’s tasting room is located in a re-purposed log home which has a large patio overlooking the lake and vineyards – the ideal spot to spend a lazy afternoon or evening with a glass of your favorite Sunset Lake wine. Join their Wine Club to keep abreast of all winery events and special releases.
Sunset Lake Vineyards and Winery, 8621 E 2100 North Rd, Carlock, IL 61725, Phone: 309-376-2960
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19.Valentino Vineyards and Winery
The Valentino Vineyards and Winery were established in Long Grove in 1995 and opened to the public in 2001. For the last eighteen years owner Rudolf Valentino duTommaso has been honing his winemaking skills and now produces 25 different varieties of wines made entirely from grapes grown on the 20-acre vineyard. Barrel fermentation in fine French and American oak casks adds the final touch of elegance. Visitors are welcome to drop by the winery anytime for a tour or tasting and if you would like a more in-depth experience you can book a Vineyard Tour, Tasting and Wine Appreciation Seminar. The tasting room is open on weekends from May to December.
Valentino Vineyards and Winery, 5175 Aptakisic Rd, Long Grove, IL 60047, Phone: 847-634-2831
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20.Von Jakob Winery and Brewery, Alto Pass
© Von Jakob Winery and Brewery
Von Jakob Winery and Brewery (the only combination winery and brewery on the Shawnee Wine Trail) offers visitors a warm welcome to their beautifully located premises, overlooking the vineyards and orchards. The winery produces an impressive range of twenty different wines made mainly from grapes grown in the on-site vineyards. You can look forward to tasting everything from rich, complex reds to sweet and luscious dessert wines. The brewery opened in 2010 and offers eight hand-crafted beers as well as a changing menu of seasonal additions. At lunchtime you can order a selection of shared plates and pizza to enjoy alongside your wine or beer tasting, while at night the pub/grill serves a more extensive menu. Two charming B&B cottages complete the picture.
Von Jakob Winery and Brewery, 230 IL-127, Alto Pass, IL 62905, Phone: 618-893-4600
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21.Walnut Street Winery, Rochester
© Walnut Street Winery
Located in Rochester, just seven miles from Springfield, the Walnut Street Winery is a little different to many of the other Illinois wineries. At Walnut Street, owner and winemaker Loren Shanle believes that making great wine starts with sourcing the best possible grapes for the purpose. Instead of only utilizing local cold-climate grapes, Walnut Street Winery produces a range of great wines using grape juice and concentrates from as far afield as California, New Zealand, Argentina and France. The result is a range of delicious fruity wines which reflect their origins. You are invited to drop by the tasting room or wine garden to enjoy a pizza and wine tasting any day of the week.
Walnut Street Winery, 309 S. Walnut Street, Rochester, IL 62563, Phone: 217-498-9800
22.West of Wise Winery, Petersburg
© West of Wise Winery
Located just south of Petersburg, West of Wise Winery first opened its doors to the public in 2015. Proudly producing a selection of wines using only local Illinois-grown grapes, the winery is happy to showcase their wares to visitors. When you visit their attractive tasting room (open from Wednesday to Sunday from 12.00 to 5.30pm) you can choose from a selection of wines ranging from a dry oak-matured Chardonel to a sweet and luscious Traminette. The winery is available to rent for private parties and weddings and they also host regular food, wine and music events – you can check their website for dates and details.
West of Wise Winery, 14096 State Highway 97, Petersburg, IL 62675, Phone: 217-632-6003
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23.Wild Pickins Winery, Chesterfield
Wild Pickins Winery near Chesterfield celebrates the best of Illinois’ cold-climate grapes, producing a selection of reds, whites, blushes and blends to tempt even the most discerning palate. More than just a winery, Wild Pickins is a destination where you can enjoy a relaxing afternoon or evening sipping wine and beers and eating freshly prepared meals from the grill (Friday, Saturday and Sundays during the summer months). The venue hosts live bands most weekends, offers gourmet coffees for coffee lovers and a large-screen TV where sports enthusiasts can enjoy watching the game. The venue is available for rental for private parties and weddings and can provide a full catering service.
Wild Pickins Winery, 14423 Illinois 111, Chesterfield, IL 62630, Phone: 618-753-3833
24.Willow Ridge Winery and Vineyards, Shelbyville
© Willow Ridge Winery and Vineyards
Nestled on an old family farm near Westervelt, the Willow Ridge Winery and Vineyards produce a selection of award-winning wines from their four-acre vineyards. The vineyards are planted with Vidal Blanc, Marechal Foch, Vignoles, Chambourcin, Niagara and Frontenac Gris vines, all of which thrive in the Illinois cold climate. The grapes are hand-harvested from August to October, expertly nursed through the production process and bottled on site. Visitors are welcome to visit the winery tasting room from Wednesday to Sunday. If you would like to host a private function you can hire the Banquet room which seats up to 175 guests. Willow Ridge hosts regular music and open mic nights – you can check their website for dates and info.
Willow Ridge Winery and Vineyards, County Rd 1800 N, Shelbyville, IL 62565, Phone: 217-738-2323
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25.Wyldewood Cellars Winery, Saint Joseph
© Wyldewood Cellars Winery
Combining the best of modern technology and old-world wine-making techniques, Wyldewood Cellars Winery produces over 40 different wines and a signature 100% pure Elderberry Concentrate. To date the winery has collected over 500 gold, silver and bronze medals for their wines, most of which are made from their home-grown elderberries, sometimes blended with grapes and other berries. In addition to their delicious fruit wines the cellars also produce a range of tasty jellies and several wine-related gifts. You can visit the winery any day of the week for a tasting or book ahead for a fun evening of wine and food pairing.
Wyldewood Cellars Winery, 218 E Lincoln Street, Saint Joseph, IL 61873, Phone: 217-469-9463
25 Best Illinois Wineries
- Acquaviva Winery, Maple Park, Photo: Acquaviva Winery
- Alto Vineyards, Alto Pass, Photo: Alto Vineyards
- Mceachran Homestead Winery, Caledonia, Photo: Mceachran Homestead Winery
- Blue Sky Vineyard, Makanda, Photo: Blue Sky Vineyard
- Bretz Wildlife Lodge and Winery, Carlyle, Photo: Bretz Wildlife Lodge and Winery
- Famous Fossil Vineyard and Winery, Freeport, Photo: Famous Fossil Vineyard and Winery
- Fox Valley Winery Inc., Oswego, Photo: Fox Valley Winery Inc.
- Grafton Winery and Brewhaus, Grafton, Photo: Grafton Winery and Brewhaus
- Hill Prairie Winery, Oakford, Photo: Hill Prairie Winery
- Jo-Al Winery, Mascoutah, Photo: hitdelight/stock.adobe.com
- Lavender Crest Winery, Colona, Photo: Lavender Crest Winery
- Lynfred Winery, Roselle, Photo: Lynfred Winery
- Mackinaw Valley Vineyard, Mackinaw, Photo: Mackinaw Valley Vineyard
- August Hill Winery Tasting Room, Utica, Photo: August Hill Winery Tasting Room, Utica
- Pheasant Hollow Winery, Whittington, Photo: Pheasant Hollow Winery
- Prairie State Winery, Genoa, Photo: Prairie State Winery
- Spirit Knob Winery, Ursa, Photo: Spirit Knob Winery
- Sunset Lake Vineyards and Winery, Carlock, Photo: Sunset Lake Vineyards and Winery
- Valentino Vineyards and Winery, Photo: Zerophoto/stock.adobe.com
- Von Jakob Winery and Brewery, Alto Pass, Photo: Von Jakob Winery and Brewery
- Walnut Street Winery, Rochester, Photo: Walnut Street Winery
- West of Wise Winery, Petersburg, Photo: West of Wise Winery
- Wild Pickins Winery, Chesterfield, Photo: K.Decha/stock.adobe.com
- Willow Ridge Winery and Vineyards, Shelbyville, Photo: Willow Ridge Winery and Vineyards
- Wyldewood Cellars Winery, Saint Joseph, Photo: Wyldewood Cellars Winery
- Cover Photo: Rostislav Sedlacek/stock.adobe.com