Although there are plenty of places in the city to experience great wine, sometimes it’s nice to go and experience the source. Here’s a few places not too far away where you can go and revel in fine wine and its origins.
(Photo Credit: lynfredwinery.com)

(Photo Credit: lynfredwinery.com)


Lynfred Winery
15 S. Roselle Road
Roselle, IL 60172
www.lynfredwinery.com

Many people decide to become members after visiting Lynfred Winery once. Not only will you get monthly wines, but why not stop in for a tasting once a month when you come pick them up? Tastings are $7-$10 for members and the wine lineup changes monthly! Lynfred is also a bed and breakfast and has an extensive gift shop if you feel like making a little getaway out of the experience. The “Epicurean Experience” is also a perfect date activity ($23 for members) and includes full pours of three wines, a white, a red and a fruit all paired with appetizers. The chef will come out and explain each dish and a server will check on you throughout, no tips accepted!

Famous Fossil Vinyard
395 West Cedarville Road
Freeport, IL
(815) 563-4665
famousfossilwinery.com

Located in Rockford, Famous Fossil is open year-round and you are free to stop by any time for a tasting! They appreciate notice if you have a group of eight or more, especially if they’ll be wanting to eat, but reservations are not required. Famous Fossil is home to twelve different cold weather grape varietals. In addition to sampling the wine, they offer a savory cheese and sausage plate every day if you’d like to pair it with your tasting. Meals are available for private parties and there are special events offered throughout the year.

(Photo Credit: Glunz Family Winery & Cellars's Facebook)

(Photo Credit: Glunz Family Winery & Cellars’s Facebook)


Glunz Family Winery
888 E. Belvidere Road
Grayslake, IL 60030
www.glunzfamilywinery.com

Blink and you’ll miss it. Glunz Family Winery is tucked away in a storefront, but it’s definitely a secret worth finding! They have a good variety of wine and also offer some good seasonal varieties. Their standard white and red wines are very drinkable, but they are known for the sweeter vintages; the Gloogs, the May Wine and the Sangrias are their specialties. Return empty bottles from previous visits and you can score $2 off.

Related:  Best Chicago Wine Bars

Valentino Vinyards and Winery
5175 Aptakisic Road
Long Grove, IL
(847) 634-2831
www.valentinovineyards.com

If you’re into going organice and knowing exactly what goes into your wine and how it’s harvested, Valentino Vinyards is your dream come true. Run by a passionate husband and wife, the vineyard doesn’t use machinery, but rather hand picks it’s grapes. There are also no added sulfites (bonus if you’re trying to avoid that next-day wine headache), only the sulfites that occur naturally are allowed to stay. Budget two hours for the tour and tasting, Rudy Valentino likes to go in detail explaining his wines and what foods may go well with them. It may be best to eat before you go, no nibbles are offered during the tasting.

Massbach Ridge Winery
8837 South Massbach Road
Elizabeth, IL
(815) 291-6700
massbachridge.com

If you’d like to hit more than one winery, Massbach Ridge Winery in Elizabeth, Illinois is not far from Galena and, in fact, has a tasting room right in the city of Galena if you don’t want to relocate. However, you can tour the vineyard and have a tasting on site at the winery as well if you prefer. Whether it’s cool or warm, Massbach has ambiance to taste while you enjoy your wine; specifically, a fireplace in the winter and an outdoor patio overlooking the vineyard in the summer.

Related: Best Wine and Cheese Restaurants In Chicago

Meredith Lyons is an actor, competitive fighter and fitness instructor in Chicago who also owns an amazing cat named Jake. Meredith has been writing on Examiner as the Chicago Martial Arts Examiner since 2008. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.