10 years ago, my husband and I celebrated our newly-wedding bliss with a Honeymoon to Napa Valley California. For days we drove up and down the scenic mountainous landscape lined with thousands of acres of grape vines. We enjoyed world class wines in buildings that were architectural marvels. It was heaven for sure.
Fast forward 10 years and 2 kids later, and we still enjoy a good glass of wine. While we can hit up any local grocery or liquor store for a bottle, there is nothing quite like swishing a little taste in your mouth with list and pencil in hand.
Glunz Winery, Grayslake, IL
The Glunz Family has been in the wine business for 3 generations. In their tasting room, for no cost, you can sample any number of their wines, most stemming from grapes in California. They have the widest variety of wines from Sangria to Chardonnay to deep reds and even my favorite, port. Free tastings are also available during the Grayslake Farmers Market. Tasting Room is open Tues. -Sat. 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Sun 12:00 p.m. -5:00 p.m.
Editor’s Note: During the winter don’t miss out on Loralie’s favorite, the glog!
Valentino Vineyards, Long Grove, ILFamily owned, this winery started as a dream from a real estate developer in 1995, who kept a little land for himself and started his own vineyard and eventually the winery. Some wines are estate grown and some are shipped in from out west. There is a fee to taste the wines. You can often find them on Groupon for a tasting a tour deal. Tasting Room Open May through December Fri. 5:00 – 7:00 p.m., Sat. 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Sun. 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Vingeto bel Bino, Antioch, IL
The newest of all Lake County wineries, its family owned with most wines being derived from local varietals grown on their 10 acres in rural Antioch. They also sell unique handmade goodies from local artisans. Tasting is free if you purchase a bottle, otherwise there is a small fee. Tasting room hours are Thurs. & Sun. 12:00 -5:00 p.m. and Fri.- Sat. 12:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Broken Earth Winery, Long Grove, IL
Located in the heart of downtown Long Grove, this tasting room features wines grown from their own estate in Paso Robles, California. They also sell craft beers, have video gaming and often feature live music in their modern tasting room. Hours are Tue. – Thu. 11:00 a.m. – 9:30 p.m., Fri. – Sat. 11:00 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. and Sun. 11:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Coopers Hawk Winery, South Barrington and Wheeling, IL
Cooper’s Hawk has multiple locations throughout the country with tasting room, restaurant and store. Tasting hours are: Mon. – Thurs. 11:00 a.m. – 9:30 p.m Fri. & Sat.: 11:00 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. Sun.: 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.