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Fall Wine Weekends

Wine-down with a weekend away.

Oct 20, 2019 Eat & Drink

Grapes at a vineyard

There's nothing quite like relaxing with a glass of Illinois wine and watching the golden hues of fall blanket the countryside.

Escape for a weekend at one of these popular oenophile destinations. Enjoy good food and wine before overnighting at cozy cabins and spending time at other nearby attractions. 

You won't want to leave!

Wine glass at a vineyard

Shawnee Hills Wine Trail


Featuring 11 award-winning wineries and located along a 35-mile scenic drive in Shawnee National Forest, this trail is a must-do for wine lovers. Along the way enjoy a picnic, hike, and stay in a cozy B&B or cabin. Many of the wineries host special events throughout the summer and fall, and the winter passport program offers incentives to visit in Jan & Feb.

Places to Eat

  • Some of the wineries have on site dining options, ranging from pizzas and sandwiches at Blue Sky Vineyard to German favorites at Von Jakob Vineyard and Swedish specialties at Peachbarn Winery & Cafe. A complete list can be found here.
  • Giant City State Lodge not only offers a great place to overnight, but also the perfect stop for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Be sure to try their famous all-you-can-eat family-style chicken.

Places to Stay

horse drawn carriage ride during nouveau weekend

Nouveau Wine Weekend

Galena Cellars Vineyard & Winery

A weekend celebration of the annual release of Le Beaujolais Nouveau by Galena cellars, the practice of bottling the first wine of the harvest just a few weeks after fermentation. Area businesses offer Nouveau-inspired meals and entertainment. On the first day of the celebration, a traditional horse-drawn wagon parade delivers Nouveau wine to area businesses. Public tours and tastings will be available throughout the weekend. 

Places to Eat

  • With the parade at 2:30, you'll want to manage your lunch timing carefully. Be apart of the official toast at Galena Cellars' flagship downtown store while enjoying French Peasant Stew and a glass of wine.
  • A four-course Nouveau Lunch special can be booked for 11:00 at Vinny Vanucchi'sFried Green Tomatoes and De Soto House also have lunch options while Grape Escape offers an afternoon wine and cheese pairing from 2-5.
  • For later in the evening, feast on an authentic French dinner at Fritz & Frites or enjoy a Legends of Las Vegas Dinner Show at Amelia's Lamplight Dinner Theater.
  • Click here to browse a full itinerary of food options available throughout the day

Places to Stay

  • There's no shortage of impressive lodging options to retire for the evening.
  • Receive a complimentary bottle of wine when you book a 2 night stay at The Inn at Felt Manor
  • What's better than a weekend away? A long weekend away of course! Save 50% on a third night (Thursday or Sunday) at Belle Aire Mansion or Aldrich Guesthouse.
  • Enjoy other specials like Galena Cellars gift cards and discounted rates for the event weekend. View other lodging options here.

Things to Do

  • If you're still looking for wine-time, book a tour!
  • For a unique twist to your morning routine, try Goat Yoga followed up with a trip to the Great American Popcorn Co. to pick a bag from their many unique flavors.
  • Don't leave Galena without a visit to Illinois Made inductee River Bend Gallery, where visitors can admire the many works of talented photographer Geoffrey Mikol.

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