HOW WE GOT THERE:
So instead of Amtrak, this time I got a shuttle from Chicago to all the wineries we went to. So effortless! The Grape and Grain Tour shuttle picks you up in the West Loop and goes with you to every stop, so you can leave items you brought or buy during each visit. Definitely helpful if you take a tour in the colder months like we did – you can ditch your coat and take a load off!
WINERIES WE WENT TO:
First of the wineries we visited during our trip was Tabor Hill. Such a gorgeous interior and tons of history too! It was the first winery in the area and what started the growth of wine country in the area. It’s the 4th most beloved winery in the country and people come from all over to go to it. This area (mainly Marion County) is part of the top five wine production areas in the country, known as “Little Napa Valley.” Just like the Warner wine tasting room Katie and I visited last trip, Tabor Hill also has a few wines that have been served in the White House since President Gerald Ford. After trying ten different wines, I loved the Demi-Sec: a white wine that got Tabor Hill’s foot in the White House door. Their Cabernet Sauvignon is also one of the best I’ve ever had, so definitely try that! This was probably my favorite spot in terms of tastings – there wasn’t one I didn’t love. We had lunch here too and the chicken schitznel sandwich is *chef’s kiss*.
Next stop, Free Run Cellars. Like Tabor Hill, their grounds are so pretty and we sat in a little tasting room that had windows all around to see the view. This time, we had a flight of wine. My favorite of the three was the Cabernet Sauvignon too! Seemed to be a red kind of day haha. Besides wine, you can also make a cheese board to go with your tasting via their seasonal items for purchase.
Now last but not least, Round Barn. If you’ve ever tried researching Michigan wine country, I’m sure you’ve come across this guy! This 1912 Amish barn came all the way from a farm in Indiana to become the iconic piece on this vineyard. It’s two floors and you can book a table for tastings on the upstairs part and walk ins can take tastings and buy merch on the first floor. There’s also a little house next door with more room for tastings and more merch for sale. Definitely a good stop to take pictures at. Favorites for me here were their award-winning gin (which they serve as a gin and tonic for you to taste), their black walnut cream liqueur (similar to Bailey’s), and their peach bellini cans.
Then we stopped by the Marina Grand to take a look around before heading home. I would love to try this out in warmer weather during a future visit. So pretty on the water!
That’s it for this trip – hope to do it again in warmer weather soon! Here’s a map to show all the stops and thanks to Grape and Grain Tours for sponsoring this post.
See you in the next post!