Michael Dorf stood with his brother Josh, smiling over the barrel filled with wine from grapes they'd just crushed, fermented, and pressed. He claims that despite tastings and classes, he'd never begun to understand wine until this moment. As his understanding grew, he laid the foundations for City Winery: a full winery facility, restaurant, and concert venue inside urban Chicago. He now watches over more than 400 international wines and 20 house wines. Inside the winery, these wines—made from nine US and international varietals—age inside stainless steel tanks and American and French oak barrels. Here, staffers lead winemaking classes, letting visitors join the crushing and fermenting process, and showing them how make private barrels and fill custom juice boxes or bottles pasted with labels of their own design.
These monolithic tanks and barrels can be seen through floor-to-ceiling windows from most of the restaurant's rooms, where servers ferry Executive Chef Andres Barrera's dishes, each a blend of Italian, French, Spanish, and Middle-Eastern flavors. The culinary team crafts small and large plates of artisanal cheeses, seafood, and flatbreads—which they make using the winery's own wine lees as yeast. In the restaurant and Barrel Room tasting bar, staffers pour housemade wines piped fresh from the cellar through 14 taps, while visitors bask in the glow from hard wood and floor to ceiling windows. Patrons dine on a ground floor lit by soft blue lights and hanging lamps fashioned from old wine bottles, as well as a mezzanine level looking out on the city skyline. Private dining rooms gather guests around long communal tables, stretched between exposed brick walls. In the show venue, comedians, live musicians, and slapstick-prone stage crew members entertain audiences under the glow of tabletop candles.
After launching in early 2011 with just two beers on its menu, Finch's Beer Company has expanded into a full craft brewery. At the Chicago-based facility, seasoned brewmasters blend high-quality ingredients, such as American hops and flavored malts, into a core lineup of five beers. These include the Fascist Pig, a dry-hopped American red ale brewed with caramel malts, the Threadless IPA, a hoppy concoction devised in collaboration with the local design company, and the formidable Secret Stache Stout, which is a subtly sweet fusion of vanilla beans and chocolate malt. Though they're available in cans at bars throughout the city, these brews also flow freely on regularly scheduled brewery tours. Each guided visit introduces guests to the equipment and brewing process, including the part where the brewers milk the hops from the pink elephants.
Naturally, the chefs at Cooper’s Hawk have a sharp eye when it comes to wine pairings. Each of the restaurant’s contemporary dishes is crafted with a particular wine in mind, which makes plenty of sense given the fact that there’s a winery located just next door. Surrounded by oaken barrels and racks lined with glistening bottles, diners may be forgiven for thinking that they made a wrong turn and ended up in the winery itself. After your meal, see the real thing in the Napa–style tasting room, where you can sample up to eight different wines. The selection includes something for everyone, including graceful blush wines and cabernets whose flavors unfold like a novel scribbled on the wings of an origami crane.
Two hunters step through a field of sorghum, making their way toward the tree line in the distance. Just where the wild grasses brush up against the tree trunks, there's a slight movement in the brush. It might be a hen-sized chukar partridge about to spring into the air on its short, barred wings. But if they're lucky, the hunters will spy the green crown, red wattles, and long tail of a plump prize pheasant.
These kinds of upland bird hunts draw people year-round to Deer Creek Hunt Club's more than 500 acres of woodlands, rolling hills, and wetlands. Well-trained gundogs?both flushing breeds and pointers?can accompany hunters on these expeditions, which are led by able, professional guides. Off the field, visitors can sharpen their skills in clay-shooting facilities with skeet and five-stand fields as well as a sporting-clays course with different sections for the beginner, intermediate, and advanced. The staff also leads private shooting lessons and hunters? safety courses.
After a day in the fields, guests can refresh at the clubhouse, where furniture built by local Amish craftsmen fills a rustic but comfortable dining room. Memberships grant frequent guests privileges such as access to the clubhouse?s upper level. Just a few miles inland from Lake Michigan, Deer Creek is located about 90 minutes from Chicago and about 30?40 minutes from South Bend.
St. Julian is Michigan’s oldest, largest and most awarded winery. This family-owned winery, founded by Mariano Meconi in 1921, is nestled in the picturesque fruit-growing region along the southern shore of Lake Michigan. Today, grandson, David Braganini, has adopted the family tradition of wine making.
PRP Wine's continent-hopping wine experts search far and wide for the world's finest pours, constantly replenishing their stock with bottles plucked off the vine in the United States, Europe, Australia, South America, and South Africa. PRP’s seasonal wine catalog champions unique adult beverages from renowned suppliers, including Germany's Ferdinand Pieroth GmbH Winery, whose grape-shucking traditions date back almost 300 years. Those who would like to try before they buy can call upon one of PRP's knowledgeable consultants to host an in-home tasting party, during which the wine expert brings a handful of samples and shares wine-pairing recipes. For special occasions, personalized wine bottles arrive at doorsteps bearing such messages as “Happy Birthday!”, “Congratulations on the new baby!”, or “Everyone falls off the water tower at some point––get well soon!”