Travelers follow Jo Daviess County's sprawling fields and undulating hills toward Massbach Ridge Winery’s 18+ acre estate. Founded by the Harmston family in 2003, the winery’s proprietors select grapes grown in Jo Daviess County to concoct their batches of reds and whites. Members of the winery family escort guests on impromptu tours before rendezvousing in the tasting room or on the patio for samplings. The outdoor patio grants a heightened view of the vineyards below, which visitors can wander through on quests for vine-ripe copies of The Grapes of Wrath. In addition to its frequent tastings and tour sessions, Massbach Ridge Winery hosts a number of wine-related events each year.
Cuisine Type: Bistro-style cuisine
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Number of Tables: 11?25
Parking: Free street parking
Most popular offering: Signature cheese board
Alcohol: Full bar
Delivery/Takeout Available: Yes
Outdoor Seating: Yes
When Tangled Hickory Wine Bar's owners, Kevin and Karya Powell, envisioned a gathering spot for lunch, dinner, and late-night socializing, they knew they wanted its main fixture to be wines from around the world. As a result, their wine list features more than 100 bottles, as well as about 20 wines by the glass each day. They also ply patrons with wine flights, craft beers, and cocktails, which guests enjoy while listening to live music and recordings of New Guinea singing dogs.
Their wine bar's diverse menu offers shareable food to pair with the drinks, including bacon-wrapped stuffed jalape?os and a local artisan cheese board. Whenever possible, the Powells use local meats, seasonal produce, and bakery creations. They even have Madison's Gail Ambrosius Chocolatier?whose cocoa creations were called "the Holy Grail of chocolate" by Food Network's Alton Brown?whip up truffles that set off the flavor notes in Tangled Hickory's wine.
To create small batches of wines and spirits at Infinity Beverages Winery & Distillery, the proprietor draws upon the best raw materials available throughout the United States. But those aren't always the raw materials you'd imagine: Spirits include vodka made from midwest apples rather than grain, authentic fruit brandies, and whiskey distilled from full-flavored craft beer to be released in November 2014. The one-of-a-kind wine recipes are equally distinctive, ranging from sweet-tasting pinot noir and zinfandel to port-style moscato and classic dry reds such as syrah and pinot noir.
At Infinity Beverage's Tasting Lounge, visitors enjoy samples of hand-crafted wines, spirits, cocktails, and libations-in-development in a relaxing atmosphere. Customers are urged to visit Infinity's website to view their ever-growing list of current products.
Ivy snakes around door frames and fine stemware dangles above the Von Klaus Winery Tasting Haus?s bar where racks of all-natural fruit wines give off a kaleidoscope of colors. In this space, Von Klaus's staff re-creates the secluded winery experience right in downtown Baraboo. During four-course tastings, they pour samples of their sulfite- and preservative-free wines crafted from handpicked apples, wild cherries, or New Zealand kiwis. As guests gaze out the windows onto the historical square, the staff brings out small plates that may include Wisconsin cheese, jumbo shrimp, and chocolate truffles. As intimate as these pairings can be, the team at Von Klaus also finds a way to re-create the same feeling on a larger scale at private events. In addition to mobile tastings, the winery also brings its traveling vineyard to events in which a professional wine steward is on hand to offer guests a variety of sips.
Con Amici Wine Bar invites guests to relax with glasses of wine or craft beer in a calm, convivial atmosphere. Live musicians play blues and jazz sets as patrons sip a cabernet sauvignon or merlot and nibble on Wisconsin cheese and chocolates. In addition to serving delectable snacks and glasses of fine wine, Con Amici prides itself on its commitment to sustainable practices, sourcing food from local producers and composting waste when possible.
Just past the glowing sand bars of the Lower Wisconsin River Valley, 80 acres of fertile hillsides present the ideal spot for winemakers at Weggy Winery to produce their award-winning vintages. With 30 different labels, the wines range from a sweet apple-and-black-currant dessert wine to a dry, clean white traminette to a smooth, red sabrevois. The Oak Ridge red, made from Wisconsin foch grapes, recently took home a gold medal from a California wine competition and a handwritten letter from a Sheboygan-area grandma who?s convinced that bottle messages are the most efficient way to send mail.
Visitors can sample the estate-grown wine in the winery?s tasting room, a sun-drenched space overlooking the vineyard. During the summer, groups can tour the acreage in the back of a tractor-pulled tram during a one-hour guided excursion which highlights the property?s 16 acres, out of 24 total acres, of cherry, asian pear, and apple orchards, the property?s 11,000 grape vines, and the spot where aliens once stopped for a brief but memorable picnic.