While fermenting and aging, Von Stiehl Winery's 25 wines reside in underground limestone caverns that date back to the Civil War era. Brothers Aric and Brad Schmiling build on experience as a chemist and theater engineer to maintain the winery and stock its online store with French- and American-style blends such as a gold medal-winning cabernet sauvignon, brandy-fortified cherry wine, and merlot aged in French oak, all of which woo palates more gently than Cyrano de Bergerac in a pillow fight. Visits to the storied winery, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, allow guests to soak in bold Austrian and Italian architecture as they pass through fermentation quarters and a production facility. Seasonal events range from tastings and food pairings to live music and grape-stomping competitions. In warmer weather, sprawling grass lawns grant panoramic views of Lake Michigan.
Set in a space hosting saloons and pubs since 1885, Townline's kitchen churns out a breakfast menu as well as a main menu featuring gourmet pizza and other pub grub. Sports-tuned TVs captivate patrons who supplement pub fare by exploring the bar’s copious list of draft-beer offerings. In addition to giving to community charities, Townline's genial staff spreads its characteristic generosity by frequently honoring competitor's coupons and serving a free drink to those celebrating a birthday or new pompadour haircut.
Outside Cool Harbor Restaurant's windows, Lake Michigan surges around the base of a bright red lighthouse, slapping against an oft-snow covered shore. Inside, the chill never touches patrons as they enjoy the view, warmed by the heat of a tireless grill and the tasty entrees it produces. Sirloin steak sandwiches drip with jus as black tiger shrimp sizzle in a white wine sauce. While waiting for a meal or enjoying a few drinks, patrons take to the billiards table to shoot a round of pool or explain the construction of a glucose molecule.
Joy's Bonker Hill serves up hearty, housemade lunches and dinners Tuesday?Saturday. Each day, rotating specials pop up alongside the regular menu, ranging from broasted pork chops to fish-fry Fridays?but the signature broasted chicken is available daily. On Sundays, stop in for mimosas, coffee, and bloody marys alongside classic breakfast and lunch dishes, such as steak and eggs.
Parallel 44 Vineyard & Winery's winemaker Steve Johnson and owner Maria Milano shepherd their staff as they transmute Wisconsin varietal grapes into an array of award-winning cool-climate wines. The vineyard's vines?some of which can withstand weather 30 degrees below zero and pinches from elderly snowmen?spawn year-round grapes such as frontenac, st. pepin, and petite pearl. Guides conduct regular public and scheduled private tours of the vineyards, production facilities, and a tasting room decked in cream-colored walls and hardwood accents.
Named for a line of latitude running through Tuscany, Bordeaux, and the Green Bay area, the winery abounds with local culture and Mediterranean atmosphere. Villa arches and wide windows overlook colonnades and rolling green fields, enabling staff to ensure free-growing grapes don't wander to other pastures. The winery grounds swell with revelers during a range of seasonal events, such as festivals and a concert series.
Owners Lori Smurawa and Chris Hock stack Smurava Java Cafe's menu with a heap of breakfast platters, grilled paninis, and homemade soups to complement mugs bearing cargo from a full coffee bar. Guests can compile an original omelet from three eggs and cheese ($3.99), tossing in optional supplements of veggies and meats ($1 extra per ingredient). Gravy and sausage bits cloak a pair of biscuits in a rich blanket ($3.79), and guests hankering for midday fare can browse a savory roster of sandwiches. Sidle half of a turkey panini with cherry chutney up to a cup of homemade soup for a tangy and toasty combo ($5.25), or quash carnivorous cravings with a meatloaf panini loaded with homemade meatloaf, butter, and provolone cheese ($6.25). Sips of the coffee bar's Canyon River espresso can replenish energy stores before conferences or powerwalking races to the water cooler.