Wine Festival Season is here! The season starts in Oswego and continues almost every other weekend throughout the state. There are so many to choose from that I usually prioritize the ones that feature Illinois Wines and fill-in my schedule with the ones that serve wines from around the country. However you decide to pick which wine events you want to try this year I am sure you will have a great festival season.
Here are some of my go-to wine festivals that I think you should check out this year.
Wine on the Fox – May 6 & 7
Taste wine from 14 Illinois wineries while enjoying the atmosphere created from the Fox River. This was the first wine festival I ever attended so I make a point to at least stop in every year. What I like most about this festival is that there is enough time to get to know the winemakers and really learn about the wine.
$15 – 5 Tastings, 1 Souvenir Wine Glass
$25 – Advanced Two Day Pass: 20 Tastings (10 per day), 1 Souvenir Wine Glass
Hudson Crossing Park, 65 N. Harrison Street, Oswego
May 6th from 11:00am-8:00pm and May 7th from Noon-6:00pm
Uncork Illinois – June 3
Listen to live jazz music while sipping on wine from over 16 local wineries. Downtown Oak Park makes a beautiful venue for this wine event celebrating four years. Jump on the Metra line or grab an Uber for this opportunity to taste over 150 wines.
$15 Advanced Tickets – 7 Wine Tasting Tickets and Souvenir Glass
$20 Tickets – 7 Wine Tasting Tickets and Souvenir Glass
Downtown Oak Park
Ottawa 2 Rivers Wine Festival – June 9-11
Happy 7th Annual Ottawa 2 Rivers Wine Festival! Enjoy wine from 20 wineries from across Illinois, jazz musicians, fresh lobster, botanical market and so much more! I like that this event includes admission for the full three days. Lobster will be served Friday 5-9 Saturday 1-9 and Sunday 1-5.
$20 Advanced Wine/Beer Weekend Pass – 9 Tasting Tickets and Souvenir Glass
$25 Wine/Beer Weekend Pass – 9 Tasting Tickets and Souvenir Glass
$30 Advanced Lobster Dinner
$35 Lobster Dinner
101 W. Main Street, Ottawa
Uncork Urbana Wine Festival – June 10
Last year a group of us loaded in the car and headed to Urbana for this festival. We stayed at one of the local hotels so we could really experience Urbana. We had a blast listening to the live music and tasting some Illinois wine.
$15 Advance Ticket – 7 Tasting Tickets and 1 Souvenir Glass
$15 Ticket – 5 Tasting Tickets (at the door) and 1 Souvenir Glass
Meadowbrook Park, 2808 S. Race Street, Urbana
Corkless in Galena – June 24
Enjoy Northern Illinois wines and light snacks while listening to live music. I have never been to this event but I already purchased my tickets for this year. Artists will have booths for attendees to enjoy local work.
$20 Ticket – 7 Tasting Tickets (good for wine or food) and 1 Souvenir Glass
Depot Park, Galena
Naperville Wine Festival – August 25-26
The Naperville Wine Festival returns to the Fox Valley on Friday, August 25 and Saturday, August 26. The festival provides an opportunity to sample from more than 300 wines from around the world and enjoy live music! We had so much fun going from tent to tent last year, even in the rain!
$32 in advance – 12 Tasting Tickets, 1 Pint of Beer and 1 Souvenir Wine Glass
Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster Street, Naperville
Friday 5pm-10:30pm and Saturday 5pm-10:30pm
Festival of the Vine – September 9-11
Taste wines from around the world while exploring the culinary scene of Third Street in Geneva. Put on your comfortable shoes and enjoy browsing the craft and art vendors.
Please, check back for ticket information.
8 S. Third Street, Geneva
Vintage Illinois Wine Festival – September 17 & 18
Now this is hands down my favorite wine festival. We attend every year with friends and every year we leave with a trunk full of Illinois Wine. This festival brings in 28-30 Illinois wineries. Take your time to ask the person pouring your wine a question because almost all of them are the owner of the winery or a tasting room worker. So grab your chairs and bring a cooler full of food (no alcohol allowed to be brought in).
$20 Ticket- 7 Wine Tasting Tickets and 1 Souvenir Wine Glass
Matthiessen State Park, Oglesby
Saturday 11am-6pm and Sunday Noon-5pm
The Great River Grape Escape – September 23 & 24
Growing up I was always so intrigued by the Mississippi River. The Great River Escape is the perfect chance to taste wines from 10 Illinois wineries while taking in the view of the Mississippi River. This festival also includes opportunities to try wine inspired dishes from local chefs. Bring your own lawn chairs or blanket for this comfy event.
$10 Ticket – 5 Wine Tasting Tickets and 1 Souvenir Glass
Clat Adams Park, 201 North Front Street, Quincy
Saturday Noon-7pm and Sunday Noon-5pm
Wabash Valley Wine & Art Festival – October 7 & 8
This year I am going to extend my festival list into October so that I can include this event. My new favorite date activity is grabbing a glass of wine then walking around an art exhibit. The Wabash Valley Wine & Art Festival is in the 15th year and perfect for a date night or girls’ night out.
FREE Admission to the Art Festival
$13 Wine Ticket – Wine Tastings and Souvenir Wine Glass
110 S. Main Street, Palestine
Saturday 11:30 am-6:30 pm and Sunday Noon-5:00pm
There are so many great events that offer the opportunity to try Illinois Wine without having to attend a wine festival.
Wine Tasting at The Morton Arboretum May 25, 2017
Illinois Wine Garden at Decatur Celebration August 4, 2017
Illinois State Fair Wine Experience August 11-20, 2017
Wine Garden at the Du Quoin State Fair September 2-3, 2017
Do you have a favorite wine festival that you go to every year? Let me know and I can add it to the list.
Happy Wine Festival Season!