Romantic Wine Experiences in Illinois and Michigan

Wine has a knack for setting a romantic tone to any day or weekend getaway. If you and your love are looking to excite your palates, Michigan and Illinois may not immediately spring to mind–but they should. Wineries and vineyards have been popping up all over the Midwest in recent years. You and your sweetie can spend a day or a weekend tastingwonderful wines and enjoying each other’s company in the heart of the country. Plus, you can choose a few of your favorite wines to take home so you can experience the romance of a winery anytime you want.

couple-flirting-while-drinking-wine-1 Fenn Valley Vineyards, Fennville, MI

Fenn Valley Vineyards, located on the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail, has some of the best winemakers dinners in Michigan. Enjoy a 5-course gourmet meal, perfectly paired with Fenn Valley’s fine wine selection. The care and detail that go into making each of these meals is incredible. You and your sweetie will savor every bite–and every sip of wine–long after the last course is served. And here’s a tip–don’t forget to enjoy Fenn Valley’s refreshing Sparkling Riesling during the cheese reception before dinner.

Acquaviva Winery, Maple Park, IL

Before getting to the fine wines, the old-world art and architecture of the Acquaviva Winery will dazzle you and your love at first sight. The beauty of the grand entry atrium, decorated with colorful murals by world renowned artist Andre Zabela, will perfectly set the mood for an afternoon of escape, luxury, and romance. Take a tour of the winemaking facilities or skip straight to an Italian-inspired lunch. The 2010 Donna Mia wine is sure to pair well with romance.

Tempo Vino Winery, Kalamazoo, MI

Tempo Vino Winery in downtown Kalamazoo is made for romance, and the wine names say it all. “Moonlight Serenade Cabernet Sauvignon,” “Moon Love Moscato,” and “Green Eyes Pinot Grigio” are a few love-inspired wines you and your love can sip. Or, If you want to make wine tasting a highly personal experience, Tempo Vino will let you make your own wine based on personal taste. Commemorate an anniversary or special date by creating a perfect flavor combination that uniquely describes your love.

City Winery, Chicago, IL

Couples looking for a little romance in the Windy City should stop by City Winery. Located in Chicago’s hip West Loop, this winery has a fun, unique vibe. Not only do they serve house-made wines on tap, but you and your love can take a tour of this innovative urban winery, then sit down for a spectacular meal and live musical performance. Pair their artisanal cheese appetizer with their 2014 “Morgan Station” Sauvignon Blanc for a truly delicious “Chicago” wine-tasting experience.

Chateau Chantal, Traverse City, MI

Chateau Chantal is the perfect place for you and your love to experience the relaxation that comes with great wine, gourmet food, and a beautiful bed and breakfast. Known for their hospitality and attention to detail, the staff at Chateau Chantal offers a variety of wine experiences from Tapas Tours, Sensory Tours, and VIP Winery Tours to enhance your wine knowledge. Stay the whole weekend and take a 2-day cooking class that you and your sweetie will never forget. For fun, try the Chateau’s “Naughty Red” and “Nice Red” wines and decide which one you and your love prefer.

Blue Sky Vineyard, Makanda, IL

If you are looking for the serenity of a peaceful Illinois winery plus overnight romance, Blue Sky Vineyard has the perfect combination. Spend the afternoon tasting some of the vineyard’s spectacular wines, then head to the Tuscany Romance Suite, where you’ll enjoy warm, classic Italian decor. With a private balcony overlooking a quiet pond, romance is sure to be in the air. Don’t miss this tip for summer travel–if you’re visiting between May and September, be sure to experience Blue Sky Vineyards’ famous sangria recipe.

St. Julian Winery, Paw Paw, MI

Most wineries offer tastings of their exclusive wines, but St. Julian Winery’s “Enhanced Tasting and Tour” option adds more depth to that wine experience. You and your sweetie can make your visit extra special by adding either a chocolate or cheese pairing to your wine tasting. Talk about your favorite combinations and try to recreate them later at home. If in doubt, go with this sure bet–the rich BR Cabernet Franc will pair deliciously with any of the chocolates.

Kite Hill Vineyards, Carbondale, IL

Kite Hill Vineyards is another great location for you and your love to enjoy award-winning wine, the comfort of a bed and breakfast, and the natural beauty of Southern Illinois. For couples who like to spend time with each other outdoors, the popular hiking trail at the nearby “Little Grand Canyon” is a must-visit spot. Not only can you admire the calming beauty of the on-site lake, but fishing is also permitted there. After an active day outside, come in to the vineyards to relax with Kite Hill’s expertly crafted wines. Take a signature Peach Bellini Kit, complete with the vineyard’s White Chambourcin dry blush wine, with you for a cool, romantic treat at home.

Lana Orndorff is a travel-loving writer currently living in Chicago. She’s experienced beautiful parts of the world, including Argentina, Spain, Chile, Colombia, South Korea, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Jamaica, Ecuador, and much of the United States. Give her bold red wine, intelligent friends, her loving husband, and a classic novel and she is a happy traveler.

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About Donna Beasley

Donna is a romantic travel expert who encourages couples to create memorable romantic moments, honeymoons, vow renewals and other special romance occasions in travel locations throughout the world. She is the founder and publisher of Romance Travel Magazine. A romantic at heart , she hopes to inspire everyone to find love in their own special place.

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