Despite what the short term weather report says, we will definitely be getting some warmer weather in the Rockford area in a few weeks.
When it does begin to get a little nicer around the Stateline, the siren call of a weekend day trip will begin singing to those that like to explore the northern Illinois countryside. And what better way to spend a lazy Saturday is there than visiting a winery, grabbing some lunch and a little bit to drink. Then you grab a bottle for when you get home and enjoy the afternoon sun as you twist back home on two-lane county roads.
Fortunately, there are more than a handful of wineries to choose from in the area. Here are 5 that you visit in an hour’s drive or less from Rockford, Illinois.
The McEachran Homestead Winery in Caledonia, Illinois is closed on Sundays but open every other day from 11-5 (4 on Saturdays). There are multiple Yelp reviews from what appear to be real people extolling the virtues of this winery.
Head out on a Saturday when they have their patio concert and food truck event. A different music performer and food truck entertains guests all through the summer. A complete list of performers and food trucks can be found here.
2. Prairie State Winery – Genoa, IL
Prairie State Winery in Genoa, Illinois is open 7 days a week from 11-6 and stays open until 9PM on Friday and Saturday nights.
In addition to incredible wines, Prairie State Winery also boasts a delicious looking kitchen and seems to be more of a drinking and eating destination than your traditional winery.
3. The Muse on Cedar Creek – Freeport, IL
The property that Muse on Cedar Creek sits on used to be home to the Famous Fossil Winery. New owners bought the land in 2021 and has since been repurposed into a winery with a restaurant and event location.
They are closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Their hours are 11-8 everyday and 930-7 on Saturdays.
The menu looks great for both food and cocktails. Plus they have large rooms you can rent to host events.
4. DC Estate Winery – South Beloit, IL
This gorgeous property just south of the stateline is one of the quicker trips from Rockford on this list and definitely worth it.
DC Estate Winery is only open Fri-Sun 10-6 (11-5 on Sunday) so save this one for a weekend trip.
Once you get to the winery you’ll see why it is such a popular wedding destination. Less frills than some of the other wineries on this list so don’t plan on eating a big lunch when you get there.
One thing not to miss are their wine slushies. A perfect treat on a summer day.
5. Boppart Winery – Harvard, IL
Does this winery exist? I’m really not sure.
It’s listed on Yelp as a winery at 17001 McGuire Road in Harvard, Illinois.
I can’t find anything about this place on the internet, Facebook, or anywhere else. And there’s basically no information other than an address on the Yelp page.
Google street view doesn’t give me any answers either.
The only thing I can gather from the Yelp page is that they have excellent Blackberry Bourbon wine.
Is this just a liquor store? Maybe. You’ll have to take the drive to find out.
Weirdly Expensive Items
If you’ve got money burning a hole in your pocket, there’s a whole world of weird stuff you can spend it on. Why not start here with this list of exorbitantly priced oddities?
25 Illinois Steak Joints You Need To Try Sooner Than Later
If you are anywhere between the Illinois/Wisconsin border and into the deep suburbs of Chicago, this list is for you.