As you may have heard, Molly is making the move with her husband to Kansas City. As a special farewell, her work colleagues and a few local friends decided to get together and embark on a fun-filled day of winery hopping around Central Illinois. Everyone started with a delicious and filling brunch at Boone's Saloon in Springfield before starting the journey.
Our first stop on the tour was West of Wise Winery, located in Petersburg, IL. The lovely couple that owns the winery stayed out and chatted with us while we made decisions and most of us opted for a full tasting. They were so informative as we tried each wine and we learned all about how the winery came to be. Plus, you can try a whole flight of every wine they offer for $6! You can't beat that deal and we were all so pleasantly surprised about how delicious they all were.
Overall, delicious wine, a great personalized experience, a relaxing atmosphere, and passionate and knowledgeable owners really made West of Wise stand out.
We could have stayed for one glass of everything, but we had to move on to the next stop.
Next up on the tour was Danenberger Family Vineyards in New Berlin, IL.
It was such a gorgeous day outside, we actually decided to stay at this winery the rest of the afternoon. The winery is built on the Danenberger family property and the tasting areas are an extension of their home. They take hospitality seriously! It's like a boutique experience in the middle of the countryside. The whole area is surrounded by those famous Central Illinois corn and soybean fields, which struck a stark contrast against the blue spring sky.
Some of us did a tasting here too, but two of the big favorites were the Blanc and rosé.
Don't worry, Jodi was only holding Molly's wine for her, not double fisting (ok, she might have tasted it too). ;)
The yard area around the house and winery is beautiful with plenty of seating for big and small groups of friends. They even have a bocce ball court set up, which is perfect for passing the time. The guys in the group decided to have an impromptu game while the girls chatted.
Danenberger also encourages you to bring your own picnic to enjoy with their wine. We had a pretty great spread of various cheeses, fruits and crackers. It's a great place for large groups, because there are so many different seating areas both inside and out. We'd highly recommend Danenberger as well for the great wine, ambiance and gorgeous spaces to relax.
We chatted away the rest of the afternoon and before we knew it, it was time to say goodbye. It was a perfect way to send Molly off to Kansas City in style. Perhaps we will need to do a Missouri winery tour post soon?