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The 8 Best Wine Festivals In Illinois

Rebecca Hanlon
Last Updated: July 31st, 2023

Illinois wine festivals showcase wine produced in the state, including details about vineyards and wineries. Most of these festivals have live music, radiant art and crafts, yummy food, special vendors, and cooking and wine pairing demonstrations.

Visit any of these Illinois wine festivals listed below and learn about wine production, from Chicago to Springfield. You can chat with the winemakers while you sip and enjoy their wine.

Some festivals have activities for kids so that the whole family can attend. Don’t forget that some of these festivals are outdoors, so you may want to bring a blanket or chairs to relax under a tree or open area, hang with family and friends, listen to great music, sipping wine.

In this article, we will take a look at the best wine festivals in Illinois that wine lovers won’t want to miss.

Top Wine Festivals in Illinois

  1. Alton Jazz & Wine Festival
  2. Twilight Nights Music and Wine Festival
  3. Lincoln Park Wine Fest
  4. Wine and Art Festival at Rend Lake
  5. Annual Wine Festival
  6. Pretzel City Winefest
  7. Summer Wine Fest at Lincoln Park Zoo
  8. Wabash Valley Wine & Art Festival

1. Alton Jazz & Wine Festival

alton jazz & wine festival
Image: Alton Jazz & Wine Festival
  • Venue: Liberty Bank Alton Amphitheater
  • Event Date: September
  • Address: 1 Riverfront Drive, Alton, Illinois,62002
  • Tickets: $5.00 to $20.00

Celebrate an evening in downtown Alton with live jazz, local food, and regional wines. Alton is Miles Davis’ birthplace. What a way to enjoy jazz and wine on the backs of the Mississippi with tables and lawn tickets.

Liberty Bank Alton Amphitheater is a 4,000-seat venue along the gorgeous Riverfront Park. You can reserve a table on the permanent platform on the stage or general admission on the lawn. It’s a chance to appreciate the blues, wine, and brew under the stars.

2. Twilight Nights Music and Wine Festival

twilight nights wine festival

  • Venue: Vahling Vineyards
  • Event Date: Last Weekend in September
  • Address: 2683 County Highway 6, Stewardson, IL 62463
  • Phone No: 217-682-5409
  • Tickets: Friday: $6.00, Saturday and Sunday: $15.00 each day

The festival starts on Friday under the stars, where you and your friends can relax and enjoy live music, wine, and fabulous food. The outdoor event offers plenty of room to enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

Saturday and Sunday tickets include five tastings at Vahling Vineyards and five tastings at Twilight Distillery. These two days also include food trucks, live music, and craft vendors.

3. Lincoln Park Wine Fest

lincoln park wine fest
Image: Lincoln Park Wine Fest
  • Venue: Jonquil Park
  • Event Date: October
  • Address: 1001 W. Wrightwood Avenue, Chicago, Illinois
  • Tickets: General Admission: $35.00 to $55.00, VIP: $80.00

Tickets purchase a wine tasting session that lasts two hours. Friday has two sessions, starting at 5 PM. Saturday and Sunday sessions begin at 11 AM, with the last session starting at 8 PM.

General Admission limits 600 people per session with twelve standard tastings commemorative stemmed wine glass. VIP Admission has limited spots per session with twelve standard tastings, five additional specialty wine tastings, a commemorative stemmed wine glass, and extended tasting access.

The festival includes entertainment and vendors. All proceeds benefit the Wrightwood Neighbors Conversation Program and the upkeep of Jonquil Park.

4. Wine and Art Festival at Rend Lake

wine festival at rend lake

  • Venue: Rend Lake Area
  • Event Date: October
  • Address: 15273 Gun Creek Trail, Whittington, IL
  • Phone No: 618-439-4321
  • Tickets: $10.00 each day, cash only

An annual event passed its 20th anniversary. Enjoy wine tasting, shopping, food, live music, and beautiful fall weather. Look for the Golf Ball Water Tower.

Wine tasting from ten local and regional wineries. Admission includes a tasting armband and a complimentary wine glass. Peruse the various vendors displaying jewelry, glass, wood times, ceramics, soaps, candles, lotions, and more.

Don’t forget to bring lawn chairs to relax and stay a while.

5. Annual Wine Festival

annual wine festival
Image: COD Newsroom
  • Venue: Pere Marquette Lodge & Conference Center
  • Event Date: November
  • Address: Illinois Route 100, The Great River Road – A National Scenic Byway, 13653
    Lodge, Boulevard, Grafton, IL 62037
  • Phone  No: 618-786-2331
  • Tickets: $25.00, and additional tasting tickets are two for $1.00

Grafton is a quiet river town where Mississippi and Illinois rivers meet. Pere Marquette Lodge is a state park located outside Grafton. The lodge and conference center sponsor this annual wine festival, allowing attendees to taste dozens of wines worldwide. You will feel challenged to find your favorite wine.

Festival goers receive a Pere Marquette Lodge wine glass with sipping and tasting rights to the featured wines on display throughout the Lodge. The event includes all-day appetizers, unique vendors, live music, and Mary Michelle Winery.

Each ticket is worth seven tastings, with additional tickets (two for $1.00) available for purchase.

6. Pretzel City WineFest

pretzel city winefest

  • Venue: Hilldale Deli
  • Event Date: May
  • Address: 30 W. Stephenson Street, Freeport, IL 61032
  • Tickets: $25.00

It’s called another great downtown Freeport event on Saturday for four hours — 12 to 4 PM, featuring a lanyard, gift, and a souvenir wine glass. You and your friends will taste wines from Illinois, Wisconsin, and Iowa.

Venture downtown, visiting 25 shopping and boutique locations as you sip your wine. Some activities include pretzels, magic, a photo booth, music, shopping discounts, and more.

7. Summer Wine Fest at Lincoln Park Zoo

summer wine fest

  • Venue: Lincoln Park Zoo
  • Event Date: June
  • Address: 2400 N. Cannon Drive, Chicago, IL
  • Tickets: $55.00 and VIP Tickets: $85.00

The Lincoln Park Zoo Summer Wine Fest features 50 wineries, where you can sip, savor and stroll through the zoo. You and your friends can chat with representatives from the 20 wineries and enjoy the lush gardens and animal habitats with over 200 animal species.

General admission gets you in the zoo for 20 tastings, a souvenir glass, live music, and food available for purchase.

VIP also gets you in the zoo, including lounging in the Bird’s Eye Bar and Grill with gorgeous views of the zoo and plenty of room to sit and relax.

8. Wabash Valley Wine & Art Festival

wwabash valley wine festival

  • Vanue: Palestine
  • Event Date: October, the first Saturday and Sunday each year
  • Address: Main Street, Palestine, IL
  • Tickets: $15.00

Every year, the Wabash Valley Wine & Art Festival brings wineries and artists from the region together. You and your friends can browse the retail shops, eat at various restaurants and listen to live music up and down Main Street.

The festival features hundreds of wines from 15 Illinois wineries, including artisans with handcrafted goods and food vendors. On Sunday, there is a car show!

The ticket includes one-day attendance, wristband, complimentary glass, and a great time!

About The Author

Rebecca Hanlon

Rebecca has been a blogger for over 5 years, before that enjoying a number of jobs to fund her passion for travel. She's taught English as a foreign language, a part-time Barista, a waitress, and a tour guide.

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