Grafton Winery & Brewhaus
300 West Main
Grafton, IL 62037
M-TH | 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
F & S | 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Sunday | 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.
F & S | 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Sunday | 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Grafton Winery is very easy to find. It’s on the main road that travels thru Grafton and the building is marked with large lettering. It’s a rather modern looking building and as we pulled into the parking lot we had a sense of fun and good times here. People were sitting on the roof top it appeared and music could faintly be heard.
On the main level with the brewery was a good size gift shop which you will find something for everyone in there, especially if they are remotely a wine enthusiast. I found all sorts of kitchen decor, tshirts, handbags and well let me say this, my Christmas list is started.
Then up to the winery. There is a flight of stairs to go up or you can take the ramp located in the back of the brewery. As you enter that sense of fun and good times is confirmed. It’s very spacious. A large bar for wine tastings, to order food, or to purchase wine is easily accessible. The food is mostly like bar style food, but tasty, did I mention billy goat potato chips??? ha ha. There was seating all around, it can be sectioned off and rented out for special occasions as well. Beyond all the seating on two opposite ends you can walk out of the clear garage doors onto good size decks that over look the parking lot, the main road thru Grafton and on to the Mississippi & Illinois Rivers. A beautiful view as well as good times. They have large televisions so you can stay in the know of your favorite show or sporting event. They had a very good band playing and when they were on break, light background music was playing. If you were simply there to chat you would want to grab a seat on the patio farthest away from the band.
If you wanted to have a special occasion here, I noticed in the gift shop you can have personalized wine bottle labels made. They offer so many unique and fun services. If you end up having to much fun there are near-by places to lodge that are within walking distance, that is if you can walk after having to much fun.. ha ha..
They have a brewery where they are currently brewing their own beer with quite a variety of flavors. The brewery, located on the lower level, has plenty of seating to meet up with your friends for a night out, a small gathering or party, or just grab a seat at the bar. The bathroom is handy and clean!! You can enjoy a 16oz draft pint of their home brewed beer for only $5.00 ranging from Pilsner, Hefeweizen, Nut Brown, to Colaweizen and more… If you’re not feeling adventurous they have a nice variety of domestic beers as well. They seemed interested in getting the guest input on the drafts so try them out!!
And I can’t forget my most favorite part of it: Billy Goat Potato Chips, did i mention YUM!! With or without a beer they are fabulous, lots of flavor and texture… Once I was hooked on those, they introduced me to the spicy ones, which normally I can’t do spicy, but I tried them and my love affair with them was made. The flavor was wonderful. I’m not normally a potato chip person but I bought a large bag of each to take home. This is of course after eating one each of their small cute bags… The billy goat potato chips are made just across the river in St. Louis. They offered other food as well like hamburgers and other bar food.
At Grafton Winery they blend juices to make their wine. By doing this they have more options to choose from like Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Gris, and Chardonnay that we can’t normally grow in our region. They offer about 15 wines with some being seasonal.
Tastings cost: 6 Free, 1/2 oz. tastings
Deposit on glass: $3 (if returned your deposit is returned)
Cost of wine by glass: Mostly $6, Cabernet $7
Cost of wine by bottle: $14.05 to $23.31
The ones I tried include: ( Rating scale is based on 1 to 5 glasses with 5 being best)
Chardonnay – Very crisp & citrusy, lightly oaked, nice. It had won a Bronze Medal in 2011 in the New York Fingerlakes Wine Competition. Rating: 3 glasses
Harbor White – A blend of Muscat, Vignoles, Seyval, & Vidal. Semi-dry, crisp white wine that goes well with many foods and for any time of year. 2 glasses
Harbor Red – A medium bodied, light berry colored well balanced blend of Cabernet, Red Zinfandel, and Syrah was delicious. It is the winner of the Bronze Medal 2011, F.I.W.C. Rating: 4 glasses
Cabernet Sauvignon – Ruby colored, smells of leather, buttery. Aged in French American oak barrels and would go great with chocolate. 3 glasses
Riverbend Red – A blend of grapes, strawberry colored, sweet, light bodied, concord grape flavors. 2 glasses
Apple Crisp – Clear, heavy bodied, crisp, apple all over, delicious. Winner of a Silver medal in 2010 from the IL. State Fair & the 2010 Finger Lakes Wine Competition. 4 glasses
They also carry a Pinot Gris, a blush, blackberry, a red blend, four seasonal fruit wines, and a raspberry/chocolate dessert wine.
Lynn’s Wins – Harbor Red & Apple Crisp
Chrissy chose to drink the semi sweet, Harbor White, even though it wasn’t on the wine selection list. She took a bottle of the Autumnberry wine home which is one of their four seasonal wines. She says she is going to have to go back each season for the other seasonal ones. Autumberry is a raspberry flavor wine, which she normally thinks is gut-aching sweet, but this one was not, a perfect blend for fall. She gives them 3.5 grapes overall!!
The Midwest Winery Gals enjoyed our visit to Grafton Winery and will certainly be back again.