Are you looking for something to do this weekend? Since folks in the wine industry are literally in the business of helping you relax and have fun, I suggest tapping into your local wine scene for some fun, even if you live far from the major wine-producing areas of the world. For example, I live in central Illinois. We grow a heck of a lot more corn and soybeans than grapes, and let’s be honest, the grapes we grow aren’t always produced into wine that I’m excited about drinking. However, my week is being bookended by local winery events. The first event–ziplining–was fabulous, and the second–a murder mystery dinner–looks both intriguing and yummy. Check them out in person, if you live in the area, or for inspiration, if you want to see examples of what could be going on in your local wine scene. It isn’t always just about tasting!
Check me out ziplining! The photog must have known that I like being incognito, but I promise, that’s me on the Grafton Zipline.
Where’s Grafton, you ask? Well, Grafton is a small town about a half an hour north of Alton, IL at the confluence of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers, according to my zipline guide. It is dedicated mainly to tourism and boasts several wineries and breweries on the river (my friends like the band-friendly scene at Piasa Winery and Pub and want to check out Grafton Winery and Brewhaus next time). What I like best about the Grafton area is the dramatic cliffs that dive down into the river – it just doesn’t feel like you are on the prairie! Check out Aerie Winery (next to the zipline) for a drink in the hills. It is just gorgeous up there! And you can stay in one of their cottages, too, if you want to make a weekend of it.
The zipline cost me $80 and was well worth it, especially this time of year. The foliage was dramatic, and I bet it will be for at least another weekend. Nine pretty major zips await you at the Grafton Zipline. Kids of all ages over 45 pounds are welcome, but the young ones may want to ride tandem with a guide (some of those zips could be scary for a little shaver.) The zip pictured below was pretty high, but it wasn’t even the granddaddy of them all.
This Friday, I’m headed to another winery-related event–a murder mystery dinner–at Prairie Hill Winery in Oakford, IL. For those of you unfamilar with the area, it is near Abraham Lincoln’s New Salem northwest of Springfield. So if you are coming to town to see that fun Lincoln site, check out the winery nearby. It is open daily year-round, and offers a fun atmosphere with bands from 2pm to 5pm on Sundays. I’m going on Friday night for a murder mystery dinner entitled Gone with (the Passing of) the Wind. For those of you who know my love of that movie, you can imagine my excitement. For $45, I’ll get a nice dinner (looks like steak and potatoes are promised), a little entertainment, and hopefully, a decent glass of wine from the winery. I am excited!
Those are just a couple of events being offered in my local wine scene. Have you looked into what is being offered in your area? I bet there are lots of dinners, tastings, or other events that spice up your weekend.
The Wandering Wine Girl