For an unforgettable romantic getaway or girlfriends’ weekend of wine tasting, no need to hop a plane to Napa. Aurora is centrally located to a variety of tasting rooms sure to please any wine lover. If you’re traveling with a larger group, some of these destinations may be able to arrange a private experience for you if you call ahead. And if you want everyone to enjoy the tasting without a designated driver, we suggest you use a ride-sharing service or even arrange private transportation for the day through Spare Wheels.
Before you start sipping your way through the Fox Valley, kick off your trip with a visit to a local vineyard. Northwest of Aurora, Aquaviva Winery in Maple Park has deep roots in Italy, with a family history of winemaking dating back to the late 19th century. Its Italian heritage is evident in the grand interior featuring hand-painted murals set among mahogany and marble.
Experience the wines from “grape-to-glass” by scheduling a tour and tasting. Choose the one-hour Signature Tour with winemaker Sergio Benavides to learn about wine production, sample the wines, and pair them with artisan cheeses and specialty meats. If you’re available on Thursdays, you can even arrange a golf cart tour through the beautiful on-site vineyard. Then, cap off your visit and celebrate your new knowledge by enjoying an authentic Italian meal.
Now it’s time to head south to Fox Valley Winery in Oswego. Here, relax on cozy couches, grab a seat at a table or the bar, or choose a spot outside on the patio. This site offers daily wine tastings and showcases local artwork such as wood carvings, hand-painted glass, pottery and paintings. Pair your wine with artisan cheeses and, on select days, enjoy live music. Relax in the casual atmosphere, toast to a fun day 1 and revel in the excitement for tomorrow.
Lace up your walking shoes! Just north of Aurora, historic Geneva makes a great destination for wine sampling, with three excellent tasting rooms and plenty of delightful restaurants to keep you fueled through the day and evening. With yesterday’s educational tour of Aquaviva, you’ll be able to flex your new knowledge as you taste locally crafted wines, carefully curated selections from around the world, and an assortment that hails from Northern Michigan.
Your first stop is on Geneva’s celebrated South 3rd Street, Geneva Winery & Tasting Room, which offers daily wine tastings and often has live music on the weekends. You can sip an assortment of wines that are internationally inspired yet locally crafted. They have reds, whites, rosés and an extensive list of fruit wines, from tropical lime to watermelon. The décor is described as “rustic elegance,” and the setting is comfortable for connoisseurs and beginners alike.
Just two blocks north on South 3rd Street and also offering live music, you’ll find Geneva Wine Cellars and Tasting Room. Sure to please the most discriminating wine enthusiast, this local favorite carries an international assortment of wines carefully curated by their sommelier. Prefer a little charcuterie to pair with your wine? Pay a visit first to Chi-cuterie just around the corner, and bring your selection to the tasting room with you.
Now it’s time to leave 3rd Street, but don’t worry, you’re not going far. Just six blocks away on North 2nd Street, you’ll find Geneva’s newest tasting room, Up North Wine Tasting Room. Featuring a selection of wines from Northern Michigan, this location offers sample pours and wine flights. Complete the Up North experience by pairing your wine with snacks from Northern Michigan. Need to give your palate a break? You can also sample beers and ciders from Shorts Brewery in Elk Rapids, MI.
When your trip is done, make the memories last by picking your favorite destination and joining their wine club.
Start planning your trip to the Chicago, Naperville and Aurora area... book your perfect hotel stay today with Hampton Inn & Suites Aurora!
The hotel offers elegantly decorated, comfortable accommodations to suit every visitor’s need. For a romantic getaway for two, consider the King Suite with bar sink and under-counter refrigerator, or choose the Kids Suite for the family, complete with bunkbeds and a Playstation 4! The indoor pool, whirlpool and kiddie pool will please everyone, as will the delicious breakfast “on the house.” No time to sit for breakfast? No problem – the friendly front desk staff has you covered with “on-the-run” breakfast bags to take with you.
For those who are traveling to and from “the other big city” in Illinois, the hotel is conveniently located close to I-88 with easy access to Chicago.