There’s nothing better than an October weekend drive. The leaves are turning, the cider is fresh, and you might even find some frost on the pumpkin. Oh, and don’t forget the apples!

There’s also no better time to visit local wineries. Many Midwestern wineries turn fall into festivals with special wines, food, and entertainment.

Let Grape Sense be your weekend travel guide. One of my favorite journeys is to Southern Indiana to visit Turtle Run and Huber Wineries. Turtle Run has a big day planned Oct. 16 with live music. Huber winery has live music every Saturday and Sunday through October.

Turtle Run’s Jim Pfeiffer

While visiting Turtle Run say hello to winemaker and owner Jim Pfeiffer. Try some of his uniquely blended red and white wines.

Huber has quite a festival each October. The apple orchards are full of fruit and the kids can pick out a pumpkin for that special jack-o-lantern.

Huber makes some of Indiana’s best red wines. Try there Generations and Heritage blends. They also make a really nice Cabernet Franc.

Turtle Run and Huber are only a few miles apart. If you go to one, it’s a shame not visit the other!
Jim Butler

On the way south or coming back north go through Bloomington and make a stop at Butler winery’s tasting room downtown or out at the winery north of the city. Jim Butler is one of Indiana’s most-respected winemakers.

Try his wonderful dry Rose, Chambourcin, and dynamite specialty wines.

If you want more of a trip head up to the southwest corner of Michigan. Stop in at the Round Barn Winery, Tabor Hill, and Domaine Berrien Cellars.

The Round Barn has a wide variety of wines and a brewery where they craft beer. I’d recommend the Gewurztraminer. Bring a bottle or two home for your Thanksgiving Turkey.

Tabor Hill is one of the area’s most visited wineries and also features a restaurant. The wines are very light in style but clearly loved in Southern Michigan.
Domaine Berrien is one of the most interesting stops. The winery is one of the only Rhone Rangers members in the Midwest. They grow traditional French grapes, best known from the Rhone Valley, like Viognier, Marsanne, Rousanne and others to make wonderful blended wines.
In Illinois, there are a number of wineries in the southern part of the state. Explore the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail for a wonderful weekend.
Earlier this year I visited Wisconsin and became a big fan of Wollersheim Vineyards just outside Madison. If you make the trip to Southern Wisconsin, drive a half hour south of Wollersheim and visit Fisher King Winery in the charming village of Mount Horeb and enjoy its Norwegian heritage.
But wherever you live there are plenty of options nearby. It’s easy to find these wineries’ websites with a simple internet search. If you’re not sure or want to find some new spots use the state association websites. Here are the official names: Indiana Grape Council, Michigan Wines, Wineries of Wisconsin, and Illinois Wine.

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