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Uncorked: Celebrate fall harvest at Galena Cellars

Purple stained feet are part of the fun at the Galena Cellars.

The third annual Harvest and Arts Fest is set for Sept. 29 and 30 from noon to 6 p.m. at the picturesque Galena vineyard and a litany of events are set to appeal to everyone from wine enthusiast to someone looking for a quaint weekend getaway.    

Winemaker spotlight

While harvest is long over since the drought brought fruit in earlier than usual, Galena Cellars will celebrate the hours spent toiling in the vineyard with a two-day extravaganza.

Revelers will stomp grapes, paint pumpkins and take horse-drawn hay rides through the sleepy hamlet in northwest Illinois. Music will pour from the barrel room, wine tastings will take place in the cozy tasting room and Three Headed Monster will provide a sampling of barbecue sandwiches. 

“It will be a lot of fun at the vineyard,” Galena Cellars spokeswoman Janelle Keeffer said. “It’s such a beautiful location to celebrate the harvest and the fall season at the vineyard.”

Because of the rolling hills, babbling brooks and old-fashioned shops that dot the main thoroughfare, Galena has long been an epicenter for inspired artists to create dramatic pieces. At the Fall Harvest and Arts Festival, patrons will witness art being created, have the opportunity to chat with artists and purchase pieces.   

“It’s a great partnership with the Galena Cultural Arts Alliance,” Keeffer said. “There will be artists giving demonstrations and selling products. To walk through the vineyard and view art, art being created, meet artists and have live music playing in the barrel room makes for quite an afternoon.”

Where to go

• Oktoberfest Grape Stomp and Pig Roast, Lynfred Winery, 15 S. Roselle Road, Roselle, 3 to 9 p.m. Oct. 6 and noon to 7 p.m. Oct. 7

Lynfred’s fall celebration is more than two decades old and hit every cylinder to mark the changing of the seasons at the Roselle winery. There’s a $3 entry fee for adults and tickets for food and drink need to be purchased on site. A late harvest Riesling and roast pig is a succulent combination to enjoy amidst the music from a live band and boisterous cheers from a grape stomp.   

Wine 101

Late harvest grapes have an extended hang time and naturally dehydrate. 

When Botrytis cinerea, a naturally forming mold, begins to grow, grapes can lose all of their water content. Wine made from this fruit is typically sweeter than grapes pulled at regular harvest time. 

• James Nokes writes a bi-weekly wine column for the Daily Chronicle. He’s been tasting, touring and collecting in the wine world for several years. Contact him at

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