Grape Stomping Harvest Festival Fun at Villa Marie Winery!

Grapes, wine, vendors, live music, great times; that is Villa Marie Winery’s Annual Harvest Festival in seven words!

Located about 18 miles from St. Louis, this beautiful winery is the perfect escape from the daily hustle and bustle! Be sure to keep up with their events here! You can also follow along on their Facebook and Instagram pages!

Ducks enjoying the shade by the water

One of the winery’s biggest events is their annual Harvest Festival and Grape Stomping Competition! The winery packs their banquet hall full of fun vendors, and when you venture outdoors you can listen to live music from local bands. You can do all this while enjoying wines from Villa Marie Winery, and Piasa Winery!

The Zydeco Crawdaddy Band had everyone up and dancing!
Beautiful henna art by Natalieโ€™s Body Artistry!

One of my favorite parts of the event is the grape stomping competition! I got the chance to get my Lucy on and stomp some grapes! What a great way to exfoliate your feet and put on a show for everyone watching! ๐Ÿคฃ It was a blast!

Yes I did hold a glass of wine the entire time, without spilling a drop!๐Ÿ˜…

One of the sweetest people I was able to meet at this event was actually there celebrating a HUGE accomplishment!! Vickie Rose, a local to the area, unfortunately lost the use of both of her legs due to blood clots. Seven months ago she told her doctor she HAD to walk again so she could stomp some grapes at the harvest festival. SHE DID IT. After many surgeries and months of learning to use her legs again, she was able to reach her goal of being able to walk again in time for grape stomping season!

Vickie Rose and friends celebrating being able to walk (and stomp grapes!) again!

Here’s a video of me stomping grapes if anyone cares too!

Be sure to check out all of the Villa Marie Winery social media pages and never miss an event announcement!

Villa Marie Facebook Page

Villa Marie Instagram Page

Villa Marie Website

Enchantment Awaits You At This Hidden, Rural Illinois Winery

Photo from the Hidden Lake Winery website

Tucked away in the “Silent Forest” of rural Aviston, Illinois, you can find Hidden Lake Winery. The Silent Forest has been well known to hunters and foragers for years. During the early 1900s bootleggers would hide their stills in the forest to avoid revenuers. If you are a fan of folklore and ghost stories, you will love exploring the property with the Native American spirits that are said to still roam there.

Exploring the forest! Bonus points if you can spot the puppy!
Donโ€™t be alarmed if the dog pack comes at you for some love!

In June of 2017, Steve and Angela Gorazd proudly took ownership of Hidden Lake Winery. Steve served for 30 years as a leader in the aviation field while Angela holds a Doctorate in nursing and is a nurse practitioner. They couldn’t be more proud to share their love and passion for wine making and grape growing!

Proud owners Steve and Angela Gorazd and the Hidden Lake Winery Family

If you’re looking for a Quick Getaway, there are 10 cabins on the property available for use!! From fun girls nights out, mid-week getaways with your love, to a special “Baby Moon” package for expecting parents, Hidden Lake Winery has something for everyone to enjoy!

Cabin photos from Hidden Lake Winery Website

Do NOT even get me started on the unlimited dream wedding ideas you can make come true at this beautiful place!

Wedding photos from the Hidden Lake Winery Facebook Page

A winery isn’t a winery without wine right? Hidden Lake Winery offers over 15 different and award winning wines that are produced in their own cellar and made from locally-grown fruits. Their own Vineyard was planted in April of 2017 and they expect to have their first harvest in 2021!

Not only do they produce delicious and award winning wines, they even help make a difference in nurses lives! For every purchase of their “Off Duty” semi-sweet wine, the winery donates $3 to helping nurses pay for their continuing education! Cheers to that!

Looking for a fun time out with your friends and loved ones? Remember when I mentioned this place has something for everyone…Hidden Lake is always keeping their schedule FULL of fun events like Murder Mystery Dinner Theaters,ย  Cooking Classes and their own yearly “Winestock” Music & Wine festival!

Seriously CHECK OUT THESE AWESOME EVENTS!

If I haven’t made you want to check this place out for yourself by now…here are some more photos of the beautiful property that may just change your mind!

For more info about Hidden Lake Winery, or to just follow along with their many fun and exciting activities, check out the links below!

Website: http://www.hiddenlakewinery.com/

Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/hiddenlake.winery/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hiddenlakewineryillinois

This Hidden Gem is Turning Corn to Vodka Right in Bethalto, IL!ย 

      

     Tucked away in a warehouse in Bethalto, Illinois you will find the hidden gem B. T. O. Distillers; home of Bluestem Vodka. When you first drive up it might seem like you’re out of place, that means you are in the right place then! Head on in and a friendly face will greet you with a smile! 

Yes, you’re in the right place if you see this!

     

     After deciding there were already enough amazing micro breweries in the area, the owners decided to try a different route and chose to start producing their own vodka. With a combined 50 years of knowledge in winemaking, brewing, and alcohol experience, mixed in with some engineering and chemistry experience, this is how their unique making process and distillery was born! 

 

     Keeping it local is a big part of the company! They get all of their corn used for the production of their vodka from local farmers. 

     On Saturdays, the distillery offers educational tours of the facility you can book online. The tour includes a tasting and a drink to sip on while you learn! If you can’t decide what drink to go with, you have to try their famous “Stemcell” drink!         You can get 20% off your tour here!

Bluestem Vodka-Home of “The Stemcell”

     

     After you finish your tour, you might even get lucky enough to purchase a bottle you can wax on your own to take home! 

You might even get lucky enough to wax your own bottle!
  While you’re visiting, don’t forget to sign up for the amazing awards program they offer! For every $4 you spend at the distillery, you get 1 star! When you earn 50 stars, you receive a FREE bottle of Bluestem Vodka!