What's Happening At Massbach Ridge Winery

Wine Label Contest

Massbach Ridge Winery and Apple River Fort Foundation are proud to announce a contest to design a new label for Elizabeth, a white table wine. Award winning Massbach Ridge Winery originally released the Elizabeth wine in 2008 to commemorate the courage of the women who helped repel Black Hawk and his band during an attack on Apple River Fort in 1832. According to local legend, three Elizabeths were among the settlers, and one of them organized the women to mold bullets and reload weapons, actions essential to victory.

Elizabeth wine, with its new label, will be unveiled at Apple River Fort at a special event last spring. The artist will retain ownership of the original artwork, and receive a $100 honorarium and, if 21 years of age, three bottles of Elizabeth wine.  Massbach Ridge Winery and Apple River Fort Foundation will have the right to use the artwork to produce wine labels and wine label posters, and to promote events.

When designing the image for the label, the following should be taken into consideration:
1. The image should not include any information about the wine. The winery’s graphic designer
will use the image to create the final label and add any necessary written information.
2. The image should have strong appeal to the wine shopper.
3. The wine is a soft, fruity wine made from Niagra grapes.
4. The image should evoke the era of the 1830’s in the Tri-State region. For pictures of clothing
and activities authentic to the period Visit the fort’s website http://appleriverfort.org.
5. The image should celebrate the strength and courage of pioneer women in the Tri-State region
in general, and in particular, the women who helped defend the fort against Black Hawk.
6. The image should not include Black Hawk, as he is honored with his portrait on the label of
Massbach Ridge Winery’s Black Hawk Red.
7. The image will be reduced to label-size – approximately 4 inches high and 3 inches wide.


There is no fee to enter, and the contest is open to all artists, 18 years or older, living or attending school in Jo Daviess, Stephenson or Carroll County, Illinois; Grant County, Wisconsin; or Dubuque County, Iowa. There is no limit to the number of submissions. Full color paintings, in any medium, and full color photographs will be accepted until March 31, 2017. All work will be juried from the actual art. The work must be delivered to and picked up from Apple River Fort. The front of the picture cannot have visible identification. The picture must have the name, address, and phone number of the applicant on the back. The picture must be accompanied by an application, which can be filled out when the picture is dropped off. The painting or photograph cannot have been used to promote any other product, and cannot be used in the future to promote any other product.

For more information, or for an application, please contact Kathleen Morgan at Kathleen@ewtravel.com or call Apple River Fort at (815)858-0228

Applications also available at Massbach Ridge Winery.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

“Every Day is a Celebration!”  In honor of Valentine’s Day, take time to enjoy a bottle of Massbach wine with your special someone… once or maybe twice.

In researching a quote about sharing wine with spouses/lovers, I found this from Australian poet/journalist, Ann Fairbairn.  “There must be always wine and fellowship or we are truly lost.”

Although this quote may not be as provocative as what I was looking for, it simplifies the need to take the time with one another to talk, to share and to just be together.  This is where wine comes in once again.

I last wrote about pairing food and wine.  That magic pales in comparison to the magical pairing of a bottle of wine with your special love.  So grab your special someone and celebrate Valentine Day at Massbach Ridge Winery or open a bottle at home.  

Please let us know what Massbach wine you have chosen.  Or better yet, tell us what Massbach wine “pairs” best with your special someone.    Let’s have some fun with this!

Mine is a little fruity and sweet.

Cabin Fever Wine Tasting

Tired of the cold? Feeling a bit feverish for spring? We can cure that with a little Hot Red Storm! Our spiced red wine is warmed to perfection and is sure to warm your body and soul.  Mike Kelly and Mr. Ed will be entertaining from 1 pm to 4 pm.  We will have wine tasting available as well as special tastings of a few new vintages!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Time: 11 AM – 5 PM

Cost: $5



Event reservations
  • Please enter a value between 1 and 50.
  • :

Wine Cheese & Chocolate at FAM


Enjoy a fun filled evening tasting a variety of specialty wines provided by Royal Liquor distributors. The Cheese Market will be featuring their gourmet cheeses, and Lessman Catering is showcasing their delicious and distinctive chocolate creations. New this year is a Wine-Pull. Just in time for valentine’s day, our silent auction is full of unique and creative gifts for your sweetie.

The first 100 guests will receive a complimentary wine glass at the event.

Food and Wine? nope. Wine and Food.

Traumen with meat loaf turns a common meal into a WOW.

Do you find yourself spend more time playing in the kitchen during the winter months? Trying new recipes? Putting a little more flare in your day to day meals? With being cooped up in the house more that I would like, I sure find myself having a little more fun preparing the evening’s menu.

Wine, of course, enters into play here.  There are times I pick a recipe I want to try (or just grab something from the freezer) and then look to the “cellar” for a wine to match. Others times when I have time to prepare a special supper, #1 the wine is chosen,  #2 then the dish.

So how to select a wine for dinner? Or in my case, select a dinner for a wine?

There is the long-standing rule of thumb that says “Red wine with red meat and white wine with white meat.”

From that educational foundation, you can build some structure with trial and error; drinking the wine you like with the food you like.  Please take note of a few considerations.  First – spice.  For instance, garlic, (a staple in our kitchen) will pair better with our Seyval Blanc than our fruity St. Pepin.  A light wine like our Blushing Pink will get lost with a hot spicy dish where Marechal Foch will enhance the flavor.

Secondly, the “weight” of the food should be consistent between the wine and food.  Example:  A hearty stew will taste better with deep reds like Massbach Reserve or Traumen as opposed to Massbach Stomp.

This being said, remember this subjective.  Some of our customers love Massbach Stomp (a Concord wine) with spaghetti while others wouldn’t consider opening anything else than Massbach Reserve (our barrel-aged Frontenac).

In making a good pairing, you create a Gestalt effect. The combination of the wine/food is greater than (>) the two on their own.  That’s the beauty!!!

Again, I encourage you to drink the wine you love with the food you love with the people you love.  You can’t go wrong!

Have fun with this and please post your discoveries and let us know.

Happy New Years!

A glass to the old and A glass to the new!

We will be open at both tasting rooms New Year’s Day from 11 to 5pm. Please drink responsibly.

Holiday Wine & Cheer!

We invite you out to Massbach Ridge to partake in holiday cheer.

Please join us on Saturday, December 17 to sit around the fire and enjoy Christmas carols with wine.

We hope to see you personally to tell you Merry Christmas!
If you can’t make it out, we will be shipping on Dec. 5th, 12th, and 19th and would love to send you some cheer!Family by Fire

You are going to love these new wines!

The time to release the first new wines of 2016 is here.

Vignoles is my favorite! We are almost too cold to grow this grape and have had a couple of years of very little crop. After a mild winter last year and hours of retraining the vines, we harvested an ample crop. I am very excited to have you try this semi-sweet wine filled with tropical fruit flavors.

Our Apple wine is always popular with our friends that like more mild wines. After an absence on the shelf, Apple is back! The cider we use to make this wine is from our neighboring town of Lanark. Cheers to Rolling Hills!

Last, but not least, Massbach Nouveau 2016 has been bottled and differs greatly from previous vintages. A blend of Foch and Marquette (a new northern grape) has a touch of sweetness and finishes with a cranberry note.

I am very excited for you to come out and sample these new wines! Let me know what you think.

Cheers my friends,

Biggest Harvest in Massbach History

harvesting-2016 harvesting-frontenac-2016 Over 50 ton of grapes processed this past month! That’s a LOT of buckets!! Approximately 5,000 buckets!
A HUGE THANK YOU to ALL you helped; customers, charity organizations, friends and family.
Marechal Foch, St. Pepin, LaCrosse, Frontenac and Vignoles wines have filled the tanks to the brim.
Harvest was a little early this year. About 10 days ahead of most years. The main reaston is the hot August we received. The quality of grapes has been exceptional considering the rainfall we have experienced the past several weeks.
We are very excited about the vintages in the works and will be updating you on the status as the upcoming months pass.
We look forward to seeing you soon!