What's Happening At Massbach Ridge Winery

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!

Harvest is upon us!!

155160_10151154581602070_2047591370_nWe have started to make a dent into our 18 acres vineyard by picking Marechal Foch. We will be very busy during the next few weeks bringing in 2016’s vintage. The first 500 gallons of Foch juice may be a tad tart but the cherry, strawberry flavors typical of the wine are present and accounted for!

Memorial Music Saturday May 28th

Join us for a toast this Memorial Day in the vineyard, remembering all those who died in honor of their country. Tasting and wine by the glass, and snacks available. Entertainment by “Laura Rae and The Backroads Trio” from 1pm to 4pm Check them out here..

Back Roads Trio


Event reservations
  • Please enter a number from 1 to 50.
  • :

Grapes in Northern Illinois?! YES!

St. Pepin, Frontenac, Marechal Foch, and Vignoles may not be grape varieties commonly discussed in Wine Spectator but they may be someday.

These are the names of the grapes we grow in Northern IL.

These are the grapes that can withstand winter temperatures dipping down to -30F and further.

These are grapes that have been the building stones of our 12 year old winery.

Zinfandel, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, and so on are varieties that would perish in our cold northern winters.  American Hybrids have emerged the last couple decades due to the dedication by amateur and professional viticulturists to develop varieties of wine grapes for the Mid-West.  Cheers to THEM!!!

Because of their years of trials, tests and labor,  we are able to grow red and white wine grapes that rival other parts of the wine world.

I speak of St. Pepin specifically.  Year after year, our estate-grown St. Pepin displays a whiff of citrus and cuts with a spray of green apple.  Presented beside certain Viogniers, you may not be able to tell the difference.  You might close your eyes and think you have been transported to another part of the world, but yet, you are close to home in the hills of Illinois.

As for the reds, we blend for our barrel aged wines.  Frontenac is the prominent grape in our barrels and for our rich semi-dry wines.

We have often joked, “Wine snobs- Welcome!”  Though not Cabernets, our reds provide structure and complexity with a uniqueness and versatility to make to make you proud of what you discovered –  LOCAL WINE!

This is a St. Pepin vine as it appears in July.

This is a St. Pepin vine as it appears in July.

Paint and Sip

Love Wine and crafting as much as we do?!

What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than joining us for a Paint and Sip event!


Massbach Ridge Winery
8837 S. Massbach Rd.
Elizabeth, IL 61028
We will be painting a wood Welcome Sign
$50/person, includes:
*One glass of wine
*One canvas
*Use of brushes, paints and pallets
*Step-by-step instruction

Limited Space Available. RESERVATIONS REQUIRED.

To reserve your spot, please call 815-291-6700

Find up to the date info at our Facebook page!


March Pruning; Wine Sculpting

Pruning= cutting 90% of a grapevine’s growth from last year to develop a balance between quantity and quality.

It’s SPRING!  We are outside full-time during the month of March sculpting this year’s vintage of fruit.

Watch –Peggy Pruning a Frontenac plant

If the vines are left on their own, each vine will look more like a bush with all of last year’s buds growing another shoot.  As a farmer, this sounds okay.  More growth=more yield.  BUT, the quality of fruit would be terrible.

Here are a few of the issues if the vine was left unpruned –

  • Smaller bunches
  • Too much vegitation keeps the fruit from getting sunlight
  • Too much vegitation keeps moisture from dew and rain lingering too long promoting fungal growth… yuck
  • The many, many small bunchs will not ripen before the leaves fall

TAKE HOME –   No Pruning=Exponential Mess=Poor Wine Quality

Because of our committment to high quality wine, we take great care to created a quality/quantity balance on each vine.  Yes, each vine.  More fruiting buds will be left on a vigorous plant than one that show less growht fromthe previous years.

Well, enough yacking.  I’m going outside!!

Take care friends and come out soon to see the manicured vineyard.




Wanting to be Your Favorite Winery

January is a time to reflect on the past year and the  new year starting. We, at the winery, have sat done as a team and become very excited about the year to come with ideas to continue to

Getting ready for Feuerzangenbowle – a classic German Wine punch. Come sample the fun on Feb 13th at our Cabin Fever Open House.

have the best wine and deliver the best experience for you.
New events have been added along with more music throughout the year. Check out the events page to see our events coming up.

As always, bottling top quality wines is simply a ‘must’.  I wouldn’t want to put anything else in front of you than a local product that is jaw dropping delicious. The dry wines that are bottle aging this winter are uncovering similarities to previous award winning vintages while having their own aroma and flavor identities.

Wines for the sweeter teeth, like Blackhawk Red and Stomp, are stil being tweaked for spring bottling.

All of us on the Massbach team are dedicated to make your time enjoyable and memorable.

We look forward to seeing you soon!


#ilwine #

What do we do this time of year?

is a question I get a lot during tours. We are done outside until March, but there is plenty to do inside. Wines are done fermenting but still need a lot of TLC: racking, testing, fine-tune additions, stabilizing agents, filtering, bottling and of course TASTE testing.  

 You may find yourself being a part of the last “test” when you are at the winery this time of year. I always want to make sure the wines hold up to your high standard.  

Along with the enology activities, your Christmas gifts are being put together. From Holiday labels to fun wine drinking shirts, we have your perfect present to put under the tree.  

 Have a Magical month and remember-

Every day is a Celebration!


Paint and Sip Wine Bottle Editon

Holiday Wine Bottle Painting Nov. 29th
Let us toast to a great holiday as we paint a seasonal Santa wine bottle!

  • When: Sunday, November 29th 12:30pm
  • Where: Massbach Ridge Winery in Elizabeth.
  • Cost: $35 includes a glass of wine and all materials.

Bring the whole family!
Call to make reservations. 815-291-6700Painted Santa Bottle