The Finest on the Vine

the top three local wineries from our 2018 Best of the Chippewa Valley Reader Poll

Emilee Wentland, photos by Lee Butterworth

River Bend Vineyard & Winery
River Bend Vineyard & Winery

Whether you’re a wine expert or more of a novice, each of these winemakers are sure to have something you’ll be interested in. These wineries were voted the Best of the Chippewa Valley in Volume One’s 2018 reader poll for a reason. With a variety of wines unique to each location, there’s a wide assortment to choose from.

River Bend’s array of white and red wines is extensive, but their assortment of dessert and sparkling wines add a fun, unexpected touch to their menu. Autumn Harvest’s 13 fruity wines are made with apples from their own orchard, but they also feature a hard apple cider on tap. Finally, Infinity Beverages’ selection of both wines and spirits unique to them provides options for those who are looking for something extraordinary. 

1. River Bend Vineyard & Winery

River Bend Vineyard & Winery (10439 33rd Ave., Chippewa Falls) has a tasting room, events, and, of course, wine! From open to close each day, River Bend offers free wine tasting. After you’ve tasted plenty, feel free to shop around and get yourself a bottle – or two! White, red, rose, sparkling, and dessert, this winery has a wide assortment to choose from. River Bend suggests enjoying your wine of choice out on their patio, but it can get busy, so be sure to bring some lawn chairs! Tours and group tastings are also available if you call ahead. Open weekends. To learn more, check out riverbendvineyard.com.

2. Autumn Harvest Winery & Orchard

Using apples from their orchard mixed with grapes, whole fruit, and fruit juices, Autumn Harvest (19947 County Highway J, Chippewa Falls) makes light, crisp wines in 300 gallon batches. Since their opening in 2004, their list has grown from six to 13 wines. Visits to Autumn Harvest include a free wine tasting. In addition to wine, they offer “Grampa Mac’s hard apple cider” on tap. Several wines and the hard apple cider are only available in Autumn Harvest’s tasting room, and cannot be bought in stores. Autumn Harvest also hosts live music performances periodically throughout the season. Open May through October. To learn more, visit autumnharvestwinery.com.

3. Infinity Beverages Winery & Distillery

Featuring a tasting lounge and tours, Infinity Beverages (3460 Mall Drive, Eau Claire) is a great place to visit in groups. Infinity Beverages’ tours feature a history of the winery and distillery that details production and processing techniques, and to top it off you’ll enjoy a tasting of their wine and spirits selection. Tastings feature regionally produced pairings that change throughout the year. Infinity Beverages advises customers to “come with an open mind,” as their wines are unique and out of the ordinary. The venue is open evenings through the week and all day on the weekends. Infinity Beverages also offers the mezzanine for party and event rentals. For more details, visit infinitybeverages.com.

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