June 8, 2018, Scott Morris
Whether you are looking for a quiet escape from your busy life, or a fun day and evening of food, music, and of course wine, Sleepy Creek Vineyards has much to offer.
Located 30 minutes east of Champaign-Urbana, IL. The vineyard was started in 2002 and the tasting room opened in 2007. Sleepy Creek was sold by the founders and is under the ownership of Janette and Erik Figueroa now for almost two years. The vineyard consists of ten acres on which is grown La Crescent, Vignoles, Leon Mallot, Marechal Foch, Rongeon, Fronterac, and Reliant grapes. These varieties grown on site account for approximately half of the grapes used for their wines. The varieties grown elsewhere include Norton, Noiret, Seyval Blanc, Cayuga, and Chambourin from Southern Illinois, along with Niagra and Concord from New York.
Sleepy Creek has a rustic style tasting room. The wines produced include a very nice selection that will satisfy both sweet and dry wine preferences. The tasting room provides a taste of three wines for free or you can pick six for $3.00. Today I tried six of course. One of my favorites included “Dreamer”, a 2015 dry white made from Seyval Blanc. It is a Chardonnay style wine, but much lighter and crisper. My other favorite was the 2015 “Bull Headed”, a medium-bodied dry red, oak barrel aged, and made from 100% Chambourcin grapes.
If you really want a treat, try their “Winery Mary”. This is a Tomato-Jalapeno wine that is good by itself, but really special when mixed 1:1 with Blood Shot Bloody Mary Mix.
Sleepy Creek also has a 1000 square foot vacation rental, B&W (Bed & Wine, no “Breakfast”), with two private bedrooms and a sleeping loft that can accommodate up to ten people.
There is a large campfire pit that is a regular hangout for “Wieners & Wine” events, at which the wieners are provided along with music to be enjoyed with your wine. You can also bring your own food to the vineyard, and they are pet friendly. Just don’t bring your own alcohol. You don’t need it anyway when you have over twelve wines and other drinks from which to select.
Find out more by visiting their website at SleepyCreekVineyards.com.