I think I found the ultimate trifecta at a little vineyard located about 15-minutes outside of Springfield, Illinois: Wine, Siberian husky dogs, and wood-fired pizza.
With time to only visit one vineyard in the Springfield area, I asked the CVB for help. “Danenberger seems to be quite popular, right now” they responded. I can see why.
The Siberian husky dogs of Danenberger roam free; Danenberger refers to them as their welcoming party. One “Elite” Yelper’s review solidified my visit. He described how four, big dogs wandered around and sat by people eating pizza, hopeful for a bite, of course.
My first reaction was AWESOME.
Kind of like how I make a mental note to visit a restaurant when someone on Yelp complains about a restaurant’s food being too spicy. Danenberger was awesome, indeed. Two huskies calmly napped at guests’ feet.
Down from the tasting bar, chefs from Copper Pot Cooking Studios pulled wood-fired pizzas from the oven (currently, it looks like pizza are available on Sundays, only). The chalkboard menu listed two different types priced at $10 each. Unfortunately I was too full to try a slice after eating a pony at D’Arcy’s Pint.
An employee invited me to take a seat at the bar. She explained how guests can sample wines for $.50. She might have given me some freebies, though, since I asked if she could pour them extra small.
Red wines at Danenberger are unique because they run drier. Often times I’ve found Midwestern reds to taste cloyingly sweet, but this was not the case here. The Coup De Foundre tasted full-bodied, dry, and oaky, reminding me of Malbecs we’ve tried before. I leaned sweet and chose a bottle of Tryst Rose. It’s fruity, refreshing, and sweet, but not too sweet (at least, not for me). I savored it’s aftertaste of strawberries.
Afterwards, I wandered around the tasting room before heading home. The indoor space is modern and bright. Plenty of seating is also available outside on the deck and patio.
When the chefs aren’t serving pizzas on Sundays, guests may bring small picnic meals. This would be the perfect place to enjoy a relaxed afternoon with family or friends. I wished mine could magically teleport here so we could share wine, pizza, and huskies.
Danenberger Family Vineyards
12341 Irish Road, New Berlin, IL 62670
Summer tasting room hours / Thurs: 12-6pm, Fri: 12-8pm, Sat: 12-8 pm, Sun: 1-5:30pm