Belleville Winery Offers Special Gift Bazaar – The Weingarten
Belleville, IL: (STLRestaurant.News) – Nestled in the farmland of Southwestern Illinois about 20-minutes from downtown St. Louis is a beautiful little winery with a personality all its own. The Weingarten at 1780 Illinois Rte-15 in Belleville is an open-air winery by day and wine bar by night, as well as a year-round event venue. They’re normally open to the public from February through November, offering wine and beer tastings in their indoor tasting room, as well as dining both indoors and outside. But they’re closing out the 2016 season with two special events in December.
The first is their annual Holiday Shopping Bazaar tomorrow (Thursday, Dec. 1). They’ll still open at 11 a.m. to offer wine and beer tastings, but beginning at 6:30 p.m. Join them for an evening of wine, food, fun and shopping! There will be wine and food specials (like $4 house wines and half-price apps), plus live music from Bob Koehler, and attendance prizes too. Of course you’ll be able to buy lovely wine-themed gifts from The Weingarten, but other vendors will be there as well. They include: Sixth & Vine, House of W, Purple Heart Studios, WildTree, Premier Designs, LoveWinx, Stella & Dot, Origami Owl, Lilla Rose, Mary Kay, and Paparazzi Accessories.
Like much of the surrounding Belleville community, the Weingarten is steeped in history. The name, as you may have guessed, is German. That’s a nod to the winery’s German heritage. When owners Shannon and Jeff Gastreich, and partner Kevin Bollman developed The Weingarten, they wanted to pay tribute to the history of the land that was settled in the early 1800s by the German-born Wilderman family. So The Weingarten has a “rustic” element by design centered on an original concrete stave silo. They also converted an antique cattle feeding area into a lovely outdoor seating. In warmer weather, it’s a nice place to sit and enjoy their beautiful pond. They also invite you to explore the walking trail and even a 200 year old cemetery.
Even when the weather is chilly, a trip to The Weingarten’s Tasting Room is an enjoyable endeavor. The Tasting Room is a unique building, a converted pole barn that’s been renovated to create an upscale, yet rustic setting. Like the Party Barn (their indoor event venue next door) it can be opened up to the outdoors in milder weather, making it a terrific place to share a bottle of wine or premium brews with friends and enjoy live music from some of the area’s best bands.
The Weingarten offers more than 25 varieties of premium wine, including seven of their own signature labels. They also have an extensive beer selection that includes both domestics and imports. The Weingarten menu features lighter fare that pairs well with wine. Their shared plates range from simple soft pretzels with a zesty beer cheese dipping sauce, and elegant bacon-wrapped dates (stuffed with goat cheese and drizzled with a balsamic glaze) to savory choices like the Spinach Artichoke Rangoon with sweet Thai chili dipping sauce. There are also a variety of salads, wraps and sandwiches. A fall favorite would be the Grown Up Grilled Cheese with Tomato Soup. Theirs is made with Havarti and Gouda toasted on seasoned Naan (flatbread), and paired with their delicious Tomato Gouda Bisque. You’ll also find a whole page of flatbread pizza choices, including a “build your own” option. Choose from four different sauces (red, homemade alfredo, creamy buffalo, and BBQ), five different cheeses (provolone, parmesan, asiago, blue cheese, and goat gouda). Then top it with the meats and veggies you like. There’s nothing ordinary about the flatbread pizzas at The Weingarten.
But then there’s nothing ordinary about this winery. It’s as quaint as you’d like it to be, but still modern and easily accessible. The Winegarten will officially end the 2016 season with a Customer Appreciation Day Saturday (Dec. 3) when they’ll be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. with food, wine, and live music.
Owners: Shannon & Jeff Gastreich, and Kevin Bollman
Operations Manager: Emily Doyle
Belleville, IL 62221