Wine and prejudice


Can a winery that does not grow its own grapes really be called a winery? And can they make good things or is the only thing being produced crowd-pleasingly dime on a dozen wines? I must admit that I was initially a little hesitant and probably mentally had my “nose in the air” when I went to Lynfred Winery just outside Chicago. I would soon be proven wrong and all my prejudices were put to a shame!

The meeting

When arriving I was greeted by Marketing Director Christina, a wonderful woman, full of laughter and with a solid knowledge of both the wines and the exciting history of the winery. Some persons are just easy to like and after 3 minutes it feels like you have been friends forever. Christina is just such a person! After just a few minutes we where laughing, exchanging histories and, of course starting tasting some wines at their bar.

Flowers and Fruits

First out was a Chardonnay 2021. A wonderful aroma of freshly cut grass, fresh fruits and butter-fried oranges (if you can imagine that smell?) hit me when I put my nose in the glass. The flavors was fruity, fresh with notes of both lime and grapefruit, wrapped in soft silk.
Christina confirmed what smell and taste had already revealed, that these grapes from California had both undergone Malolactic fermentation and had close contact with oak.
A perfect accompaniment to grilled chicken or more substantial salads.

The next wine was a Muscat of Alexandria, 2022. I don’t know what created most fireworks, the fantastic pregnant aroma in the nose or the veritable fruit bowl sprinkled with fresh herbs that washed over my tongue when I tasted it. This wine together with a spicy fresh Thai can only be close to perfect.

The tour

After a few more wines, all of which proved to me that you can indeed make good wines even if you don’t grow your own grapes, it was time for a tour of the premises. The building has been remodeled and expanded and they really make use of every nook and cranny. After a while, I had completely lost my sense of direction, but Christina led me with a sure hand through all the aisles and opened doors that revealed another room filled with barrels or a beautifully decorated hall, perfect for get together and meetings with or without wine in focus, but definitely a glass in your hand.

The Love affair!

Once back, I got to try a Late Harvest Petit Syrah 2017. And my friends…I am in love!!! This wonderful nectar, with aromas of raisins, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. With velvety flavors of the same raisins, nutmeg and vanilla, but now also accompanied by chocolate and brandy notes has forever captured my heart! Can’t wait to enjoy this liquid treasure with some well aged blue cheese, or even a piece of really dark chocolate.

The beginning of a beautiful friendship?

I came to Lynfred Winery with, admittedly, a whole baggage of prejudices. I danced out of there, happy after meeting people who take pride in their work and who produce not only good wines, but excellent ones every day! I will definitely come back to both taste and experience more of this wonderful winery!

Maria Scharffenberg