With the snip of a ribbon, the Napa Valley winery experience came to Naperville. Building on the idea of a brewery or pub, Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant gives wine connoisseurs a place to sit and enjoy a meal.
“It differs from some of the breweries because wine is so unique,” said Jay Draghi, General Manager at Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant. “It’s so subjective. It’s half art, half science.”
The Naperville location at Freedom Drive and Diehl Road is the company’s seventh location. Each offers more than 40 varietals that pair with food items on the menu. Guests can also come to Cooper’s Hawk just to taste the wines, much like the wineries in Napa Valley.
“I’m big into sweet and sparkling, and whites, so they’re all really pretty good,” said Sheryl Teeters, an Aurora resident. “There’s not really a favorite I can really pinpoint.”
“I belong to a lot of different wineries and wine clubs, but what I really love is the concept here that you also have the restaurant available to you as well,” said Jeanie Griffin, an Oswego resident. “I think I’m really going to like this place.”
This was really fun,” said Mastaneh Masghati, a Naperville resident. “I had a great experience at the one in Orland Park, so I was very excited to see this go up close to my house.”
The wine isn’t made on site. All of the company’s wine is prepared in Countryside, Illinois. Winemakers bring in grapes from around the country, peel them, ferment them, put them in barrels to age, and then bottle them there, making each and every one of the wines served in the restaurants.
“All of the different varietals are different kinds of grapes,” said Robert Warren, Winemaker for Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant. “Much like there’s different kinds of apples and peaches, same thing with grapes. There are literally hundreds of different wine grape varietals.”
Cooper’s Hawk winemakers also blend their own wine combinations, which are distributed each month to wine club members. The wine club recently gained its 30,000th member; making it the country’s largest.
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