City Winery Chicago: 2013 Highlights

Thank you Chicago for welcoming City Winery to the West Loop!  We could not be more thrilled and grateful to be part of this neighborhood that continues to grow and amaze us as we wrap up our first full year in Chicago.

As many of you know, City Winery is a complex business:

  • - We are working winery – we proudly make wine in the West Loop and our head winemaker Robert helps us do that (follow him at @cwvinewhisperer)
  • - We are a private events space – we hosted 15 weddings in 2013 and over 250 events
  • - We are a dining room and bar – we won a Wine Spectator Award for our 400 bottle wine list
  • - We are a 300 seat intimate concert hall – hosting fabulous talent like Joan Osborne, David Broza, Anoushka Shankar, Billy Bragg. And who could forget June 29, when PRINCE played a surprise show!


Here are our music and wine highlights from 2013:

TOP 5 CONCERTS as selected by Libby Brickson, Programming Director

1.  PRINCE – His purple highness was in town for George Lucas’ wedding reception and headed here afterwards for a show.  Over 450 lucky ticketholders SOLD THIS OUT  in 35 minutes!

2.  Sinead O’Connor – 3 night residency in November.  Like the reviews said, Sinead sounded absolutely amazing and she rocked the house with old and new material.

3.  Lucinda Williams – Talk about kicking off the year right. Three-time Grammy Award winner wow’d the audiences for 2 amazing nights at her City Winery Chicago debut in January.

4.  Calexico – They may be a musical genre of their own.  Unique.  Original.  And that’s why we, and 93XRT listeners, loved them when they were here in June for 2 nights.

5.  Billy Bragg – Rock legend who released his tenth album Tooth and Nail, first album in 5 years, which was a very personal endeavor so it’s perfect he chose our intimate stage to perform it.  So honored to have him here for a 3 night residency in April.


TOP 5 WINES as selected by Rachel Driver-Speckan, Beverage Director

1. Vignalta Fior d’Arancio 2011, Collio, Italy – Orange Moscato

Vignalta is the leading producer in Colli Euganei which is located in the Northwest region of Italy. Colli Euganei is distinguished by its group of bizarrely shaped hills which rise isolated from the Venetian plain. Not surprisingly, ‘Colli’ is Italian for ‘hills’ and ‘Vignalta’ translates to ‘high vines.’

2. Clos Cibonne ‘Vignettes’ Viellies Vignes 2010, Provence, France – Tibouren
Provence has some of the best vine-growing territory in the world, with a perfect Mediterranean climate tempered by the cooling effects of the sea. The wines from Côtes de Provence can range from red, white, and most commonly rosé.

3. Didier Dagueneau ‘Blanc de Pouilly Fume’ 2010, Loire Valley, France – Sauvignon Blanc
When an iconic winemaker dies, especially long before his time, oenophiles weep. They wonder, whoever takes over the estate, will they ever be able to meet their expectations? In the case of Louis-Benjamin Dagueneau, who took over the estate after his father Didier Dagueneau’s tragic death in 2008, the answer is yes. Recognized by Wine and Spirits Magazine in their recent “30 under 30” feature, the 28-year-old has “picked up the role masterfully and courageously.”

4. Iona 2013, Elgin, South Africa – Sauvignon Blanc
Flat out, the best selling wine since the spring at City Winery Chicago!

5. City Winery Reserve Pinot Noir 2012, Bien Nacido, Santa Barbara, California – Pinot Noir
A stunner from our local urban winemaker, Robert Kowal! This is a barrel selection (number 6 of 17) of our best Bien Nacido lot. It is similar to our Central Coast Pinot Noir but with greater complexity, focus, and length.

Cheers to a wonderful 2014!  See you soon!