Best Winemaker

1st Place: River Bend Vineyard & Winery
2nd Place: Autumn Harvest Winery
3rd Place: Infinity Beverages Winery & Distillery

From veteran sommeliers to everyday folks looking for a solid glass of vino, the Chippewa Valley has become quite the wine hotspot in recent years. Since 2009, River Bend Vineyard & Winery (10439 33rd Ave., Chippewa Falls) has been serving a variety of locally made wines in a relaxed and fun atmosphere. Autumn Harvest Winery (19947 County Highway J, Chippewa Falls), meanwhile, was founded on a fourth-generation orchard and now produces 13 different wines and a hard cider. Finally, Infinity Beverages Winery & Distillery (3460 Mall Drive, Eau Claire) is popping the bubby after moving into some sweet new digs in the old Coffee Grounds space this year. If you haven’t been, put one of their tours and tastings on your fall bucket list. — Garrett Denney