(WASHINGTON, Ill.) — Nestled in the rural area of Washington, Illinois sits a relaxing getaway from the hustle & bustle of daily life.
Surrounded by fields of grape vines is Tres Rojas Winery. Bob and Lisa Barry purchased the property off Cruger Rd. in Washington back in spring 2019. The official opening was in December 2020!
I knew of Bob & Lisa even before the concrete was laid & the building stood up tall on the property. Back when I was a reporter in local TV news, I spoke with Bob as he searched central Illinois for the perfect spot for his winery. At the time, it was just “Barry Vineyards,” but now it’s blossomed into a beautiful winery filled with memories, laughs, and shall I say some fantastic wine.
It’s currently the beginning of February. It’s cold, there’s been snow on the ground, but the doors just opened back up at Tres Rojas at the start of the month so I figured this was the perfect time to visit.
Whether you’re a fan of the sweets, or prefer your wines dry, Tres Rojas has it all.
I personally enjoy wines on the sweeter side, so I can attest to the ones offered at the winery.
My current favorites (in no particular order) are the Blueberry Tart, Rhu-Berry, Sweet Maria, and the Strawberry. For the first time, I tried the “Besita de Roja” and Vino Dorado which I really enjoyed as well. The V2 and Traminette are wonderful additions as well.
Don’t know which wine you’d like to try? Well do a tasting or grab a flight. You can try 4 wines in each taste test for $5, or get a flight of 4.
My opinion? Do a taste test of 5 that really catch your eye, then once you’ve picked your favorites, choose those for your 4 on the flight.
If you are sure about your favorite without a shadow of a doubt, just grab a glass or a bottle to sip and enjoy! But make sure to share with good friends and family around the table. And say “hello” to the owners’ adorable pups running around the property, Onyx and Bruno. These dogs are extremely friendly and will welcome you into the winery (surprisingly very quietly) when you walk through the doors. Not a dog person? No worries! These pups won’t bother you. If you want to stay away from them, they’ll stay away from you!
You can see the full list of wines at Tres Rojas here.
Some news I am extremely excited to share on this blog post, are the new wines Tres Rojas is debuting in 2023! One is the “Bulldog Red,” this is a dry red blend with the Barry’s dog Bruno on the label. You can get a sneak peek of the label below!
Then Tres Rojas is unveiling a semi-sweet LaCrosse Peach blend, alongside a First Harvest Red & First Harvest White. The Red will be semi-sweet, the White will be sweet.
The Peach will be bottled this March, followed by the First Harvest Red & Whites.
The Bulldog Red will hopefully be ready early to mid Summer.
For the Railroad Red fans, there will be a replacement coming out this spring called Resurrection Red! It will have a lot of the same flavor profiles.
Another fun aspect I’ve always enjoyed about the winery is the events they host throughout the year. I’ve sat on the patio during a warm summer’s day while food trucks sat in the fields outside and live music was playing.
This month, they’re even offering a Murder Mystery dinner! You can find all of these events posted to their Facebook page.
Something new I recently discovered was the Tres Rojas Wine Club (which yes, I did join).
In this club, you receive 4 bottles 3 times a year in February, June, and October.
You can be in the Dry Select or the Sweet Spot club. I’m sure you know which one I chose if you read carefully.
So what are the perks? Well, every month you get a free tasting for up to 3 people! Next weekend I’m taking my father and a friend of mine to the winery to enjoy that perk! You can see us Saturday after the Bradley vs. Murray State Men’s Basketball Game.
You also get 10% off 6 bottles or more, and 20% off a case or more. Plus, exclusive invites and priority reservations for Winery events. And last but not least, 10% off Event Room Rentals.
The wine crop to be harvested on the land in Washington has grown exponentially. Starting this year, the amount of grapes on the wines will be a huge increase compared to year’s past.
Lisa Barry tells me they have 7.5 acres of grapes on 51.5 acres of land total.
There are 11 different varietals, mostly Midwest hybrids. Reds include: Marquette, Leon Millot, Chelois, Landot Noir, and Chancellor. Whites include: Seyval, Tramminette, Vignoles, LaCrosse, and Edelweiss.
There are currently 12 wines in the tanks and Tres Rojas will need bottling help this year. If you would like to work for wine, join the email list and watch Facebook!
Add where you’re from on the U.S. map inside! You can see sticky notes around the U.S. where visitors came from other countries as well.
I’ll just add a personal note as I wrap up the article. I’d like to thank Bob & Lisa for always being such welcoming hosts every time I’ve visited the Winery. I’ve brought multiple different friend groups & family members, and each time has been extremely enjoyable.
Stay tuned as the Heart of Illinois Wine Tour continues! Central Illinois boasts many wonderful wineries waiting to be enjoyed. I am currently in talks with Mackinaw Valley Vineyards (Mackinaw), Waters Edge Winery & Bistro (Peoria Heights), Big Horse Vineyards (Lewistown), and Spoon River Junction Winery (Canton) to continue this wine tour through the summer!
Know of another winery you’d like me to visit? Comment on this post or message me on Facebook at “Matt Sheehan TV.” Thanks so much for joining me on this tour, I hope to see you next time. Bennett says have a wonderful day!
3 thoughts on “Heart of Illinois Wine Tour: Tres Rojas Winery”
Matt Checking in wondering if you have time to connect next week? If you could share some times good for you? Ann LF
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Hi Ann! Sounds great. Just messaged you on LinkedIn.
Would love to help you bottle wine!