Fall and winter mark a shift to sweater and jacket weather, the changing colors and falling of the leaves, and the ever-presence of pumpkins, cider and general cozy feelings. It’s the perfect time to visit ThornCreek Winery & Gardens in Aurora, with its rustic yet comfortable, modern indoor spaces and its garden-centric outdoor scenery. Jstyle visited the winery to capture the moment with a rural and charming setting that’s so fitting for the seasons.
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Thorn Creek Winery & Gardens
A softly rustic winery with gardens throughout, ThornCreek is popular for special events or simply anyone looking to explore a more rural setting with delicious wine and food.
The Aurora property was purchased by owner and founder David Thorn in 2005, renovated over two years and opened its doors in October 2007.
“Our spaces were designed to be this beautiful background that would allow any event to be the showcase,” Thorn says.
With an earthy and elegant backdrop, ThornCreek is a “true winery,” meaning all the wines served are produced there, he says. It partners with vintners and wineries across the country to buy produce, and then wine-making processes like fermentation, blending and aging are done by ThornCreek.
“We’ve been nationally recognized for some of our wines, and regionally recognized for most,” Thorn adds.
ThornCreek’s dining menu provides a similar idyllic country touch to match the space’s feel; entrees and sharable plates are designed to pair well with the wine. It is also known for its annual Harvest Dinner, a farm-to-table five-course meal that hosts 80 people and which Thorn describes as “magical.”
After a second round of renovations that began in February 2020, ThornCreek now has an indoor ballroom with a new entrance, bathrooms and bar. Outside, a new perennial pavilion was added, which hosts wedding ceremonies and offers an additional covered dining space. That’s in addition to more newly created gardens, Thorn says.
“Sitting in that (ballroom) space and looking out into the fountain garden is one of my favorite spaces,” he says, adding another favorite is a private perennial garden, which boasts tables and seating among about 1,500 perennials in a secluded setting. “It is ever-blooming, all season.”