New local winery ‘something to believe in’

The Rogue River Winery staff (l–r) Mike Palazzolo, owner Jay Johnson, Angela Lyons, Ali Doyle and Brian Wahl are thrilled with their highly successful grand opening of over 650 people. Guests enjoyed not only the tasting room and large banquet room with live music, but a tour of the wine-making room as well.

For the past eight months, Jay Johnson pushed “play” every time he took the Rockford exit as he listened to rock band Poison’s song “Something to Believe In.” The song gave Johnson the inspiration to fulfill his dream of one day opening the doors of his Rogue River Winery. That dream is now a reality, as the Rogue River Winery celebrated its grand opening on Saturday, March 24.

Wyoming resident Sarah Pettinga commented, “The Rogue River Winery is such a wonderful addition to downtown Rockford. I love all of the amazing views and the fact that I can sit outside of the Winery and enjoy a glass of wine. What a beautiful venue. I will definitely become a regular.”

The Rogue River Winery is not your typical winery. It is a larger facility, approximately 5,200 square feet, and can be your destination to sit down and enjoy their delicious Michigan-made wines and hard ciders. The Rogue River Winery has a room rental available that is able to seat up to 100. The room can be used for birthday parties, bridal/baby showers, business meetings, luncheons, and card parties—anything to celebrate a special occasion. An exclusive opportunity that is offered at the Winery is the Blessing of the Bride. The Blessing of the Bride is a unique experience for a bride (and groom or wedding party) to mix their own blend and create a one-of-a-kind wine to celebrate their special day.

The Rogue River Winery will be hosting upcoming events like “Uncorked,” a monthly comedy night, and an open mic night to promote local artists.

The wine-tasting room is a popular part of the grand opening event at Rogue River Winery on Saturday, March 24.

Johnson is overwhelmed with all of the positive reactions to the Winery. “I love Rockford and how the community has embraced what we have here,” he said. “I look forward to meeting new people every day and seeing those who are returning to enjoy our wine and hard cider. It just doesn’t get any better than this!”

Open daily, the Rogue River Winery is located in downtown Rockford on the banks of the Rogue River and in the former building of Frenz Coffee House and Paperdoll. Please contact the Winery at (616) 863-6800 to book your next event or to make arrangements for the Blessing of the Bride.

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The Squire has been Rockford’s free weekly newspaper since 1871. Our loyal readership includes over fifteen thousand homes in the Rockford area, including the affluent Lakes area of Lake Bella Vista, Bostwick Lake and Silver Lake; Belmont, Blythefield, as well as Algoma, Courtland, Cannon and Plainfield Townships. The Squire is distributed through the U.S. Post Office every Thursday. We also deliver to in-town businesses and homes with paper carriers and news stands in our grocery stores and over thirty local shops.