Geja’s Cafe debuts three-month long wine festival

Geja’s Café, 340 W. Armitage Ave, will be celebrating the change of seasons with its three month wine festival “Harvest Fest” beginning Thursday, September 1st and ending Wednesday, November 30th. The festival will feature wines made from hand harvested grapes from vineyards around the world. By hand harvesting grapes, grape growers are able to preserve the integrity of the grape from the moment it leaves the vine till the moment it is turned into liquid. Most importantly, wine makers know that by hand harvesting they are guaranteed that only the best grapes will be used to make high-quality wines. Throughout the months of September, October and November guests will have the opportunity to enjoy 16 hand harvested wines, available both by the glass & the bottle.

“Harvesting by hand is truly a labor of love for vineyard owners and staff alike. Whether it is out of necessity due to the steep and rocky hill sides or to minimize the impact on the environment, it is no easy task and poses a number of possible setbacks,” says Geja’s Café Wine Director, Blake Farnsworth. “Contrary to one might think, rain can interrupt the harvest and have a major effect on the grapes. Additionally, vines can hang too long due to the time it takes to harvest, but it is truly worth the risk since some of the world’s finest wines are produced. Passionate winemakers, many of whom grew up in the vineyards, consider the vineyard to be a part of them. They only pick only the best grape clusters and must be incredibly careful handling the grapes so they don’t turn to mush before they reach the winery. This showcases the love and delicacy that the people of these vineyards have for the grape and the elixir it creates.”

The featured wines, available both by the glass and the bottle at promotional prices, include:

Sparkling, Rose’ & White Wines Vintage Glass Bottle
Domaine du Viking, Brut Vouvray, Loire Valley, France N/V $10.50 $50.00
Riesling Trocken, Dr. Herman, Mosel, Germany 2013 $11.50 $44.00
Moscolfilero, Domaine Skouras, Peloponnese, Greece 2015 $11.00 $42.00
Pinot Blanc, Emile Beyer, Alsace, France 2015 $10.50 $40.00
Sauvignon Blanc, Ken Forester, Western Cape, S. Africa 2013 $9.00 $34.00
Red Wines      
Pinot Noir, Familia Schroeder, “Alpataco”, Patagonia, Argentina 2014 $10.50 $40.00
Sangiovese, Montesecondo, “Rosso Toscana”, Tuscany, Italy 2013 $13.00 $50.00
Tempranillo, El Jefe Grande, “No Oak”, Castilla y Leon, Spain 2014 $9.50 $36.00
Cabernet Franc, Baumard, “Le Logis”, Anjou, France 2014 $13.00 $50.00
Malbec, Bodegas Salentein, “Killka”, Uco Valley, Argentina 2014 $11.00 $42.00

Geja’s Café has been the site of 139,154 first dates and 16,413 engagements. Diners have enjoyed over 320 tons of cheese fondue and over 950,570 bottles of wine in its 51 years of business. Geja’s Café opened in 1965 on Wells Street in Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood. For six years, Geja’s operated in that location, serving as a Bohemian enclave for artists and writers. In 1969, John Davis-Geja’s Café founder, began the Geja’s Café Wine Society, one of the nation’s oldest tasting groups, and the restaurant began to be known as Chicago’s first “wine bar”. In need of additional seating, Geja’s moved to its current Armitage Avenue location in 1971, where the restaurant continues to thrive. The original 1965 bar and many of the fixtures are still a part of Geja’s charming atmosphere. Today, Geja’s Café continues to be voted “Chicago’s Most Romantic Restaurant” by numerous local and national publications. In 1993, CNN featured Geja’s Café as the “Best Fondue Dining” in North America. In 2008, Food Network Channel featured Geja’s Café as the “Ultimate Romantic Dipping Place in North America” and in 2010 Geja’s Café was named one of “America’s 50 Most Romantic Restaurants” by OpenTable. Geja’s was also voted “America’s Most Romantic Restaurant” by USA Today’s reader poll in 2015 and earned theTripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence in 2016.

Known for romantic fondue dining – food one prepares and shares – and an extensive list of fine, moderately priced wines, Geja’s Café features over 20 different types of fondue entrees including cheese fondue and chocolate dessert fondue. An enchanting wine cellar atmosphere, private booths, and subdued lighting contribute to its intimate surroundings. Geja’s Café was recently voted the Most Romantic Restaurant in America by USA Today reader poll. The Chicago institution has been the site of 135,356 first dates and 16,266 engagements and diners have enjoyed over 321 tons of cheese fondue and over 1,072,046 bottles of wine.

Hours for Geja’s Café are Monday through Thursday, 5 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.; Friday, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday, 5:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.; Sunday, 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.Valet parking is available. For more information, please call 773-281-9101, or visit Geja’s Café at