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Scenic winery in Grafton to reopen Friday with unique way to get there

The winery on top of the bluffs along the scenic Mississippi River will be open, but with some changes

GRAFTON, Ill. — Illinois residents looking to take advantage of the state’s newly reopened restaurants and bars will be able to do so from one of the most scenic spots in the St. Louis area.

The Winery at Aerie’s Resort in Grafton will reopen for outdoor seating this Friday, May 29. But there will be several changes guests will notice to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

READ MORE: Here’s what can reopen during Phase 3 in Illinois

All guests and employees will have their temperatures checked before they’re allowed to enter.

And, there will only be one way in: by riding the Grafton SkyTour, which is similar to a ski lift. Only the open-air chairlifts will be used. All enclosed gondolas will remain temporarily closed.

“Utilizing the SkyTour as the restricted 'gateway' to the Winery ensures services are provided in the safest manner possible, allowing for optimal control of screened customer capacity, as well as greatly improved situational monitoring,” a news release stated.

Credit: Grafton SkyTour

In keeping with Illinois’ Phase 3 guidelines, the winery will only serve bottled drinks. There will be a limited food menu, all served take-out style.

The winery will have canopy tents providing shade, and they’ll be spaced out enough to accommodate social distancing from other groups. Guests also will be able to listen to live music on the weekends.

The Winery at Aerie’s Resort will be open daily from noon to 8 p.m.

The winery is located along the bluffs of the Mississippi River in scenic Grafton, Illinois.

Credit: KSDK

Read more on Illinois' reopening plan: