Our Mission

Famous Fossil wines are made at our winery from Illinois grown grapes. Our wines are a unique expression of the cold climate region of wine grape growing. With each vintage, we hope to create a dynamic and distinctive wine region, recognized for its delicious, interesting and well-balanced wines. Famous Fossil wines are made from some of the most recent releases of wine grape varieties as well as some tried and true varieties. Famous Fossil wines range from light to full bodied with varying complexity and are very food friendly.

Our Grapes

Famous Fossil Vineyard is home to twelve different varieties of cold climate grapes.  We also purchase grapes from vineyards throughout northern and central Illinois. We hope you will enjoy the distinctive flavors of Midwest American wines.

Our Land

Over 450 million years ago, the land that is now northern Illinois was at the bottom of a sea. Thousands of years ago glaciers crossed the land exposing fossils from this ancient seabed. The name Famous Fossil was inspired by the many fossils found while planting our vineyard in 2004.


Ken Rosmann


Ken farmed in Iowa for many years, certifying his crops and livestock as organic in 1987. Some of his crops were used to make organic tofu in Japan. It was the relationships that Ken developed with his Japanese friends that inspired him to make an end product that people can enjoy. Wine was a natural fit for Ken’s personality and skills – his ease with chemistry, his farming success and his great enjoyment of food, wine and friends. Ken began studying under winemakers, taking courses and making wine in earnest 16 years ago. He is a past president of Northern Illinois Wine Growers.


Pam Rosmann

Tasting Room | Event Planning

After careers in psychology and landscape architecture, Pam is currently in her third career as the chief wine taster. She also manages the tasting room and events room where businesses, clubs and families and friends meet to enjoy food and wine. Pam and Ken met when Pam was director of the Organic Agriculture Program in the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.


Roy Scheider

Vineyard Assistant

Royal Scheider joined Famous Fossil in 2012, helping in both the winery and the vineyard. Of German heritage, Royal is the fifth generation to carry his name. Royal graduated from Orangeville High School and will soon complete his degree from Highland Community College. Royal’s father first introduced him to winemaking and instilled in him a love of the great outdoors. Be sure and give a wave when you see Royal in the vineyard or helping in the winery.

Upcoming Events

Jan 14 Wed 2015
11:00 AM Winter Hours begin CLOSED on Mondays & Tuesdays
Winter Hours begin CLOSED on Mon…
Jan 14 @ 11:00 AM – May 1, 2015 @ 11:00 AM
Our Winter Hours begin today with the winery closed on Mondays & Tuesdays until Spring.  We’re often around though, so if you’ve made a special [...]
Apr 26 Sun 2015
2:00 PM BLOSSOMs Studio at Famous Fossil – Oak Barrel Staves
BLOSSOMs Studio at Famous Fossil…
Apr 26 @ 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
BLOSSOMs Studio at Famous Fossil - Oak Barrel Staves
This is a rare chance to paint on authentic Hungarian oak barrel staves.  Join Sue of Blossoms Studio as she guides you through painting of [...]
May 23 Sat 2015
11:00 AM Drinks on the Deck!
Drinks on the Deck!
May 23 @ 11:00 AM – May 25, 2015 @ 6:00 PM
Drinks on the Deck!
Memorial Day weekend features our best Wine Cocktails.  Enjoy a delicious cocktail and our famous Sweet & Savory Plate on one of our decks overloooking [...]
Jun 14 Sun 2015
2:00 PM BLOSSOMs Studio at Famous Fossil – Painted Barn Wood
BLOSSOMs Studio at Famous Fossil…
Jun 14 @ 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
BLOSSOMs Studio at Famous Fossil - Painted Barn Wood
Sue of Blossoms Studio will guide you in painting a wine & vineyard scene on old barn wood.  You will take home a unique painting; [...]
Jun 20 Sat 2015
11:00 AM Famous Fossil 11th Anniversary
Famous Fossil 11th Anniversary
Jun 20 @ 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Famous Fossil 11th Anniversary
Celebrate everything wine by taking a Wagon Ride through Famous Fossil vineyard.  Wagon tour takes approximately 30 minutes during which you will see and learn [...]
Jul 15 Wed 2015
11:00 AM National Hammock Day
National Hammock Day
Jul 15 @ 11:00 AM – July 19, 2015 @ 6:00 PM
Join us and wineries across northern Illinois as we celebrate this classic outdoor non-activity.  Each participating winery will feature a different hammock – try them [...]
Aug 8 Sat 2015
11:00 AM Fossil Fest
Fossil Fest
Aug 8 @ 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Our first ever Fossil Festival!  Fossil scavenger hunts, wagon rides through the vineyard & foods hot off the grill are  just some of the fun [...]
Aug 22 Sat 2015
11:00 AM Matchmakers Weekend
Matchmakers Weekend
Aug 22 @ 11:00 AM – August 23, 2015 @ 1:45 PM
Matchmakers Weekend
Join us and participating wineries in northern Illinois as we feature our best wine and local food match.   Make it a weekend and try them [...]
Oct 24 Sat 2015
11:00 AM Garlic Fest 2015!
Garlic Fest 2015!
Oct 24 @ 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Join us for our annual garlic extravaganza featuring fresh, locally grown garlic tastings, recipes and bulbs for sale.  Special menu available all day.

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