Who doesn’t love a good glass of wine after a long day? I know I do. But we tend to drink those California wines. Well, I have news for you: we have perfectly good wine here in Illinois. Plenty of families are growing grapes and other berries in Illinois and producing delicious, award-winning wine. We’re profiling ten such places:
1. The Bluffs Vineyard and Winery (Ava)
The Bluffs is located in Southern Illinois in the Shawnee Hills. This place is truly scenic. They serve award-winning wines and have live music.
2. Wild Blossom Meadery, Winery and Brewery (Chicago)
If you like honey, and you like wine, this place is for you. The mead (honey wine) is produced from honey sourced from 100 colonies in the Chicago area.
3. Fergedaboutit Vineyard and Winery (Hanover)
This vineyard uses Illinois grapes but produces wine in a Tuscan style. The wines have won numerous awards in Illinois wine competitions.
4. Berryville Vineyards (Claremont)
This vineyard knows grapes. Some of the varieties they carry are: Vignoles, Vidal, Cynthiana, Chambourcin, Diamond, DeChaunac, Seyval, Chardonel, St Vincent, and Rougeon.
Grapes aren't your thing? You can find wines made out of raspberries, blackberries and gooseberries grown on their own property.
5. Cameo Vineyards (Greenup)
Be prepared for panoramic views reminiscent of California wine country. The vineyard also includes a 1900 barn. They crush 35 TONS of Illinois grapes every year to make their delicious wines.
6. Alto Vineyards (Alto Pass)
Alto Vineyards is Southern Illinois' oldest winery and located at the beautiful foothills of Shawnee National Forest, and includes a 5,000 square foot tasting room. There is also a tasting room in Champaign.
7. Mackinaw Valley Winery (Mackinaw)
In central Illinois, be sure to visit this 86 acre property. From the tasting room, you can see out thirty miles. There are over 20 wines to taste.
8. Schorr Lake Vineyard and Winery (Waterloo)
Located right off of scenic Schorr Lake, this winery has 16 varieties of grapes and blackberries for some delicious wines.
9. Silver Moon Winery (Lanark)
This retired couple opened a winery with grapes and fruit grown on the property. Their wines are produced to go very well with everyday foods.
10. West of Wise Winery (Petersburg)
The Simmermakers decided to grow grapes after reading an article in an alumni magazine. Mr. Sommermarker studied wine production. And now they produce award-winning wines on their fantastic property.
Have a favorite Illinois winery? Or a favorite Illinois wine? Let us know in the comments.