Illinois June 09, 2017
There’s A Wine Trail In Illinois And It’s Everything You’ve Ever Dreamed Of
Southern Illinois is home to the state’s best wine region. It is full of vineyards and rocky bluffs that resemble the countryside in Italy. Visitors come for the beauty of the surrounding national forest just as much as they do for the wine.
Take this amazing wine trail for one of the best road trip adventures you can get in Illinois. Check out the details below.
Illinois' most respected wine region is nestled deep in the Shawnee National Forest and includes nearly a dozen wineries along its Shawnee Hills Wine Trail.
The wine at these outstanding vineyards are all at least 85 percent made from grapes grown in Southern Illinois. Tastings and nature trails await on this path to boozy bliss.
1. Alto Vineyards - 8515 Highway 127 Alto Pass
Family-owned since it opened in 1984, this vineyard was popular from the start. Locals near and far love its award-winning wines so much that it even has a second tasting location in Champaign.
2. Owl Creek Vineyard - 2655 Water Valley Rd. Cobden
Using locally-grown ingredients, this winery supports Illinois farmers and is family-run. In addition to its wonderful wines, it is also famous for its Apple Knocker Hard Cider.
3. Blue Sky Vineyard - 3150 S Rocky Comfort Rd. Makanda
With 12 acres of vineyard and stunning, Tuscan-like views, this amazing winery allows you to sip award-winning wine while enjoying the breathtaking property. Relax with a loved on the patio and take in the romantic landscape of rolling hills and swaying trees.
4. Hedman Vineyards - 560 Chestnut St. Alto Pass
You'll enjoy amazing atmosphere inside and out at this European-style winery. It serves up authentic Swedish cuisine and also has a peach orchard. Visitors will love the Scandinavian gift shop and may even wish to stay in the historic peach barn, which is now a bed & breakfast.
5. Hickory Ridge Vineyard - 1598 Hickory Ridge Rd. in Pomona
This is the only winery in Illinois that makes 100 percent of its wine from grapes grown in Southern Illinois. It sits on 15 acres and includes a vineyard and estate with an upscale tasting room featuring African and Peruvian artwork. Due to its award-winning, red wine collection, this place is considered the best in the state by many.
6. Pomona Winery - 2865 Hickory Ridge Rd. Pomona
In operation since 1991, this unique winery is the only one making all non-grape wines. It uses other fruits, like strawberries and apples especially, to produce its outstanding bottles. Pair your drink with an exciting recipe made fresh at the winery for a complete experience.
7. StarView Vineyards - 5100 Wing Hill Rd. in Cobden
You can taste test five different wines at a time at this winery and enjoy a wine slushie or sangria. Live entertainment from local bands keeps the wine flowing on weekends, which is the best time to go.
8. Von Jakob Vineyard - 230 IL-127 Alto Pass
Since 1996, this winery has been a favorite along the trail. It makes over 20 different wines and beers and serves both lunch and dinner most days. For an extended experience, you can stay in one of the bed & breakfast suites and do it all again the next day.
This trail is fun to roam anytime of year. Explore the beauty of the Shawnee National Forest in the best way possible - while drinking.
Additional wineries along the trail include Honker Hill Winery, Orlandini Vineyard, and Kite Hill Vineyards. While you may not be able to visit all of them at once, there is enough in this gorgeous Southern Illinois wine region to bring you back time and again.
For more information about this incredible wine adventure, check out Shawnee Hills Wine Trail’s
website or Facebook page.
If you love wine, check out
10 more Illinois wineries you’ll love.
Have you ever taken the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail? Share your experiences and photos with us!