Because of the prolific Illinois wineries, Illinois wines have won acclaim in state, national and international competitions. Due to the fact that there are almost 60 Illinois wineries and approximately 300 grape growers across the state, the Illinois wine industry produces 500,000 gallons of wine per year, thus creating an annual economic impact of $20 million. Because of the friendly vintners and affordable prices at Illinois wineries, many people visit each year.
Southern Illinois Wineries
Although there are wineries all throughout the entire state, the Southern Illinois wineries are some of the most well known. For example, the Alto Vineyards is a family-owned Illinois winery. It is located in the foothills of the beautiful Shawnee National Forest in Southern Illinois. The family also has a tasting room in Champaign Illinois.
The Hedman Orchard and Vineyards is another one of the Southern Illinois located in the Shawnee National Forest. This Illinois winery features a variety of different activities. You can go antiquing, or hike the trails in the Shawnee National forest. Enjoy sun-ripened peaches from their orchard, or visit the fudge factory in down town Alto Pass.
Black Diamond Vineyards is another one of the popular Southern Illinois wineries. It is located just south of beautiful Nashville, Illinois Nestled right in America 's heartland. Some of their wines include:
--Chairman's Choice, which is a dry white wine.
--Locust Creek White, which is a sweet white wine.
--Spiced Apple, which is a sweet wine made from cinnamon and apples.
The Owl Creek Vineyard is another exciting Illinois winery. The owners specialize in Illinois grown high-quality regional wines. The wines at this Illinois winery are created with local grapes. Most of them come from the Owl Creek Vineyard. The owners of the owl Creek are proud to say that they do not "attempt to imitate European or California style wines." Therefore, Owl Creek wines "are truly unique, well balanced and enjoyable." They are also the first winery in the Midwest to develop organic vineyards. The Harvest Moon brand of wines made from organically grown Illinois grape is expected to be available in 2008. The owl Creek Vineyard is located just south of Giant City Lodge and State Park near Carbondale, Illinois.
A visit to the wineries in Southern Illinois provides a relaxing retreat into the pastoral countryside, along with a chance to experience the unique delights of Illinois wine.