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May 17, 2014 - 7th Annual Art of Illinois Wine Festival
What type of wine goes with an art show? At the May 17 Art of Illinois Wine Festival, the answer is simple – Illinois wine.

The Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association and Downtown Springfield Inc. are teaming up to offer the seventh annual Art of Illinois Wine Festival from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, May 17. The event is open to anyone 21 years of age or older and will be held at the southwest corner of Fifth and Jefferson Streets in downtown Springfield. Admission is $10, which includes a wine glass and five sampling tickets. Wine may also be purchased by the glass, bottle and case. The wine tasting event is being held adjacent to the Old Capitol Art Fair.

“Festivals provide Illinois wine enthusiasts with an opportunity to visit with all of their favorite vintners in one location. And those unfamiliar with the Illinois wine industry will gain an appreciation for the distinct hybrid grapes that are grown in Illinois and the fine wines that result,” said Megan Pressnall of the Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association.

Again this year, the Art of Illinois Wine Festival will be “green.” The Wine Festival will use glass wineglasses, not plastic, that event goers can take home with them and reuse. The cardboard that the wineglasses and bottles are packed in will be recycled, and organizers are working with a local Boy Scout Troop to recycle glass wine bottles for their root beer fundraiser.

“Downtown Springfield, Inc. is proud to partner with the Illinois Grape Growers in bringing Illinois Wines to the Old Capitol Art Fair. Illinois Wineries are creating a buzz nationally within the tourism industry. Partnerships like this are so vital to cross promoting like interests and objectives,” said Victoria Ringer, Executive Director of Downtown Springfield, Inc.

Downtown Springfield, Inc., a volunteer-driven, not-for-profit organization formed in 1993, works to preserve, promote and enhance Springfield’s historic central business district. Its mission is to help make downtown Springfield an ideal place to shop, work, visit, invest, and live.

The Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association, established in 1992, is a non-profit organization dedicated to developing the viticulture and enology interests of Illinois through information exchange and cooperation among Illinois grape producers and vintners. The Illinois wine industry has exploded in recent years, growing from just 12 wineries in 1997 to 100 today. During this time, the acreage devoted to grape production has grown at a tremendous rate, and today Illinois is consistently among the top 12 wine-producing states. Today the Illinois wine industry creates a direct economic impact of more than $319 million annually. The 91 wineries that span Illinois have also brought with them a host of charming bed and breakfasts and local craft businesses. The Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association predicts continued growth in the coming years as more visitors discover the genuine culture of Illinois Wine Country.

The Art of Illinois Wine Festival is sponsored by Robert’s Seafood Market and County Market. Food and wine pairing demonstrations will take place under the main tent on Saturday. Chefs from Lincoln Land Community College Culinary Institute will prepare seafood dishes using local ingredients from the Farmers Market and show how well local food is complemented by local, Illinois wines. Tickets may be purchased in advance at www.downtownspringfield.org .

Hosted by: IGGVA and Downtown Springfield, Inc.,
Time: 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Saturday
Location: Fifth and Jefferson Streets, Downtown Springfield
Click here for Driving Directions
Phone: (217) 544-1723
Website:http://www.illinoiswine.com