What type of wine goes with an art show? - 2011.04.15
SPRINGFIELD – What type of wine goes with an art show? At the May 21 - 22 Art of Illinois Wine Festival, the answer is simple – Illinois wine.
The Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association, Downtown Springfield Inc. and the Old Capitol Foundation are teaming up to offer the fourth annual Art of Illinois Wine Festival from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 21 and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, May 22. 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. A special two-day pass can be purchased at www.downtownspringfield.org for $15, and includes a wine glass and ten sampling tickets. Wine may also be purchased by the glass, bottle and case. The wine tasting event is being held in conjunction with the Old Capitol Art Fair.
The Illinois wineries taking part in the May 21-22 event include: Prairie State Winery, Genoa; Illinois River Winery, Utica; Sleepy Creek, Fairmount; Shawnee Winery, Vienna; Spirit Knob Winery, Ursa; Villa Marie Winery, Maryville; Lasata Winery, Lawrenceville; Baxter's Vineyards & Winery, Nauvoo; Pheasant Hollow Winery, Whittington; Hill Prairie Winery, Oakford; Hopewell Winery, Rockport; Fox Creek Vineyards, Olney; Berryville Vineyards, Claremont; Alto Vineyards, Alto Pass; Collver Family Winery, Barry; Piasa Winery, Maryville; and Kickapoo Creek Winery, Edwards.
“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 the Springfield recycling coordinator to recycle colored glass wine bottles in addition to the clear glass that is currently accepted.
“Downtown Springfield, Inc. is proud to partner with the Illinois Grape Growers and the Old Capitol Foundation for the fourth year in bringing Illinois Wines to the Old Capitol Art Fair. Illinois Wineries and the Old State Capitol Foundation 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.
The Old Capitol Foundation is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to promote history education, outreach, and public awareness of the Old State Capitol and Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices State Historic Sites. The Foundation is actively raising funds and awareness to support History Comes Alive, a living history project that will return to downtown Springfield this summer.
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 91 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, Friar Tuck, County Market, Dunphy Wellness Center, and WSEC-TV. Food and wine pairing demonstrations will take place under the main tent on Saturday. Chefs from Robert’s Seafood will prepare seafood dishes using local ingredients from the Farmers Market and show how well local food is complemented by local, Illinois wines.
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