Wine and dine this spring in Illinois wine country - 2007.04.25
Illinois vineyards and wineries host the season’s best festivals and events
As the temperatures warm, travelers are eager to get outside and experience something new and exciting. Illinois Wine Country is ideal for doing just that, with weekend-long music and food festivals, cooking classes with some of the Midwest’s top chefs, and award-winning Illinois varietals. Friendly vintners invite guests to find a new favorite wine, learn about seasonal food and wine pairings and enjoy the distinctive quality of Illinois Wine Country.
Following are a selection of Illinois wineries hosting special events throughout spring and summer. Guests can extend their wine country getaways by booking hotels and bed and breakfasts on www.enjoyillinois.com. Additionally, to find an Illinois winery nearby, visit www.illinoiswine.com and select a region on the interactive map.
Happy Trails to You
Pack up the car and hit the road for a trip down one of Illinois’ two unique wine trails. With knowledgeable vintners, scenic views and charming towns along the way, wine lovers will enjoy getting a taste of Illinois wines.
Northern Illinois Wine Trail: Located one to two hours northwest of Chicagoland, the Northern Illinois Wine Trail connects 15 of northern Illinois’ wineries along a serene route filled with beautiful countryside and quaint towns. Besides award-winning wines, gourmet-style food and handcrafted gifts, many wineries offer cozy bed and breakfasts and luxury suites ideal for turning any wine country visit into a weekend getaway.
Shawnee Hills Wine Trail: Whether looking to kick up their heels or put up their feet, wine aficionados can do both at the eight wineries along the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail. Set among some of Illinois’ most stunning scenery, the wine trail is quickly becoming on of Southern Illinois’ most popular destinations for travelers throughout the Midwest.
Northern Illinois Tourism Development Office
Shawnee Hills Wine Trail
Illinois Wine Country Events
Baxter’s Old Nauvoo Winery: Liz Clark, one of the Midwest’s leading chefs and 30-year owner of an Iowa-based restaurant, is teaching weekly cooking classes at the Baxter’s Vineyards in historic Nauvoo. Students won’t want to miss the delicious Friday dinner parties and Sunday afternoon workshops as Liz guides them through hands-on preparation of some of the world’s great dishes and cuisine. With Liz’s passion for food and Baxter’s 150 years of winemaking experience, students will be entertained and educated by the best in the business.
Fridays and Sundays throughout April/May
2010 E. Parley St.
Nauvoo, IL 62354
White Owl Winery: Visitors can spend their Sundays tapping their toes and tasting wine at the Second Sunday Celtic Music celebrations taking place year-round at White Owl Winery. Guests will be treated to traditional Irish music and international-award-winning White Owl wines.
Second Sunday of every month (2 – 5 p.m.)
122A Birds Rd.
Birds, IL 62427
Alto Vineyards: Spend the weekend with music, friends, food and fun at Alto Vineyards’ Spring Wine Festival. Stroll among the vines and enjoy the smooth sounds of live blues and classic rock from St. Stephen’s Blues and Wood Box Gang. Food from the popular eateries Broussard’s Cajun Cuisine and 17th Street Bar and Grill will complement Alto Vineyard’s award-winning varietals.
Saturday, May 5 and Sunday, May 6 (noon – 6 p.m.)
8515 State Route 127
Alto Pass, IL 62905
Blue Sky Vineyard: Soak up the sun and enjoy the weekend-long celebration of Reds, Whites and Blues at the picturesque Blue Sky Vineyard. Enjoy music from the Cryin’ Shame Blues Band, Los Carnales, Alvin Jett and many more while sipping their award-winning Chambourcin and delectably sweet Catawba. Wine lovers can experience top-notch hospitality with an evening spent in one of Blue Sky’s two luxury suites.
Saturday, May 5 and Sunday, May 6
3150 South Rocky Comfort Rd.
Makanda, IL 62958
August Hill Winery: Beautiful artwork from a range of local artisans will be on display and available
for sale during August Hill Winery’s Artisan Showcase Weekend. Guests are invited to stroll throughout the Tasting Room to explore the latest artwork and speak to the artists themselves. While there, guests can enjoy the warming temperatures and relax on the patio with a glass of the popular August Hill Chill, a blend of August Hill wine and special mix.
Saturday, May 12 (10 a.m. – 8 p.m.)
106 Mill St.
Utica, IL 61373
Lynfred Winery: Treat Mom like a queen at Lynfred’s very special Mother’s Day celebration. Mothers can enjoy a complimentary wine tasting and homemade chocolate truffle after a behind-the-scenes wine cellar tour. After learning about Lynfred’s award-winning wines, you won’t want to leave without taking home a bottle – or two – of your own.
Sunday, May 13 (tours at 2 and 4 p.m.)
Tasting fee varies
15 S. Roselle Rd.
Roselle, IL 60172
Pheasant Hollow Winery: A celebration of Cajun culture and history, Pheasant Hollow’s Cajun Festival perfectly pairs food, wine and music in one of southern Illinois’ annual favorites. Crowds will be entertained by a lineup of nationally recognized Cajun musicians, including Dennis Stroughmat and Creole Stomp and veteran performer Hadley J. Castille. Pheasant Hollow’s popular Illinois-grown Chambourcin and other seasonal varietals will be served along with crawfish, gator tail and gumbo.
Friday, May 18 (6 – 11 p.m.); Saturday, May 19 (11 a.m. – 7 p.m.)
14931 State Highway 37
Whittington, IL 62897
Hogg Hollow Winery LLC: Experience local fare and fun with Hogg Hollow’s Spring Thing
festival. Live rhythm and blues will get people dancing while Pope County-grown shrimp and homemade barbeque will keep stomachs full.
Saturday, May 26 (noon – close)
Golconda, IL 62938
Black Diamond Vineyards: Nestled among the rolling hills of southern Illinois, guests at Black Diamond Vineyards will be enchanted by the area’s scenic vistas and tranquil surroundings. This family-owned winery invites travelers from far and wide to enjoy the Southern Illinois Wine Country during their annual Full Moon Festival. Local talent will perform throughout the day, and beer, wine and food will be available to keep the party going.
Saturday, June 2 (4 p.m. – close)
3501 Black Diamond Rd.
Nashville, IL 62263
P: 618- 336-5700
Mackinaw Valley Vineyard: Grab friends for a weekend filled with music, food and contests that everyone can enjoy. The first annual Central Illinois Wine Festival will feature six wineries all eager to show off their latest varietals perfect for summertime entertaining.
Saturday, June 2 (11 a.m. – 9 p.m.); Sunday, June 3 (noon – 6 p.m.)
$10 adults 21+, includes 5 tasting tickets
33633 IL. Rt. 9
Mackinaw, IL 61755
Von Jakob Vineyards: The sultry sound of live blues will be swirling among the vines at Von Jakob Vineyards’ summer Bluesfest. Guests are invited to enjoy delicious food from local eateries paired with Von Jakob’s latest seasonal varietals for an evening of dancing and fun in the heart of Illinois Wine Country.
Saturday, June 9 (3 – 7 p.m.)
1309 Sadler Rd.
Pomona, IL 62975
Ravissant Winery: The winery is turning two and invites wine lovers from across the Midwest to join it for a daylong birthday celebration with live music, great food and its award-winning Illinois wines.
Party-goers won’t want to miss grabbing a bottle of Ravissant’s delicious wines that are perfect for summertime grilling and dinners with friends.
Saturday, June 23 (11 a.m. – 6 p.m.)
5950 Town Hall Rd.
Belleville, IL 62223
About Illinois Wine
Featuring more than 68 wineries and approximately 300 grape growers across the state, the Illinois
wine industry produces 500,000 gallons of wine per year and creates an annual economic impact of
more than $250 million. From friendly vintners and affordable prices to unique varietals and award-winning wines, Illinois provides a sophisticated, yet approachable, wine country experience. For more information, please visit www.illinoiswine.com.
About Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association
The Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association (IGGVA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing the viticulture and enology interests of Illinois through information exchange and cooperation among Illinois grape producers and vintners.
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