Wineries in Illinois

Wineries in Illinois

When it comes to grape farming and wine drinking, then Illinois has a lot to offer. The state has a rich history when it comes to grape farming as it has been producing them for over 150 years. This propelled it to one of the largest producers in the period before prohibition. However, after prohibition, wine production and grape farming in the state went through a period of decline up to the eighties when new vineyards and wineries in Illinois were established. After this time, however, the state grew in stature and is counted as one of the largest wine and grape producers in the US.

The success story in the wine industry in Illinois stems from the fact that the state has a long history with wine. As stated, vineyards had been established along the banks of the Mississippi over one and a half centuries ago. Illinois also ranks among the top states when it comes to wine consumption. Even through the prohibition in the thirties, the state maintained this demand and therefore created a great platform for the success witnessed today. Wineries in Illinois not only produce some of the finest wines to meet state demand, but also nationwide demand.


Illinois has a cold climate and is therefore not suited to the farming of warm climate grapes and the production wines such as Merlot, and Pinot is not well-suited. Most farmers usually grow hybrid varieties that are designed to survive the cold weather and maintain the production of high-quality wines. The varieties on offer include Vidal Blanc, Chambourcin, Niagara and Seyval among others. These have been found to survive the cold weather and provide bountiful harvests for farmers and are, therefore, the focus of wineries in Illinois.

Grape farming in Illinois has been found to provide great utilization of marginal lands in the state. Vineyards and wineries in Illinois can be found in the northern, southern and central parts of the state. They seamlessly go with the rural and urban environments in these parts providing great landscapes as well.

With wineries in Illinois on the rise, related tourism is also on the rise as well. More wine enthusiasts are visiting the state and different wineries. Wine tasting rooms, events, and tours are the order of the day. Wine enthusiasts will be spoilt for choice with the numerous options available as vineyards dot the entire state.

Other Activities

Wine tours are not just about visiting the vineyards but having fun tasting different varieties and other related foods for the most tantalizing dining experiences. Outdoor activities in the various wineries in Illinois include hiking, bicycling, sight-seeing, fishing among others. Wine enthusiasts can be sure to have a fun and exciting wine tour with this collection of events and activities waiting for them.