Vintage Illinois 2018

Walkers Bluff Vintage Illinois 2018

Fox Valley Vintage Illinois 2018

Spirit Knob Vintage Illinois 2018

2018 Vintage Illinois took place September 15 & 16 at Matthiessen State Park. I was able to attend for a short period on Saturday. Even though my time was limited, I was able visit all of the winery displays and taste several wines. Needless to say, trying to fully explore the wines from 24 wineries would be a bit much in a matter of hours.

This was my first, but will not be my last visit to this event. The number of attendees was amazingly large, but all were having a great time enjoying the wine, live music, and food trucks.

Here is a selection of the wines that I really enjoyed and recommend. This is not all inclusive. The notes are those of the wineries.

August Hill Winery – Utica, IL 

Ravat 51 – Ravat 51 is a dry, medium-bodied wine filled with notes of rose, pineapple, lemon, orange, and moonflower. Similar to a dry German Riesling, this wine is from Vignoles grapes (a.k.a. Ravat 51), a French-American hybrid that grows well in Illinois.

Chambourcin – A smooth and timeless dry, red table wine made from Illinois-grown Chambourcin grapes. This medium-bodied wine is similar in style to a light pinot noir with its upfront fruit character and aromas and flavors of blueberry and dark chocolate.

Fox Valley Winery; Oswego, IL

2015 Petite Pearl – This 2 time 2017 Silver Medal Winner and 2018 Governors Cup Winner for Best Red Wine….was “Estate Grown” at our vineyard in Sheridan!!  This exciting new varietal  has a deep rich color, with lingering plum flavors and soft oak aromas.  Our Medal winner offers a full bodied strong tannin structure and a smooth full finish.  The Petite Pearl was aged 12 months in French Oak Barrels.

Galena Cellars Vineyard & Cellars; Galena, IL

General’s Reserve Red – A classic blend of European varietals and native French hybrid grape varietals resulting in a premium red wine with notes of plum & chocolate and soft, velvety tannins to round off the finish.

Massbach Ridge Winery; Elizabeth & Galena, IL

Massbach Reserve – Full-bodied, dry, oak-aged red made from a blend of Frontenac and Foch grapes. 2012 Vintage.

Prairie State Winery; Genoa, IL

Fusion – A unique concept of co-fermenting CA-grown Tempranillo with a small amount of IL-grown Frontenac. 100% barrel aged.

Prairie Pumpkin – Made of 100% Pumpkins and infused with all of your typical pie spices. Enjoy chilled when it’s warm out and warmed when it’s chilly out! 

Spirit Knob Winery; Ursa, IL

Traminette – Semi-sweet aromas and flavors of pineapple with hints of citrus. This particular wine is very light and crisp.

Rapture – Dessert wine with hints of cherry and raspberry. Great cigar wine!

Walkers Bluff Winery; Carterville, IL

Cabernet Sauvignon – A BIG BOLD full-bodied red wine. It is a well-balanced wine with great structure and medium tannins. Flavors of this wine are black cherry, vanilla oak, black pepper and violets. 

I’m looking forward to a much longer visit to Vintage Illinois 2019. Mark your calendars for September 21 & 22, 2019.