The first Driftless Experimental Wine Festival will be held on October 20, 2013 at Fergedaboutit Vineyard and Winery in Hanover Illinois (near Galena.)
The event is the brainchild of Gerald Podraza of Mount Hope Vineyard in Northwestern Illinois. According to Podraza, the Driftless Experimental Wine Festival was initiated to bring together independent wine makers who produce wines made from grapes grown within the Upper Mississippi River Valley AVA (Northwest Illinois, Northeast Iowa, Southeast Minnesota, and Southwest Wisconsin), also known as the Driftless Area.
Wine makers, commercial or independent, are invited to exhibit wines made from northern cultivars grown in the Driftless Area. Wines for exhibition can be new, in process of aging or undergoing bench trials. Podraza said the objective of the Festival is to provide winemakers with feedback about wines they are developing. The Festival, which runs from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., is also open to consumers.
All revenue generated from the Festival will fund college scholarships at Southern Illinois University in the academic specializations of horticulture and architecture (winery design.)
This event requires registration two weeks in advance. Contact Gerry at MountHopeVineyard@yahoo.com for more information.