September 21, 2017

First Driftless Experimental Wine Festival Set for Fall


Fergedaboutit Vineyard in Hanover, Illinois, site of the first Drfitless Experimental Wine Festival

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 [email protected] for more information.


Fergedaboutit Winery, Hanover, Illinois

On the deck at

On the deck at deck at Fergedaboutit Winery


About Mark Ganchiff

Mark Ganchiff is the publisher of Midwest Wine Press, the leading source of news on the growing wine industry in the central United States. Mark has been a wine judge at the 2012 and 2014 INDY International Wine Competition, the 2014 Cold Climate Wine Competition, the 2013 Mid-American Wine Competition, the 2012 Illinois State Fair Wine Competition and the 2013 Michigan Wine Competition. He also enjoys speaking at wine events including the Cold Climate Wine Conference, the Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association Annual Meeting, the Midwest Grape and Wine Conference and the Wisconsin Fruit and Vegetable Conference. Mark’s articles about regional wine have appeared in Vineyard & Winery Management, WineMaker and several regional magazines.
Mark is a Level One Sommelier in the Court of Master Sommeliers. He lives in Louisville, but also has a residence in Chicago.