June 23, 2017

Big Southern Illinois WInery Wants a Casino License

Walker's Bluff, a winery, restaurant, and concert entertainment center near Carbondale, Illinois is now trying to get a casino license, according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch.  Midwest Wineries have gone to great lengths to add new revenue streams - including monster truck shows and distilleries-  but this is the first we've heard about merging  regional wine and gambling.  Walker's Bluff argues … [Read more...]

Simply Aronia Wine

Several years ago, my husband and I ordered some aronia wine on the Internet. The entire contents of the bottle landed in the sink. More recently, skilled winemakers are proving that aronia makes good wine.Two of the wineries are Randy Albrecht’s Wolf Creek Winery in Coleharbor, North Dakota, and Gerry Godfrey’s Mount Zion Winery in Marydel, Maryland.Albrecht’s $15.99 Aronia Berry Wine … [Read more...]

What Happened to the Original Midwest Wineries?

During October of 1974,  the Saturday Evening Post published a "Guide to American Wineries."  This article was probably the first discussion of bonded Midwestern Wineries to appear in a national publication.At the time of the Saturday Evening Post's article, there were 32 wineries in the Midwest.  Ohio's 12 wineries were by far the most numerous of any Midwestern state during 1974. (Today, … [Read more...]

Lemberger- A Cold Hardy Vinifera

Hidden among the twenty one varieties and forty acres of vines at Domaine Berrien Cellars and Winery in southwest Michigan is a two acre patch of hardy Austrian grapes known as Lemberger. Owner and winemaker Wally Maurer first encountered this grape in Germany while touring Europe with his father-in-law in the early 1990’s. He says it was his love of wine and the similarity of growing conditions … [Read more...]

Biggest Wine Club in U.S. Is Based in Illinois

According to Crain's Chicago Business, the biggest wine club in our nation is operated by Countryside, Illinois based Cooper's Hawk Winery.  Cooper's Hawk, which started in Orland Park (a Chicago suburb) during 2005 , now has 20 restaurant locations spread over seven states.Coopers Hawk's website says that annual production in it's Countryside facility is  over 600,000 gallons per year. … [Read more...]

La Crescent Food Pairing Ideas

Food and Wine. Wine and Food. No wonder it can be challenging when we can’t even decide which one comes first. My wife and I have done literally dozens of wine pairing sessions in different formats around the world. Large and small, at wineries and restaurants (both brick and mortar and pop-ups.) Many were fantastic experiences, but as with any art, questions remain.The main thing I reminded … [Read more...]

MWP and Craft Beverages Unlimited Midwest 2016

In a couple of months’ time, wine industry people from across the Midwest will gather in St. Charles, Missouri for one of the biggest wine conferences in our region. One difference this year is a name change: what was formerly called the Midwest Wine Conference is now Craft Beverages Unlimited Midwest. This time, winemakers, distillers and brewers are under one roof, but attending three separate … [Read more...]

2016 Midwest Wine Conference Schedule

Here are the Midwest Wine Conferences in chronological order.  Some Conferences have not released agendas or speakers yet, so please check back periodically.  This article will be updated as more information becomes available.Heartland Wine Conference, Sponsored by The Kansas Grape Growers and Winemakers Association, January 22-23, 2016, The Sheraton Four Points in Manhattan, KS.The … [Read more...]

Aronia Berries for New Fruit Wine Flavors

Aronia berries, a longtime favorite of wine and liqueur hobbyists, are now available in volume for wine production. Originally a fruit native to the eastern half of the United States, they’re commercially grown from New England westward into the Dakotas. The wine potential of aronia berries is being tapped by wineries clustered mostly in the Midwest. Educators in universities in a number of states … [Read more...]

Shawnee Hills Wine Trail 20th Anniversary Gala

 The Shawnee Hills Wine Trail announces their 20th Anniversary Gala on Saturday, November 14, 2015, from 7:00pm to 10:00pm at the Carbondale Civic Center. Join us as we celebrate 20 incredible years of friends, fun, and especially, fantastic Illinois wines. We are pulling out all the stops – and all the wines – for this gala event. Enjoy 24 different wine samples from our member wineries. You … [Read more...]