April 24, 2017

A Word About Wine Writing

Confucius said the beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name.  That's especially true when it comes to writing and speaking about wine.  Enology and viticulture is full of confusing terminology.  Using the wrong words can confuse your audience and damage credibility.To help with our etymological wine journey, we enlisted the help of Tim Martinson, senior extension … [Read more...]

USS Illinois Christened With Illinois Sparkling

What better way is there to christen the Navy’s newest submarine, the USS Illinois, than with bubbly produced in the state from where it derived its name?On October 10, 2015, the USS Illinois was christened with a bottle of bubbly produced by Illinois Sparkling Co. The name of the sparkling wine, Blend 786, was inspired by the USS Illinois’ ship number – SSN 786.“We were very excited when … [Read more...]

Young Couple Triumphs at Starview Vineyards

Attracting millennials is a goal for most wineries.  At Starview Vineyards on the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail, appealing to younger customers comes naturally. Winery co-owners Brett Morrison, 30, and Regina Morrison 29, are not only members of the most over analyzed generation, they also project a youthful enthusiasm that fills the tasting room."We love the industry, it's our lives," Regina says … [Read more...]

Illinois Nuns Won’t Get Their Winery

In a story we've been following for a while, the neo-prohibitionist Mc Henry County Board has rejected the winery application of Fraternite of Notre Dame, a religious order formed in 1977.You might recall that McHenry County also waged a multi-year battle with Jeff Pankow, the owner of Blue Star Vineyard in Hebron. Pankow is a respected local business owner and is well-known in McHenry County … [Read more...]

Grapes of the Hudson Valley Has Midwest Appeal

Grapes of the Hudson Valley by Stephen Casscles is a new reference guide that Midwestern grape growers and wine enthusiasts will find compelling.  The Hudson Valley runs north and south down the eastern edge of New York.  This scenic region has a climate similar to much of the Midwest. (USDA grow zone 5 with winter temps as low as -15F.)Within 250 pages, this reference book covers more than … [Read more...]

Sleepy Creek Vineyards For Sale

Joe Taylor, the owner of Sleepy Creek Vineyards in Central Illinois, has decided put the winery up for sale.Taylor said the winery is profitable at its current production of 7,000 gallons per year.  "The winery has exceeded our expectations. Now we want to find a new owner who has the motivation and resources to continue what we started," he said.Taylor's situation is not unusual today … [Read more...]

Midwest Wine Press Fourth Anniversary

This column commemorates the fourth anniversary of Midwest Wine Press.  During that time, we've produced over 500 original articles about our regional wine industry, by far the most of any publication.In retrospect, I would have not chosen the name Midwest Wine Press.  As Minnesota entrepreneur Eric Dalton told the Wall Street Journal, "The (name) Midwest tends to be what's left over after all … [Read more...]

Wine Competition Winners in the Midwest

Listed below are the top award winners for the major Midwestern Wine Competitions. The Cold Climate Wine Competition in Minnesota winners can be accessed by clicking the link below.  It's heartening to see so many quality cold climate wines among the winners.  We've included the types of grapes used to make the all the winners. Mid-American Wine Competition (Iowa) Sweepstakes Award … [Read more...]

Virginia Shows the Potential of Midwest Wine

Recently, I returned from a trip to the Central Virginia wine producing region around Charlottesville.  There are many similarities between Virginia and the Midwest that demonstrate the promise of our Midwestern wine industry. Hybrid wines are not only being grown successfully in Virginia, but consumers are buying them.If you haven't heard, Virginia wine is hot. There are now over 200 … [Read more...]

Mc Henry County Fighting Nun’s Winery

From the Drinks Business we bring you another effort by the backwards element in McHenry, Illinois to block a winery from opening.  This time the county is fighting the Fraternite of Notre Dame, a religious order formed in 1977.You might recall that McHenry County also waged a multi-year battle with Jeff Pankow, the owner of Blue Star Vineyard in Hebron.  Pankow is a respected local business … [Read more...]