GenKota Winery Shuts After 17 Years
Tucked away in strip mall off I57 in Mt. Vernon, IL for over 17 tears, GenKota Winery was known for wine and music. Now the winery is closed and seeking new owners, according to WSIL.tv. The Winery’s Facebook page says winery owners Kent and Sheree Easton are “keeping all options open.”
GenKota won Silver Medals at the Illinois Wine Competition for its Chambourcin and Norton in the late ’90’s. These wine were made from local grapes sourced at Drake Vineyard.
The Easton’s bought the winery from founder the Dr. Brad Drake around 2010. A 2011 report in the Southern Illinoisan claims this winery was the 6th post Prohibition winery in Illinois when Dr. Drake started it in 2007.
As reported in Midwest Wine Press, the number of wineries in Illinois has leveled off at about 100 after a decade of rapid growth. Nearby Pheasant Hollow Winery appears to be doing well and the current number of wineries in Southern Illinois may foreshadow further consolidation.