GenKota Winery Shuts After 17 Years

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.

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2 Responses

  1. Hey Mark,
    I was just perusing your very enjoable newsletter and noticed a reference to Genkota Winery being listed as the 6th post prohibition winery in Illinois by the Southern Illinoisan newspaper. I don’t believe it’s a real big deal but I do worry sometimes that spurious claims are being reported that sometimes blur the factual representation of our long, and rich, history of winemaking and grape growing in Illinois. When Alto Vineyards first opened it’s winery doors in 1988 it was the 6th bonded post prohibition winery in Illinois. It (Genkota), in fact, was bonded after Pheasant Hollow and I believe they were number 12 (you can confirm this with Bruce Morgenstern).

    As you probably know, Illinois, like Ohio, has it’s roots deeply imbedded in the grape and wine tradition and we are simply a continuation of that legacy but way too often I’ve witnessed people manipulating facts for their own, perceived, self-aggrandizement. I really don’t know if this instance is truly an example of an intentional misrepresentation of our history, or what it really matters, but I do think it important to our legacy that history has it’s facts together.

    Thanks Mark and sorry for the wind, Paul

    • Mark Ganchiff says:


      Glad you enjoy MWP. At the time The Southern Illinoisan reported that Genkota was the sixth modern winery in Illinois, the paper was doing well enough and one would think they had the resources to do fact checking. Sadly, hardly any media today has the resources to fact check or corroborate, so there is a lot of false info going around. The internet has made information free, but the quality of the information has gone way down. As another break even media business that relies on sub minimum wage labor, Midwest Wine Press relies on readers like you to call us out. We appreciate the clarification.