What Happened to the Original Midwest Wineries?

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. Steve Salisbury says:

    Banholzer Winecellars was a winery in Rolling Prairie that went defunct sometime in the late 80’s or early 90’s. Carl Banholzer was one of the original partners with Len Olson who started Tabor Hill in 1968. The two separated due to differences, and Carl began his own venture. I am probably the only person who ever worked for both wineries. Tabor Hill’s winery was constructed in 1970 and they enjoyed their first retail sales in 1972. Banholzer opened for business in 1975. Both men were a bit eccentric, but were hard working entrepreneurs. Incidentally, I also worked for John Thompson, who owned the Thompson Winery in Monee, but I was not directly affiliated with his winery.

  2. Jim Rohrbach says:

    My grandfather, uncle and aunt all had long careers at Western Electric in Cicero. They epitomized the hardworking “Bohemians from Berwyn.” Those were the days that when you got a job, you kept it.

    But my dad never liked the place, had a 44-year career at Mogen David Wine Corp. on the south side. He rose from being a grunt to VP of Bottling Operations. They moved the plant to Westfield, NY in the late ’70s — he supervised parts of the move.