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Birthplace of Vino Verve!

Illinois’ greatest claims to “wine” fame are the Prohibition-era antics of Al Capone, but Illinois has been producing wine since 1778, when French settlers set up the state’s first winery near what is now Peoria.  By 1900, Illinois was the fourth-largest wine-producing state in the country.  Eclipsed in the 20th century by major wine states such as California, New York and Washington, Illinois has rebounded in the last 10 years with a winery-boom, growing from 27 wineries in 2001 to more than 70 wineries only 8 years later, and the designation of the state’s first AVA, the Shawnee Hills AVA, encompassing Illinois’ southern counties.

While most of the state’s wineries are located within the Shawnee Hills AVA, there are wineries scattered all across the state – including quite a few within easy reach of the Chicago metropolitan area.


Illinois Vital Statistics
Number of Wineries: 117

Wine Trails:
  • Heartland Rivers Wine Trail
  • Illinois River Wine Trail
  • Northern Illinois Wine Trail
  • Shawnee Hills Wine Trail
  • Southern Illinois Wine Trail
  • Wabash Valley Wine Trail
Year 1st Winery Established 1778
Varietals Cultivated: Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Catawba, Cayuga, Chambourcin, Chancellor, Chardonel, Concord, De Chaunac, Edelweiss, Elvira, Frontenac, Gewürztraminer, Golden Muscat, La Crosse, Leon Millot, Marechal Foch, Merlot, Muscadine, Niagara, Norton, Riesling, Seyval Blanc, St. Pepin, Traminette, Vidal Blanc, Vignoles, Villard Blanc, Villard Noir
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