Wine Drinkers Unite!

Wine Drinkers Unite!

Posted on 05/21/2021 by Andy Waterman

If you're looking to celebrate National Wine Day, there are SEVERAL places to grab a drink in ILLINOISouth. There are over a dozen vineyards and wineries that would love to host you not only today, but sometime in the near future! 

There are two wine trails in ILLINOISouth, one that runs through our Central Region and another that is positioned in our Eastern Region. The Carlyle Lake Wine Trail in the Central Region is made up of four different wineries. Visitors to the trail are sure to enjoy the extraordinary flavors of locally-grown and produced wines, from sophisticated dry reds to popular sweet country wines. Each winery offers a unique and often surprising experience. The trail's four wineries produce over 100 different wines, following a tradition of fine winemaking established by early settlers of Illinois whose wine-making expertise originated in Europe. Although each winery is different, all are proud of their well-crafted red and white wines. Plan to travel the Carlyle Wine Trail on your upcoming winery adventure in ILLINOISouth!

Hidden Lake Winery - Aviston

Nestled in the quiet beauty of the "Silent Forest" just east of St. Louis, Hidden Lake Winery's rolling vineyards welcomes wine lovers from all over the United States! Enjoy Hidden Lake Winery's gazebos, ceremony sites, reception halls, cabins, gift shops and — of course — it's lake! Hidden Lake Winery offers everything you need to make your winery adventure in ILLINOISouth an unforgettable success!

Bretz Wildlife Lodge & Winery - Carlyle

Bretz Wildlife Lodge & Winery in Carlyle offers to show you the wild side of life on your next winery adventure in ILLINOISouth! This South African-themed winery includes a restaurant, wedding venue and an open-air bar that offers an extensive selection of beers, spirits and over 20 wines.

Twelve Oaks Vineyard - Carlyle

The folks at Twelve Oaks Vineyard believe in offering quality wines that are hand-crafted in the beautiful southern Illinois countryside. The grapes grown in this charming vineyard are maintained and cared for by the same family that operates the winery. Twelve Oaks Vineyard provides the perfect opportunity to support a small local business on your upcoming ILLINOISouth trip!

Crooked Creek Winery - Centralia 

Crooked Creek Winery is a family-owned winery dedicated to producing hand-crafted wines that honor the flavors of locally-grown grapes. This winery explores traditional European styles of wine making, all while using local grape varietals. Their offerings include a range of sweet to dry wines. And, at Crooked Creek, you'll always find peace sipping your wine and watching the family horses grace the surrounding pastures. Crooked Creek also has a location in downtown Centralia now as well, so be sure to check them out! 

The other wine trail in ILLINOISouth is the Wabash Valley Wine Trail, which includes five establishments in Richland, Edwards, Jasper, and Lawrence Counties. 

Berryville Vineyards - Claremont

Berryville Vineyards harmonizes with nature to cultivate premium wine grapes, which they make into premium wines! Walk through the oak forests, picnic in the vineyards, or wade in the creek and stop in at the tasting room. Berryville Vineyards features fruit and grape wines from 20 varieties of grapes as well as raspberries, blackberries and gooseberries.

Fox Creek Vineyards & Winery - Olney

Fox Creek is a small, family owned and operated winery with a modest vineyard. They are located in the Southeastern Illinois countryside amid the low rolling hills of the old orchard country of Richland county. Once the center of the apple and peach growing industry, this area is ideal for the growing of French-American hybrid wine grapes (with one major reservation--late Spring freezes). The soils and the intense summer heat allow the making of wines with very pronounced fruity flavors. This allows Fox Creek to craft wines in the traditional styles that are a truly unique experience in full flavored, fruity aromas, without the need for heavy oaking.

Homestead Vineyards - West Salem 

Homestead Vineyards has an amazing outdoor area that features amazing views of the entire vineyard with lush rose bushes at the beginning of each row. They have several sitting areas as well as a gazebo with a fan for warm days. The owners, Shirley and Larry, can usually be found throughout the grounds talking with customers and treating everyone that visits like close friends. As for the wines, Homestead Vineyards is known for carrying the largest selection of fruit wines in the area and all are reasonably priced. Most of the wines are sweet and semi-sweet and perfect for sipping in the warm weather. 

Irene's Vineyard - Jasper County

At Irene's they go above and beyond to produce quality wine that you will love and enjoy.  They currently offer 10 wines ranging from dry, semi-sweet, sweet and fruit. One of their most popular wines is White Trash, this wine is well know for it's elegant name but also it's fruity aroma and pleasantly smooth and sweet taste.

Lasata Wines - Lawrenceville 

Lasata is the Indian word meaning "place of peace," and the winery’s atmosphere lives up to the name. A variety of wines from blush and sweet to white or dry are created here and offered for tasting. Try assorted cheeses and other goodies on your next visit to Lasata Winery with your friends, family or significant other.

Aside from the two wine trails, there are also several other wineries and vineyards in ILLINOISouth that serve up all kinds of varieties of wine!

Jo-Al Winery - Mascoutah

Jo-Al produces some of the best fruit wines you'll ever have - produced and bottled in Mascoutah. Aside from tasty beverages, their country store also has homemade jellies, jewelry, and more!

The Pour Vineyard - Red Bud 

Jo-Al produces some of the best fruit wines you'll ever have - produced and bottled in Mascoutah. Aside from tasty beverages, their country store also has homemade jellies, jewelry, and more! The wine at The Pour is a culmination of seed, earth, Midwest sun, hard work, and a lot of prayers. They believe wine is a community of its surroundings, it takes in those surroundings and celebrates and showcases the best. We believe the best fertilizer for a vineyard is the shadow of its owner.  The Pour is still a young vineyard and not all of their vines are producing grapes yet. They currently grow Chambourcin, Vignoles, Vidal Blanc, Seyval Blanc, Corot Noir, and Marquette grapes varieties. Check back as their vines mature and become ready to harvest, they will be adding additional wines to their list.

The Weingarten - Belleville

The Weingarten offers a relaxing, rustic setting located on acres of beautiful countryside. Conveniently located off Highway 15 in Belleville IL, The Weingarten is a perfect place to gather with friends over lunch or dinner, enjoy a glass of premium wine or beer or listen to live music bythe area’s best bands. The Weingarten's wedding ceremony and wedding reception venues are unlike any other. Surrounded by beautiful forests, cornfields and a lake, their natural landscape offers a picturesque setting for your wedding ceremony and wedding reception. 

Copper Dock - Pocahontas 

Down a winding, gravel road in rural Pocahontas, Illinois, surrounded by 27 acres of woods, sits Copper Dock Winery. This restaurant, bar and banquet center is just far away enough from St. Louis to let you forget about it all. Located 45 minutes from downtown, Copper Dock is the perfect spot to sip wine and enjoy what nature has to offer. Copper Dock is a family-owned business celebrating friends, family, music and nature. Offering a full bar, wine tasting room, and live music most weekends, Copper Dock is not only a place to bring a group of friends, but also an amazing choice for weddings and corporate events!

Cameo Vineyards - Greenup

Located just off the National Road near the Covered Bridge, the winery is surrounded by 4,000 French-American hybrid grapevines. The comfortable tasting room welcomes guests to settle in for a while.

Bella Vista Winery - Maryville

At Bella Vista Winery, their goal is to offer a variety of wines that will satisfy every palate. Their winemaking is influenced by the German heritage of Illinois farming families. The wines are produced with locally grown fruit and bottled on location in the cellar. Guests can enjoy a glass of wine (or other beverage if desired) in a countryside setting with old (and new) friends.

Schorr Lake Vineyards - Waterloo

Schorr Lake has a seven-acre vineyard where they grwo 16 different kinds of grapes, as well as blackberries. The wine list is massive at Schorr Lake, including everything from dry and semi-dry wines, to sweet and semi-sweet as well as dessert and fruit wines! You'll definitely want to make a trip to Waterloo for this place!

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