Southern Ill never struck me as a geographic area that would support vineyards to the extent it does. The news story linked here led me on a fact-finding mission. Here’s some highlights:
- There are 450 grape growers and more than 68 wineries throughout the state of Illinois
- 69 counties within Illinois (68%) have at least one vineyard, and 38 counties (37 %) have at least one winery
- 90% of Illinois vineyards and 83 percent of wineries were established in the last 10 years
- The total economic impact on wine and wine grapes in Illinois was more than $253 million
- Illinois’ revenues from wine sales totaled $21 million
In conclusion, this is how a weather story drained away an hour of my life and now I have wine party fodder for years to come - and so do you!