Illinois holds many treasures inside its boundaries, for instance the city of Chicago, home of the Chicago-style hot dog, deep dish pizza, the Sears Tower, and Wrigley Field. Illinois also holds many State Parks including the Shawnee National Forest and Mississippi Palisades State Park. Illinois is also home to over 90 wineries and 450 acres of vineyards.
There are two AVAs found in Illinois, the Shawnee Hills AVA and the Upper Mississippi Valley AVA. The Shawnee Hills AVA covers about 2,140 square miles and includes much of the Shawnee National Forest. It was the official AVA in Illinois. The Upper Mississippi Valley AVA includes northwest Illinois, as well as northeast Iowa, southeast Minnesota and southwest Wisconsin. The nearby Mississippi River provides sloping lands that allows maximum exposure to the sun in the cool climate.
The Illinois Wine Region is very diverse, with many options for visitors. Metropolitan cities and beautiful forests, luxury resorts or a quaint bed and breakfast. Wine Country is diverse as well, from forests to rivers to plateaus, specializing in “French hybrid” grape varietals- Chambourcin, Seyval, Vignoles, Chardonel and Vidal Blanc- developed by crossing French grapes, such as the Chardonnay often grown in France and California, with native American vines.