Vineyards flourish along the Illinois River

The Business of Food with Steve Alexander

Illinois may not be the first state you think of for wine, but the industry is surprisingly strong.

Photos from August Hill Winery and Illinois Sparkling Company of Peru, Illinois

The Land of Lincoln is 18th among states in wine production, but it’s still a $5 billion-a-year business. Mark and Teri Wenzel converted some marginal corn and soybean land along the Illinois River at Peru to vineyards. It’s been a success for both still and sparkling wines. Mark tells Steve Alexander that the types of grapes and acidity of the soil make Illinois-made wine a great alternative to Napa Valley varieties.

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