Shawnee Hills American Viticultural Area
Illinois received its first American Viticultural Area recognized by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. Southern Illinois' Shawnee Hills region is the state's first region acknowledged for its distinctive winemaking properties.
The AVA designation allows winemakers to include the "Shawnee Hills" region name on any wines that include 85 percent or more of their volume derived from grapes grown withing the AVA, re-assuring consumers that wines with the Shawnee Hills designation on the label are enriched by the region's characteristic grape attributes.
Ted Wichmann, who submitted the application for the AVA designation, founder of Owl Creek Vineyard, said, "The AVA designation earns Shawnee Hills a place on the map along with the nation's most respected wine regions. More importantly, in a wine world that's becoming increasingly homogenized, the AVA stamp confirms the Shawnee Hills region's capability for producing unique wines that are distinctly Illinois."