5 Reasons to Visit the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail this Winter


  1. Fewer Tourists: The “off” season is a great time to enjoy a tour of our wineries.  With fewer guests and quieter tasting rooms, you will enjoy more intimate wine tastings, often with the owner or winemaker.  After choosing your favorite wine, cozy up to the fireplace or curl up on a couch and savor a glass or two with someone special.
  1. The Shawnee National Forest is Beautiful: One of the best things in southern Illinois is the view.  Rolling hills, sandstone bluffs, creeks that wind for miles, southern Illinois has it all.  And, with generally milder winter temperatures, there is no excuse not to enjoy the opportunities the Shawnee National Forest offers from, hiking, biking, birding and more. 

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Harvest Season is Here

Harvest 1There’s no need to travel to Burgundy or Napa Valley to experience a truly authentic wine culture. Enjoy the experiences of harvest right here in southern Illinois.

Shawnee Hills Wine Trail vineyards are buzzing with excitement. The grapes are ripening and ready to be harvested and our vineyard and cellar crews are scrambling to keep up with the season. During your wine trail travels keep an eye out for our harvest crews picking fruit from the vine or listen for the sounds of a press squeezing all that sweet juice from each tiny grape.

White varietals like Niagara, Vidal and Seyval will ripen first while our red grape varieties like Chambourcin, Cabernet Franc and Norton will benefit from more time on the vine and not be harvested until September or later allowing the fruit to fully ripen and to develop those bold flavors we are known for.

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Winter Wine Travel


It’s time to enjoy the slower, quieter side of Illinois wine country. Spring, summer and fall are all great times to travel the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail but the winter season offers a unique experience for those that venture out during our off season.

Southern Illinois offers an enchanting paradise that is under appreciated during the winter months. The Shawnee Hills National Forest is a beautiful winter wonderland and provides guests with a great opportunity to see massive
sandstone structures, waterfalls and scenic views of our hardwood forests. All while covered in a dusting of snow.

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Spring Into Wine

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Come for the Wine. Stay for the Experience.

When it comes to wine trail travel, it's tempting to think only of vineyard hopping in the summer months. However, early spring can provide a lovely trip free from crowds and the early blooms of the season make for a gorgeous setting to savor your journey.

The Shawnee Hills Wine Trail offers the cool, crisp and refreshing Illinois wines that you are looking for this season. Visit our member wineries and enjoy some of the many wines that are perfect for the season. The warmth of spring is the perfect time to enjoy a refreshing glass along the trail.

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