The “Shawnee Hills” region was designated as Illinois’ first American Viticultural Area (AVA) on December 27, 2006 by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. This designation established the region within the Shawnee Hills boundary as a unique grape growing area in southern Illinois and brings validity to our beliefs in the promise of the area.
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 within 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."