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The Shawnee Hills Wine Trail produces unique, flavorful, award -winning wines from fruit grown right here in the Shawnee Hills American Viticultural Area (AVA).  The most common varietal, found at all of our wineries but one, Pomona Winery does not produce grape wines, is Chambourcin.  A very versatile grape, Chambourcin wines range in flavor profile from dry to sweet, rose`s and even port wines.  Grown in the Shawnee Hills, Chambourcin is known for its rich, ripe, fruit flavors, mild to full tannins and complex tastes and aromas.  One trip along the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail and you’ll see why it’s one of our favorites.

History:  Developed in France in the early 1950’s, Chambourcin is a French-American hybrid grape.  French-American hybrids are crosses between American grape varieties and European grape varieties.  They are called French American because the majority of the breeding work was done in France.

Widely planted throughout the Loire Valley in France, Chambourcin was popular for its rich color and bold flavor characteristics when made as a varietal and was a premium wine that was used for blending with France’s other varietals adding complexity and character to different wines.

The Shawnee Hills region in southern Illinois shares many of the same attributes of the Loire Valley.  For that reason and the versatility and quality wines that Chambourcin produces, it has become one of the most popular wines along the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail.

Why It’s Unique:  Chambourcin wines produced from fruit grown within the boundaries of the Shawnee Hills AVA offer many notable differences when compared to wines from other regions.  A variety of reasons, including soil, terrain and climate, a.k.a terroir, all play a factor in the resulting flavors.  One of the most prominent factors responsible for this grape’s bold flavors is climate.  A longer growing season allows the fruit to hang longer on the vines and fully ripen.  This creates rich, bold fruit flavors that are prominent in Shawnee Hills Chambourcin.  To learn more about our region’s “terroir” CLICK HERE.

Awards:  Chambourcin wines are the most awarded wines in the Shawnee Hills and have brought home many state, national and international awards including:  Governor’s Cups, Jefferson Cups, Best in Class and Best in Show.

Food Pairings:  burgers, pizza, pasta with red sauce, mushrooms, figs, roasted chicken, mild to sharp cheddar cheese, bleu cheese, bruschetta and chocolate.