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Illinois Wines and Wineries

Illinois Wines and Wineries

The Essential Guide

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Clara Orban


E-book (Other formats: Paperback)
145 illustrations


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About the Book

For more than a century, Illinois has been home to a blossoming wine culture, yet winemaking in the state has not received the attention it deserves. Now, Clara Orban has created the ultimate companion to Illinois wines and wineries. This illustrated volume is a comprehensive yet user-friendly guide for both experienced wine lovers and amateur oenophiles.

Orban, a certified sommelier, begins with the history of Illinois wine production and wineries. She then enlightens readers on such wine basics as the most common grapes grown in Illinois, optimal food and wine pairings, the tenets of wine tasting, and provides an overview of the world of labels, bottles, and corks. The fascinating science of wine also is discussed, including the particulars of Illinois soil and climate and their effect on the industry. Orban then provides a guide to all the wineries listed by the Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners’ Association. For each winery, she offers a succinct history, information regarding the variety of grapes used, hours of operation, location, and contact information.

In addition to providing readers with a background of the state’s industry and snapshots of individual wineries, Illinois Wines and Wineries provides a glossary of key wine terms, including those specific to the state of Illinois, as well as color photos and a map to each location visited in the book. This sophisticated yet practical guidebook is an essential resource for connoisseurs and casual enthusiasts alike who are interested in exploring Illinois’s rich winemaking legacy.


Clara Orban, a professor of French and Italian, and chair of the department of modern languages at DePaul University is the author of a number of books, the most recent of which is Wine Lessons: Ten Questions to Guide Your Appreciation of Wine. A certified sommelier who has passed the first two levels of sommelier exams through the Court of Master Sommeliers in London, Orban has been teaching Geography 350: The World of Wine at DePaul since 2002.


“There is now an Illinois winery guide that helps local wine enthusiasts find real Illinois wine. Besides being a great wine trip planner, [Illinois Wines and Wineries] contains interesting insights into Illinois viticulture [and] is an essential companion on your next Illinois wine excursion.”—Mark Ganchiff, Midwest Wine Press

 “This book will definitely help put Illinois on the map as a quality wine-producing state.” —Bill McCartney, executive director, Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association

"Although one certainly could read Illinois Wines & Wineries from cover to cover in one sitting, this is a guide meant to be referred to time and time again. Wine enthusiasts who enjoy visiting wineries and vineyards can easily use the guide to plan routes for day trips or weekends. Those who are looking for longer trips will find the regional sections and accompanying maps useful for planning wine-oriented vacations."--Chicago Book Review