Welcome! The Northern Illinois Wine Growers association website is a communication, training and informational support tool for its members.  However, whether you're a member or not, please feel free to browse. We believe you will be amazed, as we are, by the vigor of the wine industry in Illinois. The growing variety of wines, the many vineyards and the increasing acreage of land focused on viticulture is breathtaking!

There is a revolution in grape growing and wine making in Illinois. Ten years ago, seven or eight wineries dotted the state and maybe 100 acres were devoted to grapes. Today, those numbers have ballooned to about 80 wineries and more than 2,000 acres of vines. Those who are involved in wine making here like to think that Illinois is where California was in the 1970s -- producing great wines that have only to be recognized.

In June 2009, the Upper Mississippi River Valley (UMRV) American Viticulture Area (AVA) was established by the U.S. Government. The AVA is the largest in the U.S and includes the driftless, or bluff-lands, regions of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois. The UMRV AVA boundary represents 32 wineries and 445 vineyard acres. 

For more information about the AVA:

For information about the Northern Illinois Wine Trail:

Please contact John Chase, NIWG secretary at jnbchase@gmail.com with any questions.

  Corkless in Galena Wine Festival  

  June 25   2016    Depot Park, Galena IL


Located in Galena’s picturesque Depot Park, the Corkless in Galena Wine Festival will be complimented by flavorful food and live music.  See www.corklessgalena.com and visit us on Facebook.


Annual Meeting

Saturday, March 12, 2016


Location: Famous Fossil Vineyard & Winery

395 W Cedarville Rd, Freeport, IL 61032

8:00   8:30           Registration

8:30    9:30           NIWG Business Meeting

9:30  -  9:45           Cindy Fleischli IGGVA Executive Director

10:00  – 12:00        Dr. Elizabeth Wahle, Extension Educator - Horticulture

12:00  – 1:00          Lunch

1:00    1:15          Lynn Pease- Bud Assessment Results

1:15   -  1:30          Clara Orban, Author, Illinois Wine & Wineries,”The Essential Guide”

1:30   3:00           Brad Beam – Northern Grapes Project

3:00  -  4:00           WINE TASTING & Discussion of Experimental NIWG Varietals

Member @ $35 each                                          
Member Couple @ $65/couple                              
Non-member @ $45 each                                  

Register by Wednesday, March 2, 2016 to ensure lunch.  Make checks payable to Northern Illinois Wine Growers (NIWG).  Send registration and payment to Sue Ertmer, 675 W Stagecoach Trail Scales Mound, IL 61075 or call  Sue at 815-238-4388 or Nancy Willett, 815-776-0052


Interested in becoming a member? Then please fill out the Membership Sign Up Form
and send it to Susan Ertmer at 675 W. Stagecoach Trail, Scales Mound, IL 61075.
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