We had high hopes for this outing, one of the few Illinois wineries left within easy driving distance of home. From the website, it sounded like much of what we liked, people trying to make a go of it in the inhospitable North of Illinois.
Perhaps it was the weather, perhaps it was the lack of communication from the winery, but we arrived in driving rain to what was essentially a tasting room. A very nice tasting room, but not a winery visit after all. The actual winery is housed in an industrial garage space behind the building that houses the tasting room. I tried to look through the windows, but not much to see -- I also didn't feel like I was welcome to look, much like we couldn't pry out where the winery's vineyards are. Apparently they are very difficult to find, even in this day of GPS. Hmmmm....
The wines Prairie State makes are sourced primarily from other Illinois vineyards (though a bit grows in their own mysterious site as well), with a variety of vinifera hybrids represented. The taste runs the gamut from ultra sweet whites and reds to drier options. Some were pretty good, with something for pretty much everyone.
If you're in the Rockford area, consider visiting the tasting room in Genoa -- it's a cute little town and the wines served here are decent as well. They do offer winery tours along with the tasting, but be sure to call ahead, as we were told both the 2nd and 3rd Saturdays of each month are the day of the tours, while the website says each Saturday.
Prairie State Winery Tasting Room Video
Music: "I Need to Know" by Sweet Danger. Enjoy the video!
Like 50 States Of Wine on Facebook
Follow 50 States Of Wine on Twitter