The Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Alliance will host its 19th annual Vintage Illinois Wine Festival in Utica this weekend.
This year’s festival takes place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday at Carey Memorial Park. Throughout the weekend, festival goers will have the opportunity to shop local businesses and vendors, and sample bites from local restaurants and event food trucks. More than 20 wineries will be on-hand.
“Vintage Illinois is back for one of the most anticipated events of the year for the Illinois wine industry,” said Lisa Ellis, director of the IGGVA. “With tasty wines for all palates in a beautiful part of Illinois, Vintage Illinois offers a favorite weekend getaway for many wine drinkers and tourists alike.”
The IGGVA is a non-profit organization dedicated to developing the viticulture and enology interests of Illinois through information exchange and cooperation among Illinois grape producers and vintners.
The Illinois wine industry has grown in recent years from 12 wineries and tasting rooms in 1997 to 165 today, according to a 2019 economic impact study. The Illinois wine industry creates a direct economic impact to the state approaching $5 billion annually, paying more than $320 million in state taxes and generating a significant impact on state tourism activities. The wineries across Illinois have also contributed to their local communities, including growth of bed and breakfasts, restaurants and local crafts businesses.
Go to vintageillinois.com to buy advance tickets or more information on the festival.