Southern Illinois, a Midwestern Wine Country

Wine Anyone?

Having a nice glass of wine is a luxury. Luckily, I have had the opportunity to taste quite a many glasses of wine in the past. Over the years I have been able to visit wineries from the valleys of California to the shores of the Great Lakes. In my opinion, my palette is well defined. On a recent trip to Southern Illinois, I took the time to visit wineries of that region and have since concluded that a grape does not identify the wine.

What We Found

George Majka, at Pomona Winery, is passionate about the wine he makes. I met him after he finished harvesting freshly pressed, strawberries. George had apologized for the way he looked. His hands dirty and clothes stained from a hard days work. I was intrigued by the man, and the wine, in front of me.

From our chat, I learned that he had made “hooch” for 25 years now and the awards displayed on the walls can attest that he knew his stuff. Unfortunately, I had just stumbled upon this winery, but as I learned later raved about by the locals. You won’t see his craft at Binny’s of your local liquor store outside its small radius… which is entirely a shame because this wine was damn good. 

His Passion is Contagious

When you taste wine at Pomona Winery, you will have George giving you an in depth description of the notes present in his wines.  He will also suggest food pairings, which in my experience, were quite fitting with their bottled partners.

Go in for a Taste

Introductions out of the way and the first glass poured the most enjoyable part of the tour began. The tasting list included a fair amount of wines, arranged in the typical fashion of dry to sweet.  A semi dry wine from Jonathan apples topped the list, and the tasting ended with a strawberry dessert wine. (Not a single grape wine made the tasting list) My favorite, a semi dry apple wine “Jonathan Oak Aged Reserve” which ranked even to any Chardonnay I have had the pleasure of sipping.

Wine tours run daily. For a bonus, plan a trip in the fall when the leaves are changing. This is when I intend to return for a full-scale visit and tour of the complete Shawnee Hills Wine Trail fall of 2017.


Pat, Director of Touring


Pat, Director of Touring

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