Winding Along Illinois’ Heartland Rivers Wine Trail

One of these upcoming fall weekends, when the fields are turning bronze and the trees are getting colorful, hop in your car and head out on the Heartland Rivers Wine Trail. It’s one of the best ways to enjoy the pretty country roads in our area and as a bonus, you get to taste wine!

2 wine glasses

The entire trail, made up of 12 wineries throughout Southwest Illinois, includes four local companies: Bretz Wildlife Lodge and Winery, Hidden Lake Winery, Roundhouse Wine Company and Crooked Creek Winery. Each one has a distinct setting and feeling, and produces delightful wines.

Like it’s themed lodge, Bretz’s red, white, blush and fruit wines feature African labels and names, such as Passionate Cheetah sweet red wine and Kalahari Sunset, a semi-dry blush.

Hidden Lake Winery uses locally-grown fruit for its wine, crafted in its own cellar. Many of its wines are award-winners, including a semi-dry Seyval Blanc which won gold at 2015 International Eastern Wine Competition.

At Roundhouse Wine Company, a selection of its wines is served up with a regular music lineup. Check out the patio, which is a favorite in nice weather—as is the winery’s sangria.

A former family home and horse farm, Crooked Creek is a small family operation devoted to European styles of winemaking. Ranging from dry to sweet, the current selection includes Chambourcin, a semi-sweet red made from grapes grown on the property.

You can enjoy tasting all these wines and more while touring on the Heartland Rivers Wine Trail here in Clinton County. We’re only 40 miles west of St. Louis—but a world away in terms of quiet country beauty. Come see for yourself!

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