This year, toast the holidays with a glass of locally produced wine. We’re fortunate to have five winemakers based here in Clinton County—all part of the Carlyle Lake Wine Trail—offering a variety of wines, from dry to sweet, to pair with your menus or to give as gifts. Here are a few suggestions to get you started. While we encourage you to visit the wineries, do note the hours. If the winery is closed for the season, we have listed where you can purchase the wine locally.
Take a trip to the wild side and enjoy a varietal from Wildlife Lodge and Winery. Wine names and labels reflect the lodge’s African theme, such as Safari Red, a dry, full-flavored wine that’s a nice pairing for red meats. Lion Eyes Riesling is semi-sweet and goes nicely with Asian flavors. And perfect for the season—the sweet-styled Bottoms Up To Cranberry wine.
Wildlife Lodge and Winery
15469 State Route 127, Carlyle, IL
Monday – Thursday, 3:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Friday – Saturday, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m.
Sunday, 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Twelve Oaks Vineyard, also in Carlyle, makes 10 different wines. Two that are made from Southern Illinois grapes are Norton, a rich, full-bodied red with hints of raspberry and a smooth oak finish. Traminette is a fragrant white wine with a floral aroma, a hint of honey and a nice dose of spice.
Twelve Oaks Vineyard
18975 Vogel Road, Carlyle, IL
Twelve Oaks is closed for the season (reopening in April) but you can buy the wines at either Carlyle IGA or Hoffman Supermarket in Hoffman, Illinois.
If you’ll be serving a big beef roast, consider Hidden Lake Winery’s 2017 Chambourcin, a full-bodied red with enticing aromas of cherry, dark fruits and oak. The 2017 Off Duty wine is tailor-made for happy hours, with a just touch of sweetness. There’s a bonus to buying this wine too—$3 from all sales of Off Duty wine will be donated to the Illinois Nurses Foundation.
Hidden Lake Winery
10580 Wellen Road, Aviston, IL
Monday – Wednesday, 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Thursday, 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Friday – Saturday, 11:00 a.m. – midnight
Sunday 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Based in Centralia, Roundhouse Wine Company takes the town’s railroading history to heart with the names and labels of its wines. The popular Golden Spike wine is a semi-sweet apple wine made from local fruits, with just a touch of cinnamon. Little Caboose Red sports a caboose on its label and is a semi-sweet blend of Norton and Chambourcin grapes with a spicy finish.
Roundhouse Wine Company
1938 Dogwood lane, Centralia, IL
Wednesday – Saturday, 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, 12:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
The team at Crooked Creek Winery is offering a holiday special through December 31, 2018 with 10% off bottles, 15% off cases and a holiday three-pack for 15% off regular prices. Two wines to try: Trifecta, a limited-production dry red wine that’s a blend of Norton and Chamboucin grapes, ideal for a hearty pasta dinner. Serve the bright, dry Rosé for a special brunch or with appetizers or fish or….you get the idea.
Crooked Creek Winery
24585 W. 10th Street Road, Centralia, IL
Open December 15-16, 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
By appointment at other times
Shop local, and make it a holiday to remember in Clinton County!