Shawnee Hills Wine Trail

The fall color of the Shawnee National Forest and the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail are an irresistible combination. Make a weekend or two of the wine trail in Southern Illinois. Start your wine trail tour at any of the dozen wineries in Southern Illinois.

Wine tasting in a souvenir glass

Inheritance Valley Vineyards has a fun fall feature: come watch movies on their covered deck for free. Check the events page for a movie schedule.

Inheritance Valley’s best selling wine, Cobden Cream is a cream sherry style wine from Shawnee Hills grapes blended over 7 years. Cobden Cream is sold out and has waiting list. Check online or call for availability of the next bottling (scheduled for this October).

Winery Hours: April-December Wednesday-Friday & Sunday Noon-5:00, Saturday 10-5.
5490 State Route 127 N, Cobden, IL 62920 (618) 893-6141 e-mail: timwaller@inheritancevalley.com

Savor Scandinavian-influenced wine and food at Hedman Vineyards, in Alto Pass. The wines are made from grapes grown only in Hedman’s vineyard.

Grapes are being harvested now.

The Peach Barn Café is in a restored barn. Dine inside or outside at tables that overlook the vineyard. The Swedish menu selections – including Swedish meatballs and baked wild Norwegian cod – are made to order, so there may be a wait during busy times, but the food is worth it.

Hedman Vineyards is 16 miles south of Carbondale in the Shawnee National Forest. Located at 560 Chestnut St., off state Highway 127. The winery is open daily year-round. Peach Barn Café is open Wednesday-Thursday and Sunday 12:00-5:00 and Fridays- Saturdays 12:00-9:00 p.m. Winetasting daily from 10:00 to 5:00.

Trip Tip: try Swedish Glögg, a mulled, warm red wine. Sold by the glass, $5.00. Hedman Vineyards also sells the spices to make the Glögg, at home.

Blue Sky Vineyard in Makanda is a great place to taste a little bit of Tuscany. Anchoring the eastern end of the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail, Blue Sky even has an event coordinator should you decide to get married at their Tuscan Sun Pavilion or Gazebo.

Blue Sky Vineyard gift shop has Grape Jelly made from wine grapes.

The winery offers free music Saturday and Sunday from 2-5pm. Their menu includes a variety of sandwiches, pizzas, and snacks as well as wine tasting.
Visitors can enjoy an overnight in a winery suite furnished with a queen-size bed, phone, frig and TV.

The Blue Sky Vineyard is set back off a main road, about 14 miles from Giant City State Park and state Highway 13. Click to get a printable wine trail map.

Trip Tip: Ask for a tour of the wine cellar with the winemaker when you stay at Blue Sky Monday–Friday.

Sample a little Germany in southern Illinois
 at Von Jakob Vineyard or Von Jakob Orchard and Vineyard. The second location, four miles away in Alto Pass, includes orchards with more than eight acres of grapes, 10 acres of peaches and 20 acres of apples. All the grapes and fruit grown at both locations go into the production of their award-winning wines.

Wine Trail is easy to follow.

Von Jakob Vineyards now serves Friday night dinner by reservation only. Entrees vary and include T-bone steak, grilled chicken breast, salmon and pork steak. Meals include a Von Jakob Signature Salad with Red Oak Port Vinaigrette Dressing, fingerling potatoes, your choice of vegetable, and the evening’s desert. Call 618-893-4600 to reserve, see the menu online. The wineries are open daily year-round. The original location, 1309 Sadler Road, is off state Highway 127, and the orchard is at 230 state Highway 127.

September and October are the most popular times to visit Southernmost Illinois, so make your hotel or B&B reservations as soon as possible. All of the B&B innkeepers have wine trail maps and dining suggestions for their guests. Wine Trail Bed & Breakfasts are filling fast.

There are orchards and vineyards dotted throughout Southernmost Illinois. Click for up-to-date Southernmost Illinois events and activities.

Wine Trail Updates

The Shawnee Hills Wine Trail was organized in1995 by the regional tourism bureau and Alto Vineyards, Ponoma Winery and Owl Creek Vineyard.

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