The trip to Illinois was wonderful. We stopped at two wineries this trip, Bella Terra Winery and Windy Hill Vineyard & Winery, both located in Creal Springs, Illinois and only about a mile apart. What Matt and I decided this trip is we are not necessarily fans of good wine, but of good tasting wine. Let me explain. We visited Bella Terra Winery first, where we received the best service we have ever received while wine tasting. He explained all the different grapes while serving us, gave us more free samples than allowed (each person is allowed 5 but we tried just about every wine they make trying to find one to bring a special twinkle to our eyes), he gave our son a bag of Cracker Jacks and our daughter some Goldfish. It was really an amazing experience. However, the authentically Italian wines were just not our thing. They tasted very high class and were obviously high quality, but we found ourselves without at least one that jumped out at us as amazing. We decided to purchase Bacca Rosato, a Sweet Red Wine. We then made our way to Windy Hill Vineyard & Winery, which we weren't expecting but saw a sign for at the turn for the first vineyard. We were a bit worried when we pulled up, it looked like a shed with an old pick-up outside. Matt asked if we should go in and I said we were already there, we might as well. The inside greatly suprised us, it was completely different than the outside, maybe even more nicely decorated than the first winery. This winery had a lot of grape and berry hybrid wines, which to a real connoisseur is a no-no, but is just fine for us. We found ourselves in the usual predicament of which two to limit ourselves to. We finally chose a STRONG-tasting (it contains black cherry and black currents) Chambourcin and their award-winning Catawba. The whole experience reminded me of the line in Hal Ketchum's song Mama Knows the Highway "...little places always share the Grandy's sign..." since we only found this winery because of the interstate sign for the other. Like I said, we can appreciate good quality wine, but that doesn't mean we don't like good tasting wine better.
|Grapes at Bella Terra Winery|
Life goes on and things are looking up again: the freezer is cleaned out and full of two freshly butchered hogs (which...luckily...were not ready before we left) and the goat is doing much better after a shot of antibiotic and some extra grain. All's well that ends well.