With more than a dozen Illinois wineries slated to participate in this year's event, there will be something for every palate, including locally grown Cabernet Sauvignons and hearty meads. This year's beverage roster is more diverse than ever.
Local winery and tasting room August Hill returns, as well as other favorites from years past, such as Blue Sky Vineyard, of downstate Makanda, and Lavender Crest, of Colona, near the Quad Cities.
"This will be our fourth year at the Ottawa wine fest, I know the owners before us went several years before that as well. " said Ron Belshause, of Lavender Crest winery. "This is one of our favorite festivals, we get a lot of people visiting our winery in Colona later in the year because they tasted our products at the Ottawa festival."
Belshause recommended guests try Lavender Crest's Chocolate Love, this blend of dark chocolate and Frontenac wine is served chilled, perfect for a warm summer day in the park. Blue Sky Vineyard recommends their Chambourcin Reserve 2014, an estate grown and aged fruit wine, a winner of the 2018 Jefferson Cup.