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Where There Is Plenty of Wine, Sorrow and Worry Take Wing

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Sep 4, 2007 6:00PM

2007_09_wine_month.jpgSeptember is one of our favorite months of the year, in that there are so many things still happening for the benefit of those of us who refuse to accept our parents' notion that summer in Chicago ends on Labor Day. September brings us the Hideout Block Party, World Music Festival, and the beginning of many Oktoberfest celebrations.

September is also Illinois Wine Month. Since its inaugural designation in 2005, the Illinois wine industry has grown to contributing $253 million in revenue to the state economy, including an impressive and estimated $31 million in wine-related tourism. It's also growing at such a clip that the state's vineyards have become a powerful lobby in their own right, sometimes even arguing amongst themselves in the best interests of the industry at large.

September is also a great time for taking weekend trips downstate or even hopping the train and heading outside the city limits to visit a nearby winery. In conjunction with Illinois Wine Month, the Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association has compiled a list of events celebrating the state wine and vineyard industry (available for download as a PDF file here). We've already penciled in the Oktoberfest grape stomp and pig roast at Lynfred Winery in Roselle.