Friday, May 20, 2011

Bucket List: Shawnee Wine Trail (Part 2)

I'm currently visiting my hometown - McLean, VA. But, I'm still behind on posting so back to Illinois we go... enjoy!

Another weekend, another winery outing! Brandon's friend, Lindsey, was in town from Mississippi and wanted to go out to explore the wineries. Since we had such a good time last week, we had to go another round! This time though, I was the designated driver. (PS: I drove through some seriously winding roads!)

Again, our first stop was Von Jakob. Lindsey ordered us a wine spritzer:
It tasted like their Johnny Apple Wine with pineapple juice, Sprite and some fresh fruit slices. Our next stop was Hickory Ridge Vineyard. Such a beautiful view from their deck. Unfortunately, it started misting and we had to go back inside the cozy lodge (complete with loft).
Just down the road was Pomona Winery which is a winery that doesn't use grapes! Most of their wines are apple based with some different fruits and spices. Their Orchard Spice wine tastes just like an apple pie with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. Their tasting was very generous and the gang got to try all of the wines on their list. Our server was really friendly and a true wine lover. She gave us lots of cooking tips!
Next on the tour was the luxurious Blue Sky Vineyard. From the moment you drive through their massive gate you can tell that a lot of money went into the place. The main house and the landscaping (complete with waterfall) are really nice. I didn't participate in the tasting but I did order a cheesecake with "the works."
This baby came with a raspberry Framboise drizzle, chocolate, cherries and whipped cream for $3. The gang ordered a bottle of the Misterioso. Quite possibly the worst/scariest label I've ever seen:

Last stop of the day was Rustle Hill. It was busy as usual with live music being performed. We were hungry so we ordered pizza. We tried the Italian, Hawaiian and Chicken Alfredo. All came on thin crunchy crust - so good but a little pricey at $15/pie.
My original goal was to go to 6 of the 11 wineries on the trail. Turns out there are actually 12 wineries (oops) and I have been to 8 so far (wow!). I see more wineries in our future! We already have a trip for Memorial Day Weekend planned, in addition to the Shawnee Wine & Art Fest being held in Riverside Park in Murphysboro.

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