Local wine is one of the many reasons visitors come to Galena. The Best of Galena innkeepers love to volunteer at the annual “Corkless in Galena” wine festival. Proceeds from the festival support Northern Illinois Wine Growers who continue to evaluate new grape varieties in their experimental vineyard and promote high quality grape production in Northern Illinois and the surrounding area.
NIWG is a non-profit organization with the goal of informing and educating the public about new grape varieties that have been developed specifically for our region. NIWG is primarily comprised of winemakers and grape growers at both the professional and amateur levels, each contributing to the understanding of this developing industry and its needs. The professional levels provide invaluable insight and appreciation of the industry’s more current needs for success from both the agricultural and vintner business perspectives, while the amateur levels provide an avenue for experimentation in meeting future needs. NIWG is fortunate enough to have been gifted an experimental vineyard for the last 16 years that currently has 25 grape varieties that are being grown and researched. Quality and production levels are monitored for each variety. At harvest time, the amateur winemakers experiment with various winemaking methods and the blending of varieties in search of new regional wines made from our local grapes.