Toast to the season at Springfield’s Winter Wine Festival

written by Enjoy Illinois on January 7, 2014 in Central Illinois and Food & Drink with no comments

Celebrate the season with fellow wine enthusiasts at the Winter Wine Festival. This year’s event will take place Jan. 30 – Feb. 1 in the state’s capital, Springfield. The Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association (IGGVA) will be in town for their Annual Conference, making Winter Wine Festival complete with education with festivities.

Sample prize-winning wine from the 2013 Illinois State Fair Wine Competition. (Photo credit: Mark Segal)

Sample prize-winning wine from the 2013 Illinois State Fair Wine Competition. (Photo credit: Mark Segal)

The event kicks off Thursday with an exciting workshop hosted by wine guru, Domenic Carissetti, who will share tips from his 35 years of experience in the industry. After the session, festivalgoers can experience an entertaining night of wine paired with pizza and trivia.

True wine connoisseurs will not want to miss the Friday workshops offered by other top-notch enology experts. After learning about the delicious beverage, a special wine tasting event will take place featuring more than 10 local wineries. Vintners will pour their award-winning, handcrafted wines for guests to sample. Artisan cheeses and other delicious food pairings, from savory to sweet, will be available to bring out the rich flavor of the wine.

Warm up over a glass of wine and delicious food pairings during the 2014 Winter Wine Festival. (Photo credit: Michael Seroni)

Warm up over a glass of wine and delicious food pairings during the 2014 Winter Wine Festival. (Photo credit: Michael Seroni)

For those craving even more wine knowledge, Saturday offers three concurrent tracts: one for wine marketing professionals, one covering best practices for grape growing and a more advanced session on emerging topics in viticulture.

The grand finale of the festival and conference weekend is the IGGVA Annual Banquet and Auction on Saturday night. This concluding event features four courses of culinary delights, paired with the Best of Show and Governor’s Cup winners from the 2013 Illinois State Fair Wine Competition. Whether you are a wine fan or an aficionado, the Winter Wine Festival is sure to please.

— The Illinois Office of Tourism