Illinois is home to two AVAs or American Viticultural Areas. AVAs are “official” grape growing regions that have been designated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.  They are geographic locations that have the same climate, soil, and elevation and similar properties that give the wine a certain characteristic. Click here to view the Illinois AVAs on a map.

Shawnee Hills AVA:  The Shawnee Hills Wine Trail is located within the boundaries of the state’s first American Viticultural Area, the “Shawnee Hills”.  This AVA designation earns the region a respected place on the nation’s map and confirms the areas capability for producing distinctly Illinois wine. Visit to learn more.

Upper Mississippi River Valley AVA:  Illinois’ second AVA is the largest in the U.S. and also includes regions of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa. This beautiful region can be explored by following the Great River Road. Taste the French-American hybrid grapes grown here by asking for La Crosse, St. Pepin and St. Croix at wineries in northwestern Illinois within the AVA.

Susanne BullockAmerican Viticultural Areas (AVAs)