The Illinois State Fair Wine Competition is held annually in June and is open to both commercial and amateur winemakers. Congratulations to all the 2019 winners!

2019 Illinois State Fair Wine Competition Results

Best of Show – Commercial Division:
Galena Cellars Vineyard & Winery Effervescence de Frontenac Gris

Governor’s Cup for Illinois-Grown Fruit:
Red Table Wine: Prairie State Winery, 2017 Cabernet Franc
White Table Wine:  Acquaviva Winery, 2016 Brianna
Blush/Rosé Wine: Twelve Oaks Vineyard2018 Hummingbird Dance
Fruit Wine: Galena Cellars Vineyard & Winery, Honey Mead
Dessert Wine: Blue Sky VineyardShawnee Cream

Top Awards for Wines from any Appellation:
Red Table Wine: Crooked Creek Winery, Chambourcin
White Table Wine: Galena Cellars Vineyard & Winery Edelweiss
Fruit Wine: Galena Cellars Vineyard & Winery, Berry Berry Berry

Amateur Division:
Best of Show – Grape Wine: Sam Farler, Mes Racines 2017 St. Pepin
Best of Show – Non-Grape Wine: Joe and Ruby Sendek, Wine Not Winery Peach/Watermelon

2019 Best of Show and Recap

2019 Commercial Awards By Winery

2019 Commercial Awards By Class

2019 Amateur Awards

Our goal: The goal of the Illinois State Fair Wine Competition is to improve the quality of wine throughout Illinois. We provide feedback from the judges, something that few other wine competitions take the time to do. If a submitted wine does not receive a medal, there is a good chance that the judges will have some comments or suggestions as to what went wrong and how to fix it.

Who can enter? The competition is open to commercial wineries in Illinois and regional amateur producers of wine and hard cider

Judging: Wine evaluations are conducted blind by three panels of judges.  Each panel is designed to provide a tremendous depth and variety of experience, with special emphasis on hybrid wine styles and sensory characteristics.  Judging is based on color, balance, aroma, clarity, taste and finish. Entries are judged independently using the Davis 20-point score card.

Medals and Awards: Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals are given based on the scores received by the judges. All gold medal winners compete for the ”Best of Show” designations as well as other top awards. The special recognition of “Governor’s Cup” will be awarded to the best red, white, rose, fruit and dessert/sparkling wines produced from Illinois-grown fruit.


Best of luck to all who enter!

Susanne BullockWine Competition