One of the best times of the year in the Midwest is definitely peach season! Whether you’re picking some up from your local farmers market or spending a day picking your own at Eckert’s Family Farms, it’s a great time of the year for all–so it makes sense that peach wine would be so popular here too! 🍑
Here are some of my favorite peach wines made by amazing Midwest wineries!
One of my main goals on my wine journey is to take the “snobbery” out of wine, and have fun with it! I’ve always loved everything vintage, and have a love for the pin-up style! That is where the idea to host a pin-up contest at a winery came from!
When Hidden Lake Winery owner Angela Gorazd contacted me saying she wanted to make some sort of “pin-up” event happen at their winery, we sat down for a brainstorming and wine session. I wanted to host a fun event mashing wine and pin-ups together that everyone could enjoy…that’s when “Miss Hidden Lake Winery” was born! After months of planning and tons of excited interest and support from the community, we soon realized wine and pin-ups go PERFECTLY together, and make for a fantastic time!
At 8pm on the dot fifteen beautiful ladies graced the stage competing for the following titles:
“Miss Off Duty” – one of the wineries own wines (3rd place)
“Miss Old Hippie” – also another one of the wineries own wines (2nd place)
“Miss Hidden Lake Winery 2019” (1st place)
The competition was fierce as all of the ladies brought their best outfits, poses, and unique stage presence to engage the audience! In the end the judges had a hard time narrowing down the winners! After plenty of math checking followed by more math checking just in case…the final scores had been tallied up and the winners were finally selected!
Our three beautiful winners graced the stage! Miss Stella Noir took home the 3rd place Off Duty title. Miss Millie Manhattan took home the 2nd place Old Hippie title.
Miss Cha Cha Ooh La-La was crowned Miss Hidden Lake Winery 2019! She graced the stage and won over the judges hearts for the evening! Winning comes with some extra perks too! Miss Cha Cha will get an overnight stay at one of the Hidden Lake Winery Cabins to relax and kick back after all of her pin-up shenanigans! Congratulations Miss Cha Cha Ooh La-La!
All of these beautiful ladies brought their best and it showed all night long!
After the pin-up competition, the crowd was kept up and on their feet dancing all night long thanks to CHAMPAGNE FIXX who’s musical talents kept us going well past 11pm!
If you needed a break in between dancing, you could also head back to the Barrel Room for some pin-up style shopping with our hand picked vendors for the night!
Grapes, wine, vendors, live music, great times; that is Villa Marie Winery’s Annual Harvest Festival in seven words!
Located about 18 miles from St. Louis, this beautiful winery is the perfect escape from the daily hustle and bustle! Be sure to keep up with their events here! You can also follow along on their Facebook and Instagram pages!
One of the winery’s biggest events is their annual Harvest Festival and Grape Stomping Competition! The winery packs their banquet hall full of fun vendors, and when you venture outdoors you can listen to live music from local bands. You can do all this while enjoying wines from Villa Marie Winery, and Piasa Winery!
One of my favorite parts of the event is the grape stomping competition! I got the chance to get my Lucy on and stomp some grapes! What a great way to exfoliate your feet and put on a show for everyone watching! 🤣 It was a blast!
One of the sweetest people I was able to meet at this event was actually there celebrating a HUGE accomplishment!! Vickie Rose, a local to the area, unfortunately lost the use of both of her legs due to blood clots. Seven months ago she told her doctor she HAD to walk again so she could stomp some grapes at the harvest festival. SHE DID IT. After many surgeries and months of learning to use her legs again, she was able to reach her goal of being able to walk again in time for grape stomping season!
Here’s a video of me stomping grapes if anyone cares too!
Be sure to check out all of the Villa Marie Winery social media pages and never miss an event announcement!
200 years ago on December 3, 1818, Illinois became the 21st State in the union. That means celebrating everything Illinois has built and grown ALL YEAR LONG!
Of course we can’t celebrate without Illinois Wine! In partnership with the Illinois Bicentennial Commission and the Illinois Department of Agriculture…The Illinois Grape Growers & Vintner’s Alliance has proudly announced that Illinois Grown Rosé is the official wine of the Illinois Bicentennial!
16 Illinois Rosé wines were chosen to represent our states unique wine industry! In order to be chosen, certain standards were put into place by different grape and wine experts in the industry. The wines went through many quality assurance and evaluation processes to be named a Bicentennial Wine.
Tucked away in the “Silent Forest” of rural Aviston, Illinois, you can find Hidden Lake Winery. The Silent Forest has been well known to hunters and foragers for years. During the early 1900s bootleggers would hide their stills in the forest to avoid revenuers. If you are a fan of folklore and ghost stories, you will love exploring the property with the Native American spirits that are said to still roam there.
In June of 2017, Steve and Angela Gorazd proudly took ownership of Hidden Lake Winery. Steve served for 30 years as a leader in the aviation field while Angela holds a Doctorate in nursing and is a nurse practitioner. They couldn’t be more proud to share their love and passion for wine making and grape growing!
If you’re looking for a Quick Getaway, there are 10 cabins on the property available for use!! From fun girls nights out, mid-week getaways with your love, to a special “Baby Moon” package for expecting parents, Hidden Lake Winery has something for everyone to enjoy!
Do NOT even get me started on the unlimited dream wedding ideas you can make come true at this beautiful place!
Wedding photos from the Hidden Lake Winery Facebook Page
A winery isn’t a winery without wine right? Hidden Lake Winery offers over 15 different and award winning wines that are produced in their own cellar and made from locally-grown fruits. Their own Vineyard was planted in April of 2017 and they expect to have their first harvest in 2021!
Not only do they produce delicious and award winning wines, they even help make a difference in nurses lives! For every purchase of their “Off Duty” semi-sweet wine, the winery donates $3 to helping nurses pay for their continuing education! Cheers to that!
Looking for a fun time out with your friends and loved ones? Remember when I mentioned this place has something for everyone…Hidden Lake is always keeping their schedule FULL of fun events like Pin-Up Competitions, Murder Mystery Dinner Theaters, Cooking Classes and their own yearly “Winestock” Music & Wine festival!
Tucked away in a warehouse in Bethalto, Illinois you will find the hidden gem B. T. O. Distillers; home of Bluestem Vodka. When you first drive up it might seem like you’re out of place, that means you are in the right place then! Head on in and a friendly face will greet you with a smile!
After deciding there were already enough amazing micro breweries in the area, the owners decided to try a different route and chose to start producing their own vodka. With a combined 50 years of knowledge in winemaking, brewing, and alcohol experience, mixed in with some engineering and chemistry experience, this is how their unique making process and distillery was born!
Keeping it local is a big part of the company! They get all of their corn used for the production of their vodka from local farmers.
On Saturdays, the distillery offers educational tours of the facility you can book online. The tour includes a tasting and a drink to sip on while you learn! If you can’t decide what drink to go with, you have to try their famous “Stemcell” drink! You can get 20% off your tour here!
After you finish your tour, you might even get lucky enough to purchase a bottle you can wax on your own to take home!
While you’re visiting, don’t forget to sign up for the amazing awards program they offer! For every $4 you spend at the distillery, you get 1 star! When you earn 50 stars, you receive a FREE bottle of Bluestem Vodka!