Enchantment Awaits You At This Hidden, Rural Illinois Winery

Photo from the Hidden Lake Winery website

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.

Exploring the forest! Bonus points if you can spot the puppy!
Don’t be alarmed if the dog pack comes at you for some love!

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!

Proud owners Steve and Angela Gorazd and the Hidden Lake Winery Family

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!

Cabin photos from Hidden Lake Winery Website

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!

Seriously CHECK OUT THESE AWESOME EVENTS!

If I haven’t made you want to check this place out for yourself by now…here are some more photos of the beautiful property that may just change your mind!

For more info about Hidden Lake Winery, or to just follow along with their many fun and exciting activities, check out the links below!

Website: http://www.hiddenlakewinery.com/

Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/hiddenlake.winery/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hiddenlakewineryillinois

Sips n Snuggles; a Baby Goat and Wine Sampling Affair!

Tucked away on a little farm in Pocahontas, IL you will find Green Finned Hippy Farms; a locally grown organic farm owned by Josh & Alicia Davis. Their mission is “to help create different avenues for sustainable living using renewable energy to farm and produce a source of food and knowledge for the community.”

-Green Finned Hippy Farms:https://m.facebook.com/GfhFarms/

Photo from the Green Finned Hippy Farms Facebook page

The farm hosts many fun events to get the community involved, including their annual Sips and Snuggles events! Have you ever wanted to sample different wines from around the world all while snuggling baby goats? Well now you can! Check out the Farm’s Facebook Page for all of their upcoming events!

This particular event was partnered with Fezziwigs Market located in O’ Fallon, Illinois. Fezziwigs Market is your one stop shop for wines, teas, tea accessories, olive oils, balsamic vinegars, and their private label gourmet foods.

Photos from Fezziwigs Market Website

These babies were o my 5 days old!

Teeny and Tiny the baby goats! These babies were only 5 days old!

In between goat cuddles, we had the opportunity to sample 8 different and delicious wines from around the world.

Goats do Roam-A South African wine with floral and pear scents. Very citric on the pallet.

Portlandia-A dry wine produced in Oregon that has very zesty moments of lemon meringue with a smooth critic finish.

Misty Cove Pinot Noir– A New Zealand wine with very earthy, fruity, banana like aromas. Medium finish.

Canella Bellini-This fruity cocktail made in Italy is a blend of two parts sparkling wine, one part white peach juice and parts from perfectly ripened peaches and raspberries. –Bellini Canella Website

Innocent Bystander Victoria Pink Moscato-Made in Australia this wine has very sugary aromas, almost like cotton candy and apples. It tastes like candied apples with a slight bubbly finish.

90 Cellars Sauvignon Blanc -From New Zealand; it is very citrusy with a mineral kind of finish.

High Valley Vineyard Barbera-This California wine is dry with notes of cherry and plum. It also has a chocolate finish.

Colomé Malbec-Argentina made wine which has a spicy floral scent with very soft tannins. It almost has an orange-peel after-taste.

AND BACK TO THE GOATS🐐

Baby goats!

Mini goats!

Sassy mamma goats!

**(No animals or humans were harmed. Just animals doing their animal thing)**

Hope you done mind losing your seat if you decide to get up!

Goats and wine EVERYWHERE!!!

🍷🐐🍷🐐🍷🐐🍷🐐🍷🐐🍷🐐🍷🐐🍷

For more goat shenanigans from Green Finned Hippy Farms, including their Goat YOGA classes (YEA I SAID GOAT YOGA!), keep up with Farms Facebook Page updates!

Fezziwigs Market is also always having fun events! Check out the Classes Page on their website for more info!

http://www.fezziwigsmarket.com/

http://greenfinnedhippy.com/

Missouri Vines Save French Wine!

There was a time in wine making history (1870s) where French vineyards were being wiped out by a nasty American microscopic aphid type insect; grape phylloxera. (The sneaky bug stowed away on cargo ships) The “Great French Wine Blight” was the time everyone feared would be the end of the European wine industry.

Photo from British Satire Magazine “Punch”

Scientists from around the world gathered to try and find a solution to the problem. They had accepted the fact there would be no way to eradicate the insect once established, so they would need to figure out a way to “just live with it.”

Some American rootstock were completely immune to the grape vine root munching insects. By taking French vines and grafting them to the phylloxera immune American rootstock, healthy grapes were able to be produced.

Millions of rootstock were sent from Missouri to France and the French wine industry started its slow climb back to its full wine power!

Photo from experiencehermann.com

In honor of the success, a statue of a young woman cradling an older woman in her arms was built in Montpellier, France to signify “the new world saving the old world.”

Young Woman Cradling an Older Woman Statue in Montpellier Photo from winetravelstories.com

Besides listening to stories from the amazing people who call Hermann, MO home as I explored the wine trail, here are the websites I got more of my information from

http://www.winetravelstories.com/2008/04/?m=1

http://missouriwinecountry.com/articles/history/

http://winefolly.com/review/no-cure-for-grape-phylloxera/

https://hermannwinetrail.com/event-calender/about-missouri-wine/

Missouri Wine