Welcome to the Tenth episode of the Make America Grape Again podcast, showcasing Illinois. Today’s wine is the Blue Sky Vineyard 2014 Estate Cabernet Franc, from Blue Sky Vineyards in the Shawnee Hills AVA.
The Midwest is a pretty active wine region, overall, as I am constantly reminded by visitors to my tasting room for my day job. The Shawnee Hills AVA is a thriving wine scene in Southern Illinois that currently has about 55 vineyards and 300 planted acres, and is booming. Already, this AVA has dramatically improved the economic setting of the region. The soils here in this area, thanks to the lack of Pleistocene Glaciation, are well-suited for viticulture. This wine provides our first brief encounter with how local geology affects the terroir of a wine region. While a Cabernet Franc, this wine is very different from the Colorado vintage in our previous episode; this wine is a lovely fruit bomb with the classic Midwest musty character.
This bottle was acquired thanks to Scott Albert, who is the winemaker for Kite Hill Vineyards, also in the Shawnee Hills AVA. He was kind enough to do a bottle trade for some Arizona wines when he approached me when I first announced this podcast over on The Wine Monk. Thanks, Scott! I was really impressed by this vintage and am looking forward to recording more episodes with the wines you have contributed.
Cabernet Franc Count: 3