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Uncorked: Galena winemaker adds to collection of awards

Chris Lawlor has a collection of awards she’s won in a long and storied career as Galena Cellars’ winemaker. 

At the 2013 International Women’s Wine Competition, an event that featured all female winemakers and judges, Lawlor received the highest honor her peers could give for her deft touch in crafting world-class wines.

Winemaker spotlight

The Galena Cellars 2012 Red Raspberry wine received plenty of recognition. 

It took home Best of Show – Fruit, Best of Class and a Gold Medal at the 2013 International Women’s Wine Competition, which was held July 9 and 10 in Sonoma County, Calif. Only 37 of more than 900 wines were awarded Best of Class. One hundred wines earned gold medals.

“This is a huge honor for Chris,” said Galena Cellars spokeswoman Janelle Keeffer. “We are all very excited for her. She’s worked hard and really deserves to be recognized.”

Eric White has bragging rights over his sister, Britt White. The son and daughter of Lawlor each have wines named after them: Eric the Red and Britt White. 

Galena Cellars Marechal Foch, Eric the Red, Upper Mississippi River Valley Bob Hall Vineyard ($16.99) took home a bronze medal. Made from a varietal built for the punishing winters of the Midwest, Eric the Red gives its namesake a reason to glow at a family gathering. 

A pioneer in the Illinois wine industry, Lawlor’s experimentation with Foch and push to make it into a flagship wine has been instrumental in its development. 

“There’s a friendly sibling rivalry between Eric and Britt,” Keeffer said. “They joke and tease each other a little when one of the wines they are named after wins a competition.”

Where to go

Galena Cellars Fall Harvest and Art Festival, noon to 6 p.m. Sept. 28 and 29, 4746 N. Ford Road, Galena.

Galena artists have a brilliant natural setting for inspiration. 

The finest works of art and harvest celebration is a must-attend fall event and one that I will attend and offer a recap. Studio One Salon and Spa also will be present to offer their services in the vineyard. 

“The core of the weekend activities will take place on Saturday afternoon,” Keeffer said. “There’s a grape stomp, food vendors, live music and hay rides through the vineyards. There are so many amazing, talented artists that will be at the vineyards both days.”

• James Nokes writes a bi-weekly wine column for the Daily Chronicle. He’s been tasting, touring and collecting in the wine world for several years. Contact him at

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