GENOA – Over the past two decades, Prairie State Winery has worked its way to the top.
It owns numerous awards from local, national and international competitions. Prairie State’s most recent accolade, however, hits close to home for owners Rick and Maria Mamoser.
Prairie State Winery, at 222 W. Main St in Genoa, was named one of the 13 wineries across the state as an official Illinois Bicentennial rosé wine, in celebration of the state’s 200th birthday, announced by Gov. Bruce Rauner earlier this month.
The Illinois Bicentennial rosé wine announcement was perfect timing, Rick Mamoser said.
“It just so happens dry rosé is a really hot item right now,” he said. There’s a lot of excitement, there are rosé organizations that have formed and there are competitions that are just rosé wine.
“It’s the hottest wine thing going right now,” he said.
In order for a winery to be selected, wines had to meet both quality and stylistic goals, according to the Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Alliance. Standards were established by collaborative efforts between industry members and grape and wine specialists. Each wine endured a quality assurance evaluation process through blind judging to qualify to be named a Bicentennial Wine.
Prairie State’s chambourcin rosé was one of the 16 rosé wines created by 13 wineries across the state that were named winners.
Mamoser said rosé attracts a wide audience of wine drinkers.
“They’re a great wine style for anybody,” Mamoser said. “Rosé is very food-friendly and very summer-friendly. It’s a great summer sipper, served chilled.
“Rosé tends to be fruity but the dry finish attracts red drinkers, as well. It’s a very versatile wine,” he said.
Prairie State, which offers 30-plus wines, purchases its chambourcin grapes from Southern Illinois and other grapes throughout the state, Mamoser said.
“Northern Illinois and southern Illinois are so distinct in our climate with grapes,” he said.
“But one thing is certain – we discovered we produce really good rosé around the state.
“We’re excited to be included among the best 16 rosé wines in Illinois,” he said. “We are very much in the ballpark in terms of quality and in many cases, have higher quality when it comes to rosé wine worldwide.”