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Blue Sky Vineyard

Blue Sky Vineyard Back in the mid 1990’s I first looked into growing grapes. I spoke with a few wineries and discussed the idea with my father-in-law, Barrett Rochman. We looked at buying a few acres of his farm to start a small vineyard. I went so far as to have a vineyard consultant analyze the site and had a soil scientist run the soil tests. Unfortunately, the more I investigated the idea, I realized that I couldn’t commit the time that this project would require. The seed, however, fell on fertile ground in Barrett’s mind. The romanticism associated with growing the grapes and making the wine fed the desire to turn this idea into a reality. When my former place of employment closed back in 1999, Barrett thought it was the perfect opportunity to revisit the idea of starting a vineyard and “potentially adding on a small winery down the road”. After a few months of soul searching and discussions with my wife, the obvious conclusion was to move forward. Now that we had the whole farm to choose from, the state viticulturist, Imed Dami and I spent a rainy afternoon determining where to plant the grapes. In the fall of 2000, I prepped the first 2 ½ acres of ground to be planted the following spring. In the preceding year, I had read countless books and articles on vineyard establishment and talked to several grape growers and wine makers in order to minimize the number of mistakes in this new endeavor. A local community college was offering courses in viticulture so I threw that information into the mix too. The instructor informed us absolute precision in laying out the rows was not necessary… Too late, my first blocks were already laid out using a transit, tape and string line. (Although modified to some extent, I still make sure that the blocks are square, parallel and spaced with unnecessary precision. I find a great inner calm when I look out over a field of grow tubes resembling the headstones at Arlington National Cemetery.) These courses not only provided some much needed information on growing the grapes, but also provided the forum where lasting friendships were formed with other growers whose fruit we now purchase and utilize at our winery. It was also where I met our winemaker, Gary Orlandini. Not only is he an outstanding winemaker, but also a seasoned veteran in the vineyard. Our class met on Gary’s front porch every weekend for about an hour where he would share his knowledge, philosophize on life and get some free labor in exchange. I still rely heavily on his knowledge and experience when it comes to decision-making on our vines. To this day, I am still amazed at the openness and willingness to help one another from other individuals in the wine industry. Few associated with this industry see the other wineries as competition. Most see the big picture. Expansion in the wine industry in Southern Illinois benefits everyone.

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Address Web Social
3150 S. Rocky Comfort Road, Makanda, IL, US, 62958 Email: jesse@blueskyvineyard.com
Phone: 618-995-9463 Web: www.blueskyvineyard.com
Fax:
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Products



  Cayuga
Hints of peach, grapefruit, and honey graces the aroma of this wine. It is crisp, and delightfully fresh to the finish.
  Chambourcin
A full-bodied dry red wine with a smooth roasted-oak character and hints of bright cherry and vanilla.
  Chambourcin Blush
This light sweet wine of ruby color is made from 100% chambourcin grapes. It is surprisingly sophisticated and a pleasure to the eye and palate.
  Chambourcin Reserve
A full bodied dry red wine produced from grapes grown at our vineyard. It has a smooth roasted-oak character with hints of bright cherry and vanilla.
  Concord
Try this sweet red wine to sample the classic Concord grape taste.
  Framboise
A raspberry wine with grape spirits, sweet tart in taste with a classic raspberry nose. This wine is sold in 375 ML bottles, instead of the standard 750 ML size.
  Misterioso
Newly released rose blend with hints of berry and American grapes - with an exotic finish
  Molti Bianchi
A unique blend of Southern Illinois grapes are blended to make this sweet wine. Notes of pineapple and pear swirl amid hints of lemon to create its breezy personality.
  Molti Rossi
An intriguing medley of red Southern Illinois grape varieties are combined to make a complex sweet wine. There are hints of ripe plumb and complex spices.
  Niagara
Truly distinctive, with the intense flavors of the Native-American grape. It creates a sensations that does not finish until long after the last sip.
  Norton
Aromas of cedar and intense berry flavors bound from the glass of this full-bodied wine creating a bold, full-bodied flavor sure to tantalize your palate.
  Traminette
This recently released Southern Illinois grape variety produces a sweet, spicy, floral scented wine.
  Vignoles Light Port
An elegant white Port made from the VIGNOLES grape. This dessert wine has pleasing hints of apricot and grapefruit. This isn't a regular size wine bottle (750ml) its volume is 375ml.
  Villard Blanc
An oak aged light bodied white wine, bursting with crisp lemon flavor

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