Midwest Living Review
One of the newest wine trails in the Upper Mississippi River Valley is the Great River Wine Trail -- an interesting name choice considering the Great River Road Wine Trail was created shortly beforehand. The requirement for membership in this wine trail is that wineries be located within 30 minutes of the Julien Dubuque Bridge. As one member vintner explained, the thought was to create a wine trail that could be traveled within a day, rather than one that required several days of travel and overnight stays. The greater attraction might be the fact its members span the tristate area of Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin in an especially scenic, hilly pocket.In 2010, there were nine member wineries: three each in Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin. However, additional wineries are likely to come online in the next year or two, members say. The current nine vintners craft a variety of wines, including reds, whites, blushes and fruit wines. While much, if not most, of the fruit is grown locally, some members purchase grapes from other states, including Michigan and New York.To promote the trail, guests who visit each winery and have a bottle sticker to prove it will receive a free T-shirt. Additionally, special events involving all of the wineries are in the works.