Heart of Illinois Wine Tour: Mackinaw Valley Vineyard

(MACKINAW, Ill.) — Surrounded by scenic central Illinois countryside sits the beautiful Mackinaw Valley Vineyard.

The vineyards were planted in 1997 and the Hahn family opened the winery in 2003.


Mackinaw Valley Vineyard is well-known across central Illinois for anything from good wine, hosting live music and weddings, to stunning views.

The winery has a lake in the back of the property with picture-perfect photo opportunities, a gazebo, and fish in the lake! Mackinaw Valley Vineyard hosts a fishing day every year on Father’s Day.


So let’s get into the wine we tried on this sunny, Sunday afternoon!

We’ll start with one of the wines I ended up buying a bottle of! The Red Dragon. This was easily my wife and I’s favorite wine of the day. It’s a sweet red table wine with apple flavoring. It starts out with fruity sweet apple and cherry flavors and then finishes off with tangy festive cranberry. Served chilled, this is one of the greatest wines I have ever tasted!

Next to the Red Dragon you’ll find my second bottle purchase of the day. The Deux Noir. It’s a Baco and Corot Noir blueberry & blackberry wine that “complement the natural raspberry flavors of these French American hybrid grapes.”

When describing this, the bartender told me this was right down the middle between sweet & dry. He was absolutely right. This was perfectly balanced for wine lovers of all kinds.

In the photo above, I’m enjoying the Red Dragon while my wife is sipping on the White Dragon. Also, can I just say how wonderful my wife did on putting together this charcuterie board? Mackinaw Valley Vineyard allows you to bring in your own crackers, cheese and meat if you’d like. So we did!

My wife and I enjoyed some great conversation with Diane Hahn, the owner of Mackinaw Valley Vineyard. Diane and I worked together multiple times back when I was in TV News on different stories and interviews, she’s always been so kind! Every time I’ve been to Mackinaw Valley, the bartenders are always very friendly and knowledgeable about wine.

The White Dragon is a pineapple sweet wine. I really enjoyed this one, but Rachel liked the Red Dragon more. So of course, I gave her my glass of Red Dragon and drank the White Dragon. But hey, I loved them both! Plus I did get a 2nd glass of Red Dragon later in the day, so it was a win-win situation!


Of course our adorable son Bennett had to accompany us on our winery Sunday. While he is still nearly 21 years away from ever trying wine, he did enjoy trying his first blueberry which we brought along for him.

He loves his mommy!

And one last photo for good measure. The blue skies really bring out the blue in his eyes. He gets that from his daddy.

Mackinaw Valley Vineyard provided me with some GORGEOUS photos. You can see a few more below.


If you’d like to see the whole wine list, click here!

I also tried Seyval Blanc semi-sweet wine. This was similar to a Moscato! Very good-tasting wine. The Jasmine’s Moonlight and Carly’s Creation were wonderful as well. Carly’s Creation was a Concord grape wine.

We had wonderful weather here on this February afternoon, but Mackinaw Valley Vineyard really shines in the spring and fall. You can see the green grass and trees shining bright in the photos below. I took my dad here last summer, he was so impressed with the grounds and he loved the wine.

We also brought some friends here last November and they really enjoyed their time. They got a bottle of Jasmine’s Moonlight, which was one of their favorites!


Mackinaw Valley Vineyard is a wonderful place for weddings, parties, or corporate events. If you’d like to learn more about their event space, click here!

You can find Mackinaw Valley Vineyard on Facebook and Instagram. Their Instagram handle is @mackinawwinery .

The Heart of Illinois Wine Tour continues! I have spoken with a few other wineries in the area who are very interested in working with me on an article. Subscribe to the website and stay tuned for more pieces!

The Vineyard does offer winery tours if you’re interested. “The cost is $10+tax per person, you must call two weeks in advance to reserve a time and scheduling is based on availability. There is a minimum of 5 people per tour group or a minimum fee of $50+tax if less then 5,” the website says. You can email mackinawwinery03@gmail.com or call 309-645-5054 for more information.

This article was done on the author’s free time and is not connected to his employer.


Published by mattsheehanofficial

Matt Sheehan is a journalist based in Illinois. He grew up in St. Louis and went to college at Missouri State University. He's the host of On the Record, and secures exclusive interviews with celebrities for his TV morning show.

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