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Blue Sky Vineyard, Makanda

4.3
#3 of 36 in Wineries in Illinois
Blue Sky Vineyards is a family-owned vineyard and winery in Illinois, owned and operated by Barrett Rochman, Marilyn Rochman, and Jim Ewers. Blue Sky Vineyards is located in the heart of the Shawnee National Forest and anchors the eastern end of the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail. Located within the Shawnee Hills American Viticultural Area, an area that is federally designated and recognized for its uniqueness in grape growing, Blue Sky Vineyard uses Illinois grapes to produce a number of wines. Karen Hand, Blue Sky Vineyards' winemaker, was the Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association's Winemaker of the Year for 2006. They currently produce 17 different kinds of Illinois wine and 5 American wines ranging from dry to sweet. The Tuscan inspired architecture and interiors of Blue Sky Vineyard's main structure and banquet addition were designed by Nancy Karen Brian, MFA, NCIDQ #015635, and tenured professor at California State University Fresno in consultation with Blue Sky Vineyard's owners.
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Blue Sky Vineyard Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
140 reviews
Google
4.1
TripAdvisor
  • This was the last stop on a short tour we made of the Shawnee Hills Winery Trail. It did not disappoint! The first thing that you’ll notice is the beautiful grounds. They are stunning with a manicured...  more »
  • We followed the signs along the road for sometime before finally coming upon this beautiful winery. I was not sure what to expect, but it was a lovely surprise. The building and grounds are very beaut...  more »
  • Great wine and good food - we closed the place down on a Friday evening. They were very nice to us and we enjoyed very much!!  more »
Google
  • About $15 for a bottle of wine. The choices were sweet or not. Service was nice and helpful but not overly friendly. They do not typically let you open a tab on the weekends. Food was good, but a little over priced.
  • Very pretty inside, with stone nooks and metal scputure accents onside and out. Very good selection of local white and red wines. Staff was friendly.
  • Blue Sky Vineyard was the NASA location of longest duration for the 2017 total eclipse of the sun. We traveled to attend the all day event, and it was well worth the trip. The wife of the General Manager greeted us at the entrance at 9:00 a.m. We purchased our commemorative wine glasses, and related special eye glasses. Great attention to detail was a part of the experience. The grounds were beautifully maintained, and we planted ourselves at a table with an umbrella, behind the DJ station, not far from the line-up of talented musicians. There was a food truck outside, and sit down service inside the winery. The special red wine had wonderful notes, and the atmosphere was ideal for near darkness, in the middle of the day. These friendly folks made us feel at home, and they threw a first rate party. The Vineyard made their lovely grounds available, free of charge, to anyone wishing to attend. It was a great time, and a memorable experience. Highly recommended.
  • I was excited that my husband and I could finally go to a winery together. He is from the area and everyone talks highly of the wineries, especially Blue Sky. The winery was beautiful however I was extremely disappointed in their staff. Our visit was around the holidays (off season). Besides a quick glance there was no acknowledgement of us entering. There were only 2 other couples sitting. I was hoping for a warm greeting such as “hello can I help you?” Instead we stood around for a bit and ordered a glass of wine to give it a try. No suggestions were made by the staff even when we mentioned it was our first time there. We stayed for about 1.5 hours and never witnessed them smiling or being friendly with any other customers who walked in. We were disappointed, and hope to check out the other wineries the next time we go back.
  • We came here during a weekend trip to the Wine Trail. It was mid-afternoon on a Saturday, and the tasting area was very busy. When we did make it up to the bar, it took a VERY long time before our presence was even acknowledged. We're patient when we can see staff is overwhelmed, but it would've been nice if someone would've at least said "hello" (especially when you're standing right in front of them). The tasting itself was good- they have a large selection of wines to choose from. We walked around a bit; the grounds are expansive and very nice. Overall it was a positive experience.
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