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August 21, 2017


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Alto Vineyards

After retiring from Southern Illinois University in 1978, Guy Renzaglia decided it was his civic duty as an Italian to start growing grapes.

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He was determined to do it in a region of Illinois where grapes were deemed impossible to flourish.

But Guy Renzaglia, through blind ambition and plenty of know-how, recognized the winemaking possibilities of Southern Illinois, with its rolling hills and a climate all its own.

Since those very first plantings, Guy's son Paul never imagined that his father’s dream would have such a profound effect on the region. Today Paul runs Alto Vineyards, a living testament to his father’s passion for winemaking. This family-owned vineyard, nestled in the foothills of the Shawnee National Forest, produces some of the finest wine in Illinois and America. Alto Vineyards also anchors the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail, the heart and soul of Illinois winemaking. All of which was made possible by Guy Renzaglia’s improbable dream some 30 years ago.

Discover more Illinois artisans at Illinois Made.


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