Wine production in Illinois has increased by 16 percent over the past five years from 564,270 gallons in 2006 to 651,800 gallons in 2011, according to the Illinois Ag Statistics Service. The number of wineries in the state has increased by 36 percent over the past five years from 77 wineries in 2006 to 105 wineries in 2011. Illinois wineries employed an estimated 738 full-time, part-time, and seasonal workers in 2011.
Total grape acres in the state have increased 2 percent over the past five years from 1,083 acres in 2006 to 1,107 acres in 2011. The number of growers has increased by 33 percent over the past five years from 235 in 2006 to 312 in 2011. This large growth in the number of growers is primarily due to an increase in the number of hobby growers in the state. Illinois vineyards employed nearly 1,000 full-time, part-time, and seasonal workers in 2011.
Reasons cited why some Illinois wineries won't expand during the next decade.
The future of the Illinois grape and wine industry is also looking promising. Current capacity to make wine stands at just over 1 million gallons. Over the next five years, that capacity is expected to double to nearly 2 million gallons and over the next 10 years capacity is expected to increase to nearly 3 million gallons.
Just over half of the wineries (51 percent) indicated no plans for future expansion at any point within the next 10 years.