It took a few trips to get all the photos we wanted, of course Loraine and I had to taste some delicious wine along the way. This is the remainder of the east side of the wine trail, It is the side we make it to most. Maybe because it’s the closest or maybe because being from NJ we just naturally tend to travel east…lol. 

Rows of grape vines and tree set against the bright blue sky

 The Shawnee Hills Wine Trail Winter Passport program is in full swing. You can order your Passport Online or ask at the first winery when you tour. It’s ten dollars, this gives you discounts on to-go bottles of wine and with a fully stamped passport you can win larger prizes. Turn in your passport, stamped at all 11 wineries, at the last winery you visit to enter the drawing. The program ends February 28th 2017! You still have time and we have availability for January and February at Makanda Inn Owl Creek menu parchment style paper with black lettering& Cottages!

Closest to the Inn, Owl Creek Vineyard


You can get a bite to eat here.


Every winery has something a little different to offer and Owl Creek is no exception, as it is known for it’s hard cider in addition to great grape wines.

As you can imagine the interior is adorned with all types of owl artwork. 

Outside you will find elaborate multi tiered decks. At the lower level is an old truck that is the stage for live music.

Not to be short changed you will find plenty of award medals here too.

Beautiful Owl tapestry with purple, pinks and grays hangs on the wall downstiars                       Next stop Starview Vineyards! Starview also offers food. 

From pink to green this colorful menu on a chalkboard hangs on the wall behind the bar


Loraine raises a toast while visiting with Regina. She and Brett also came from out east and bought Starview a few years back.  A group of cyclists from Carbondale visited Starview this Friday afternoon. Half of the deck is enclosed for the winter months complete with propane heater, if enjoying the view outside is more your taste. Just a sampling of the gift shop, on the mantle bottles of award winning wines. 

Blues, reds, and all kinds of colored t-shirts in the gift area at Starview

Next stop Orlandini Vineyard! We stopped here twice to get the photos we were looking for. The entrance was on our trip out after the ice storm. The decor theme Italy, and a row of, you guessed it award winning wines. Out back the deck overlooks a pond. We were here in June last year and the breeze on the back deck was wonderful. 

The entrance to Orlandini in the back the deck overlooks the pond inside orange tones for the decor

From Orlandini its a short drive Blue Sky Vineyard. Blue Sky does offer food as well. 

Green laminated Blue Sky menu with black lettering

The Blue Sky made a nice backdrop for this aesthetically pleasing architecture. Inside I got to taste some wine. It’s hard to see but they too, have a trophy rack behind the tasting bar. A nice assortment of gifts and enclosed outside area for cool weather tasting and dining.  

Blue Sky's building inside and out Italian reproduction best describes it

      The Shawnee Hills Wine Trail is just one of the many things to see and enjoy here in Southern Illinois. The wine trail never gets boring, as the wines seem to get better every year. We hope you enjoyed this series and it will inspire you come to this most Southern part of Illinois. In the words of Barb from Kite Hill – have a grape day!