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Columns

The Wine Detectives: New wines in Illinois target different consumers

I recently had occasion to talk with Gene Guglielmo, one of three brothers who own and operate a winery and also own a estate vineyard in Morgan Hill near Santa Clara, Calif. We spoke about his new wines being introduced in Illinois – the first tasting was at Hy-Vee in Sycamore on Aug. 19.

The brothers are the third generation of winemakers that started back in 1925 with the original purchase of the property in Morgan Hill. They have constantly planted more vineyards, added to the winery capacity, upgraded technology and included a new tasting room. They accommodate weddings and outside events (including many concerts) at their picturesque location.

In addition to the interesting Italian heritage they bring to wine growing and making at Morgan Hill, they produce several different wine labels targeted to different consumers:

• Emile Red (there is also a white available) – for those of us who remember Diego Red, the inexpensive ($6.99) but good red wine that use to come in a jug.

• Tre (referring to the three brothers) – chardonnay, cabernet and merlot for the consumer looking for everyday varietal wines that are affordable ($10.99).

• Private reserve and estate wines – made from their own vineyard, featuring interesting varietals like sangiovese, which is the grape in chianti, and a terrific zinfandel ($17.99)

Of course, being a wine “geek" influences my favorite pick, which is the award-winning petite syrah – dark red fruit, black currents, a hint of tobacco, with plenty of body, but soft tannins.

It’s always fascinating to discuss wine with owners and listen to how proud they are of their heritage and the skill and determination they have to produce the best wines they can for the consumer. So, if you get a chance, look for Guglielmo and try a bottle. They are new in Illinois and deserve your attention.

Tom Minnerick is an Elgin resident who has spent 35 years working in the wine industry. “The Wine Detectives” column runs sporadically in the Kane County Chronicle. Feedback can be sent to editorial@kcchronicle.com.

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