• Image about Alto
“Every winery has its own personality,” Orlandini says. “Mine is a lot like my dog here,” he says, pointing to Vinnie, a Pomeranian–Jack Russell mix, sleeping under a table. “He’s friendly.”

Orlandini has two daughters, but neither plans to follow him into the business. “They have no intention of getting dirt under their fingernails,” he says.

Others of the first-generation winemakers aren’t sure what will follow, either.

“A lot of us started in middle age or in retirement, and a lot of us are wearing out,” says Paul Renzaglia. “The young people aren’t picking it up, and I worry that we’ll see this industry turn into a bunch of people with money [but] without the passion to do it themselves.”

As for the man who started it all, Guy Renzaglia is showing the wear and tear of his 92 years and is no longer active in the business. But the old man, his son says, is still kicking — and still drinking his wine.

“Consuming wine,” Paul says. “That’s his only interest now.”

For information about the wineries and other activities in the Shawnee Hills region, go to www.shawneewinetrail.com.

If You Go

Alto Vineyards
8515 N. Duncan Rd.
Alto Pass, Ill.
(618) 893-4898

Blue Sky Vineyard
3150 S. Rocky Comfort Rd.
Makanda, Ill.
(618) 995-9463

Hedman Vineyards
560 Chestnut St.
Alto Pass, Ill.
(618) 893-4923

Inheritance Valley Vineyards
5490 State Rt. 127 N.
Cobden, Ill.
(618) 893-6141

Kite Hill Vineyards
83 Kite Hill Rd.
Carbondale, Ill.
(618) 684-5072

Orlandini Vineyard
410 Thorn Ln.
Makanda, Ill.
(618) 995-2307

Owl Creek Vineyard
2655 Water Valley Rd.
Cobden, Ill.
(618) 893-2557

Pomona Winery
2865 Hickory Ridge Rd.
Pomona, Ill.
(618) 893-2623

Rustle Hill Winery
8595 U.S. Highway 51 N.
Cobden, Ill.
(618) 893-2700

StarView Vineyards
5100 Wing Hill Rd.
Cobden, Ill.
(618) 893-9463

Von Jakob Vineyard
1309 Sadler Rd.
Pomona, Ill.
(618) 893-4500