Local wineries explode in Chicago area - New York News

Local wineries explode in Chicago area

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Wine is not only popular in Chicago, but making your own wine is also growing in popularity.

Greg Fischer runs the Wild Blossom Meadery and Winery in Beverly.

"They can craft their own wine in a 6 gallon vat which makes about 25 to 30 bottles or they can make a full barrel which makes up to 300 bottles. And they can have their own wine with their own label on it," Fischer said.

For Fischer, this is a family tradition, but for more and more Americans, it’s a growing trend.

“It's like the craft beer scene, is that people are getting more diverse in their wine taste and they're accepting wine a lot more," said Fischer.

The United States has passed France for having the world’s biggest market for wine, purchasing more than any country, according to the International Vine and Wine Organization.

City Winery in Chicago’s West Loop offers hundreds of options for people to sip, according to Beverage Director, Rachel Driver Speckan.

“The culture of the United States is becoming more aware and looking for more education and definitely going to wine first. There's definitely been a dramatic increase in the last year," said Driver Speckan.

Some were surprised by the news.

"You always think of France and other places that are much more industrial with that than we are," said Melissa Kelly.

Others believe the U.S. will be a long contender in this race.

"After visiting Chateau Montelena and realizing in the 1970s we already had such great potential in winning the wine awards, I think we're an up and coming nation, I think we're doing a wonderful job,” said Kara Hayward.

U.S. drinkers are still very much behind the French when it comes to consumption per person.

According to the IVWO, in 2011 the average French person went through 1.2 bottles of wine per week, that’s six times more than the average American.

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