One time school teachers, Rick and Maria Mamoser decided to forgo the long commute into the suburbs for a “simpler life” as business owners. Prairie State Mercantile opened at their current location in July, 1998. Selling finer goods, including wine, made exclusively in Illinois (The Prairie State), they were on the leading edge of the “keep it local” movement, winning multiple statewide awards for their concept.
Prairie State Winery soon followed (fall of 1999), expanding the concept by producing wines made exclusively from Illinois grown grapes. With their home winemaking experience, science background, and immersion into national wine curriculum, they soon started garnering many awards for their wines as well. With the first vintage of only 500 gallons to the most recent vintages of nearly 13,000 gallons, Rick and Maria continue to promote the philosophy of “Think Globally, Drink Locally.”
2016 Featured Wines
- State White – Crisp, clean, dry white. Not fruity or floral. Our version of a Pinot Grigio. Made from Vidal Blanc grapes.
- Maria’s Sangarita – If you like margarita’s then this wine is for you! Try this delightful white wine flavored with natural key lime juice. Enjoy like a sangria in a tall tumbler with fresh fruit or with your favorite Mexican dish.
- Kishwaukee Blue – A semi-sweet blend of St. Pepin and La Crosse grapes grown in our vineyard in Kingston. Similar in style to a German wine. Charming story, delicious wine.
- Honey Orange Blossom – A truly unique blend of Illinois grown Lacrescent with locally sourced honey and all natural orange oil. Amazingly refreshing!
- Prairie Moscato – This sweet white is made with Muscat grapes. It exhibits a subtle grapiness. Sure to please a sweet wine lover. Enjoy chilled with appetizers or desserts.
Seasonal Fruit Wines
- Honey Apple Crisp – We took our apple wine and sweetened it with gobs of local honey, then tweaked it with the right amount of cinnamon. Tastes as good as it sounds.
- Prairie Pumpkin – Absolutely our best pumpkin yet! Just the right amount of spice and sweetness, and pumpkinyness. Perfect with an autumn dessert.
- Prairie Berry – You couldn’t jam more berries into a wine if you tried. Loaded with blueberries, blackberries and raspberries. Like a triple berry pie. Try a’ la mode.
- Cherry Anyone? – Made with 100% Michigan tart cherries, this wine is fruity and delectable.
- Cabernet Franc – This classic European red grown in S. Illinois is our richest, most robust wine. Great tannins and depth, yet not as intense as a big Cab.Sauv. Perfect with steak.
- State Red – A soft red blend of Marechal Foch and Sangiovese.
- Recovery Noir – A little sweet, a little dry, a little fruity, a little oaky and a lotta good! The more optimistic version of our Recession Noir.
- Maria’s Sangria – Our take on this Spanish classic. Serve chilled in a tall tumbler with fresh fruit or try frozen grapes or pineapple chunks. Great for summer gatherings and barbecues.
- Prairie Dog – A sweet red made with Concord grapes. Light-bodied and fruity; reminiscent of Grandma’s grape jelly. Serve chilled.