Call us crazy, but we have taken our appreciation of wine to a whole new level.
Based in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, we are a group of amateur wine makers that enjoy wine, enjoy the continuing education of the art of wine making and enjoy sharing our wines with our club members, friends and family. We started our organization in 2004 as a couple of guys who wanted to learn more abour our hobby. Little did we know that we were sitting on a gold mine of local wine makers and knowledge. Our collective experience ranges from beginners to those who have been making wine for 25+ years. We have evolved quite a lot since our inception. Today, our club is focused on taking our art well beyond the average garage wine maker.
Our annual dues are $20.00 per year, per household. Among the many benefits of being an AWCI Member is the access to our crusher / de-stemmer and our bladder press.
We share in two key events each year. One is the group purchase of California grapes. When the grapes are ripe for the picking, we arrange for a caravan of members to drive to the shipment point (typically near Chicago) to pick up the grapes, bring them back to Champaign. We crush and de-stem the grapes as a club that night.
They other key event is our Annual Amateur Wine Makers Competition held each Spring at Alto Vineyards in Champaign, Illinois. Our competition has grown into one of the largest competitions in the Mid West. Our expert panel of judges spend a full day evaluating and scoring wines based on the UC Davis 20 Point Scale. We pride ourselves on returning the judges score cards to each entrant with valuable written comments that can help each of the wine makers improve their wine making skills. Custom made medals are sent to those wine makers that win Bronze, Silver or Gold medals.
For more information on our organization, please feel free to contact us.
Chad M. Collins, President
Aidas Mattis, Vice President
Lake Lattimore, Treasurer
Susan Drodz, Secretary