The Winery & Facilities
In designing the winery at Illinois Cellars, one question was asked. What facilities do we need to produce a world class wine? For the wine cellar, it needed to be in a totally temperature controlled building which could vary in temperature, like a natural cave, from 55 to 65 degrees during the course of the year. The cellar had to have all the modern sanitary features including stainless steel drains and epoxied floors to permit easy and thorough cleaning.
For white wine the essential ingredient was to have stainless steel tanks that could be temperature controlled to keep the fermenting juice at 56 degrees. For aging, the white wines needed to be stored in French oak, 60 gallon barrels. The reds also needed temperature controlled fermentation and pump over equipment, plus a mixture of both French and American oak to add complexity. The bottling equipment needed to be state of the art. Before filling each bottle needed to be sparged with inert nitrogen gas. Corks had to be of the highest quality and purchased from Scott Laboratories in California where exhaustive lab testing was done before any corks were sold. The bottles, the labels and the foil caps needed to be fully reflective of the quality that had gone in to the wine itself.
In the end, all this was done, resulting in a winery facility that would look at home in the Napa Valley, Bordeaux, Australia, or anywhere in the world where no expense has been spared to produce the highest quality wine.