Five years ago, an ambitious couple decided to open a winery in Camp Point, Illinois.
Little did they know, their hangout for local wine lovers would become one of the most happening spots in Adams County.
“I enjoy my products being loved by others,” Gordon Cantrell said.
Gordon Cantrell and his wife, Brenda, have a talent for turning grapes into something special.
“We try to make wine that is more indicative to the Midwest that you know,” Gordon Cantrell said. “Something you can’t buy in the grocery store.”
Their journey to becoming one of Adams County’s best wine makers started on a small piece of land.
“I had a small acreage, looking for something to do with it. It wasn’t feasible to buy all of the equipment to start in with corn and soybeans,” Gordon Cantrell said. “So I found grapes.”
After years of practice, they perfected making decadent bottles of wine.
“A little scary, but we made it work and it’s been working ever since,” Brenda Cantrell said.
“Grew grapes for a few years selling them to other wineries. And then later, eventually, we moved into our own winery and started making wine on our own,” Gordon Cantrell said.
They opened the Village Vineyard and Winery to share their wine with as many people as possible.
It quickly became a hot spot for wine connoisseurs.
“We’ve had people come in and just as customers,”Brenda Cantrell said. “And we have made so many friends.”
What started as a small grape growing operation has expanded into a lucrative business.
“We have three acres of grapes, which at times can usually yield between 15 and 18 tons of fruit every year,” Gordon Cantrell said.
With many harvests completed and customers served, Gordon and Brenda want to continue sharing their passion for wine with any customer who walks through the door.
“I think it’s great when I can create something that people enjoy. My wife and I are people. We like people,” Gordon Cantrell said.
Currently, the Village Vineyard and Winery offers more than 20 different bottles of wine from grapes grown behind the winery.
KHQA will be coming to you live from Camp Point for our Mountain Dew Days of Summer event on Thursday, July 10.
Come out and watch your KHQA News at Five and your KHQA News at Six live from Bailey Park, participate in fun activities for all ages and watch The Lego Movie at dusk!
If you want to see your tweets on KHQA, tweet @KHQA with the hashtag #howdoyoudew and show us how you Dew! We’d love to see your photos, too!
Click here for more details about the Mountain Dew Days of Summer.
by Derek Frank: Tuesday, July 8th 2014