In May of 2016, we acquired use of a small 1.3 ac vineyard off Allentown Rd in Pekin, IL. Originally planted to 2/3 Edelweiss and 1/3 St. Croix grapes, the vineyard had been abandoned for about 5 yrs. The area was filling in with trees and the surviving vines were wild and climbing everywhere. We removed the trees, pruned and re-trained the vines and grafted in several varieties that will become our estate grown wines.
The results of Bob’s efforts have been numerous medals for his wines including: 2 Gold and 6 Silver medals in the 2015 Illinois State Fair amateur competition and 1 Double Gold, 8 Silver and 2 Bronze at the 2015 American Wine Society national amateur competition.
Tres Rojas began, as many will suspect, with a love of good wine. In the fall of 2014 and spring of 2015, after several wine tasting trips to various wineries in the Midwest, it was clear we were not finding wineries that produced many full-bodied, dry red and white wines. We also began planning in earnest for our retirement and latched on to the idea to start our own winery where we could produce the kinds of wines we most enjoyed ourselves. With that in mind, we started asking questions about getting into the business and lifestyle.
The obvious first question was, “How exactly is wine made?” After a bit of digging through the vast knowledge base available on the subject, we decided to learn from the ground up. It began with experimentations in winemaking in the home office with several kit wines, plastic fermenters, and glass carboys. The first three wines that we produced at home were among our favorites, Pinot Noir, Malbec, and Sangiovese, and thus, Tres Rojas was born! During those early experimentations, Bob used his scientific background to quickly learn how to transform the grape juices to wine and create a number of distinctive blends as well.
At Tres Rojas we produce a variety of wines full of flavor and distinctiveness. We bring you the varietals you come to expect from European and California wines here to the Midwest. We also produce a range of local hybrid favorites from our own vines and various vineyards in the region and unique fruit wines that we are sure you will enjoy. If you are looking for a full-bodied red to go with your steak, a crisp white to sip around the fire pit, or a tangy fruit wine with a sweet finish, you can find it here...something for everybody!
During spring of 2017 we will be grafting in red varieties Leon Millot, Marquette, and Concord and will be growing new vines from the remaining St. Croix. Some of the Edelweiss will be converted to Seyval Blanc and Traminette, but a couple rows of Edelweiss will be left. We hope to have a full crop of fruit from all these vines in 2018!