Our philosophy is simple, yet guides us in everything we do. We strive to make the best wines we can in the best setting we can. Our goal is not only to make wines that we can be proud but to make wines that our customers enjoy and are proud to share with their friends. Lincoln Heritage Winery is committed to providing a relaxed and friendly environment where people can socialize and learn about wine. We offer a setting where our guests can visit and enjoy good conversation, make new friends, and discover a love of wine.
Proprietors – Homer Cissell, winemaker. Homer’s background is diverse. With roots deep in southern Illinois, he knows the land and the challenges of the climate. His undergraduate degree in Biological Science at SIUC and advanced degrees have given him a background in research and a passion for lifelong learning. Although an amateur winemaker for several years, he took classes in winemaking from the highly regarded University of California, Davis to further his knowledge base. Both Homer and Bonnie have traveled many times to Spain, France, and Germany to further their knowledge of the history, traditions, and styles of wine making. The knowledge gained through these travels has made it possible to offer the unique wines offered by Lincoln Heritage Winery.
Bonnie Cissell worked with one of the leading German wine companies in the U. S. which led to a lifelong interest, not just in German wines, but with all wines. She was the first Executive Director of the Illinois Grape and Wine Resources Council at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and taught wine appreciation classes in California. She is a member of The Society of Wine Educators, The German Wine Society, The French Wine Society, and the Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association and has put that knowledge to work, teaching classes at the winery in wine appreciation with a focus on European wines.
Lincoln Heritage Winery is located within the Shawnee Hills AVA (American Viticultural Area), an unglaciated ridge of land in southern Illinois that runs 20 miles north to south, located between the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. The geographic and climatic characteristics of this area make it well suited to grape growing since it is markedly warmer than areas to the north. This provides a longer growing season which has enabled the winery to grow its own Riesling, Corot Noir, and Muscat.
Our tastefully decorated tasting room provides a relaxing atmosphere for experiencing our wines, visiting with friends, or for private parties. Our tastings are complimentary and picnic baskets are always welcome. The tasting room is also a great resource for information and brochures on local attractions, restaurants, and lodging – we pride ourselves on great customer service and want to make sure your visit to our area is outstanding!