Prairie State Winery offers wine tastings, live music

By Lauren Dielman

Those over 21 have a new place to enjoy complimentary wine tastings, live music and snacks: Prairie State Winery, 322 W. State St. in Sycamore.

Rick Mamoser, Prairie State Winery owner and NIU alumni, said the Sycamore location opened on March 13.

“We’ve been in Genoa for 13 years, and we always had our eye on this one building in Sycamore,” Mamoser said. “We love the proximity to the university.”

Mamoser said the wine for Prairie State Winery in Sycamore is made at the Genoa location, but the grapes for the wine come from all over Illinois.

Prairie State Winery in Genoa opened in July 1998. Mamoser said after he graduated, he and his wife worked as high school teachers before deciding they needed a change of pace.

“My wife and I wanted a change in lifestyle and to try a new adventure,” Mamoser said.

The major difference between the Sycamore and Genoa locations is the Sycamore winery is geared more toward nightlife, Mamoser said. There are also different wines offered at the locations.

“We have it this way so people can visit the different locations and get a different experience,” Mamoser said. “We are constantly coming up with new wines at each location.”

Additionally, tours of the winery in Genoa are available May through October on the second Saturday of each month.

Mamoser said Prairie State Winery provides more of a low-key evening.

“We provide an alternative for an evening downtown different than a standard bar,” Mamoser said.

Prairie State Winery is environmentally friendly, which is represented by their “Think Globally, Drink Locally” tagline.

“We are conscious of reducing our carbon footprints,” Mamoser said. “We came up with the tagline ‘Think Globally, Drink Locally’ because the carbon footprint is lower when people drink locally. We are about reducing, reusing and recycling. Everything we do is about trying to be environmentally conscious.”

Steve Gromala, employee at Prairie State Winery, said he likes to work there.

“It’s great,” Gromala said. “It’s a family-owned winery. I’ve known Rick since high school and he’s got some great wine.”

Gromala said the quality of wine and the friendly atmosphere sets it apart from other wineries in the area.

Mamoser said he has no plans to expand Prairie State Winery locations as of now.

“We’re happy with just the two right now,” Mamoser said. “We want to keep the business local.”