David and Beth Ponce, residents of Carbondale since 1985 founded Monte Alegre Farm in 1987. Originally a horse training and breeding operation the farm grew its own hay and row crops but had three very old vines. Those vines were determined to be Fredonia and were totally adapted for the southern Illinois habitat and for years they made rose' wines and sangria from them. InÂ the early 1990 ²s the Ponces met the Renzaglia family who had been instrumental in the rebirth of the grape and wine industry in Illinois. This led to planting of a commercial vineyard in 1996. The first varietals planted were Chambourcin and Vidal Blanc quickly followed by Chardonel, Norton-Cynthiana, Frontenac, Cabernet Franc, Sangiovese and Seyval Blanc. Table grapes like Reliance and Mars were also added in addition to theÂ propagationÂ by cloning of theÂ originalÂ Fredonia grapes present in the homestead.
Monday, May 16, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time
Tuesday, May 17, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. Mountain Time
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