Where: Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin
Fresh Specialty: They make everything on their wine list.
If you don’t think Illinois screams “wine country”, think again. Prairie State-based Cooper’s Hawk Winery might not be growing grapes in their own backyard, but the country’s most successful restaurant-winery chain does make their own vino there -- and plenty of it. The multi-million dollar outfit is considered the country’s fifth largest winery outside of California, and produces around 600,000 gallons of wine each year, mostly from grapes grown in California, Washington, Oregon, and other American wine regions (think New York and Michigan). Their most popular wine is the Cabernet Sauvignon, sourced from California grapes and made in Illinois (yes, Illinois!), where winemaker Rob Warren oversees the winemaking production for their whopping two dozen restaurants. We’ll drink to that.