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 IGNN: History Press Release


May 12, 2009

Wine sales benefit history

ELIZABETH - More than 175 years ago a handful of fearless women were critical in the successful defense of a tiny fort against the formidable warrior Black Hawk. Three of these women were named Elizabeth, and sales of a wine that bears their name are benefitting a group that supports that same fort.

Massbach Ridge Winery and the Apple River Fort Historic Foundation last spring introduced the “Elizabeth” white wine, and a portion of the proceeds of wine sales have been donated to the Foundation for educational programming at the restored Apple River Fort. Foundation board members Vince Toepfer and Helen Kilgore noted that “the donations of Massbach Ridge Winery benefited the living history programming for kids and adults last year at the Apple River Fort.” They acknowledged a recent check from Massbach Ridge Winery, which will be used for educational programming once the Apple River Fort reopens. In January, a new label for the Elizabeth wine was introduced honoring the pioneering women who forged a new frontier in Jo Daviess County. The artist who won the wine label design contest is Beth Bird of Galena, Illinois.

Massbach Ridge Winery, located in rural Elizabeth, was established in 2003 by the Harmston family of Elizabeth. With more than 18 acres of grapevines, the winery produces award winning wines primarily from grapes grown in Jo Daviess County.

The Apple River Fort State Historic Site is a reconstruction of the 1830s civilian fort that was the site of a battle between Black Hawk’s Sauk warriors and Apple River settlers during the Black Hawk War. It is located along U.S. Route 20 in Elizabeth, Illinois.

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