Our labor in the Vineyard never ends.
DFV pays tribute to Bill Sullivan, our Winemaker’s father, on every bottle. After many attempts of trying to upload the picture of him above, our computer would only return a pixelated result. However, its beauty was apparent, even if the original picture was not. This pixelated image, featured on our logo, graces every bottle and his legacy is entrenched in all we do: commitment to all that is good – being ethical, moral, and responsible to the land.
Our Centennial farm, where DFV is proud to call home, was established in the mid-1800s by my great, great grandfather, James Sullivan, and his son, Jeremiah, who came over from Ireland. The original farmhouse, although completely modernized, still graces the property. The gazebo itself is housed in the grain silo, where the crops were stored. It is fitting that while some of our farm has a history going back to the 1800s, the remainder has a modern twist.
I understand that we have a valuable legacy to nurture with the ability to adapt and change with the future. From my great, great grandparents who came to this area and settled this land to my, to my parents, and now my children, I cherish the generations and the land that has brought me DFV.
I believe that my ancestors are looking down upon us and smiling. They may have questioned my endeavor in its beginning, but I think they are probably quite proud of us.
I have approached my wines for the last 12 years as if they were pieces of art that I was creating; painting with different flavors and structures to arrive at something layered by cohesive – letting the fruit tell its story, with its tannins and acids – and using yeasts and/or barrels to complete the dream. I start every season with a vision once I taste the fruit, the stems and the tendrils. Even when I am pruning, I am chewing the cuttings and looking for clues. Often, my yeast choices change throughout the growing season, as I detect different flavors that I want to enhance or downplay.
In 2011, I decided to commit to making the best wine that I could, and returned to the classroom. I attended University of California Davis, learning viticulture and enology from some of the finest in the industry.
Just like art on a canvas, wine can incite an immense amount of feelings and emotions. It is this passion, love, joy and inspiration that I try to capture with each bottle. It is my vision, this artisan, boutique winery, which I have brought to DFV. I am excited to share DESAGACÉ and AURA ARIA with others in the near future.
central Illinois Made.
Some have said that you can’t grow quality wine grapes in Central Illinois, but they don’t know our Winemaker’s secrets. Hundreds of our Vinifera, French-American hybrids, and American hybrid vines stand as proof. They love the minerals in our soil and the constant breeze keeping them disease-free.
Our attention to detail throughout the season results in the quality that you see at harvest.
We started out with a small plot, testing the waters with red grapes: Noiret, Marquette, Regent, Corot Noir and Marchel Foch. We have since expanded that plot: Cabernet Franc, Oberlin Noir, and an exciting new hybrid from Cornell University that is yet to be named. Our newest plot contains white grapes: Traminette.
Our Winemaker’s favorite grape. It produces blue-black berries yielding a very aromatic red wine that is softer than the wines of Cabernet Sauvignon. It is also used as a blend in Bordeaux style wines. Emits hints of Green pepper, tea, cherry clove dill, voilet, spice & berry.
This grape is widely planted in France, mostly in the Beaujolais region, producing a somewhat rustic red wine with good aging capability. It is becoming another favorite in our wines.
Wines made with Marquette have an attractive deep red color, with aromas of cherry, black pepper, spice, black currant, and berry. Best as a medium-bodied red table wine.
Cornell University hybrid, NY-95; This dark red wine is very enjoyable, with a clean light aroma, good structure and mouthfeel and blueberry fruit character.
The wine color is an intensive red, with moderate acidity and lots of tannins. Cherry and black currant aromas are inviting. I have been impressed with its disease resistance.