People who want to promote the wine industry in Southern Illinois say other states are outspending Illinois. State Rep. Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro) is sponsoring a bill which would tax wine sales at two cents per gallon, with the money going to support an industry which has quickly grown to more than 100 wineries in the state.
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Without this, “There’s no way to bring in a real, professional oenologist or viticulturalist do to what we need to do most,” says Bruce Morgenstern, owner of Pheasant Hollow Winery in Whittington. State Rep. John Bradley (D-Marion) says there should be some evidence in Chicago of what his part of the state has to offer: “I don’t know why this state doesn’t take some of that space in the Thompson Center and put a storefront or a kiosk to promote our wine industry in Southern Illinois,” says Bradley. “There’s nothing better in Wisconsin, there’s nothing better in Michigan than what we’ve got down in Southern Illinois.”