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Fergedaboudit Vineyard and Winery Makes Memorable Experiences

By Pamela Sosnowski

Although its tongue-in-cheek name may suggest otherwise, a day spent at Rosario Bruno's Fergedaboudit Vineyard and Winery is likely to be quite memorable. Visitors can enjoy a sampling of several wines with an optional antipasto or cheese plate, take in the gorgeous green scenery, and listen to musical guests perform during the summer months. The Bruno family wants everyone to feel welcome at their Hanover-based winery.

"While sipping our signature Italian-inspired wines you can soak in the beauty of the countryside," Vicki Bruno, co-owner and the daughter of the winery's founder, said. "It's very peaceful with the rolling hills of the countryside and the tasting room that was designed in hopes of bringing you to a Tuscany wine village. We have live music on Saturdays from 1:30-5. Our guests can enjoy a wine tasting with an antipasto tray, or bring their own picnic to enjoy the music, stunning views of our vineyard, and of course, lots of wine!"

The Brunos' business endeavor is truly a labor of love. Founder Rosario Bruno, an Illinois-born electrician, first fell in love with making wine 40 years ago after helping friends make a batch in the cellar of their Chicago home. He worked with them for five years, accompanying them to the city's Taylor Street train yards to taste and purchase the California grapes directly off the boxcars. In 1998 he sold half of his ownership in his electrical contracting company to buy 46 acres of a forgotten Hanover farm with rich soil that eventually became Fergedaboudit Vineyard.

One of the winery's goals is to show wine connoisseurs that great tasting wine can come from the mid-western state of Illinois. When Bruno's vineyard was in its infancy stage he failed to prepare the soil properly for the harsh winters, causing his early wines to wilt. He then took winemaking classes on growing grapes in colder climates and the harvest flourished.

Some of the current available wine varieties include Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Sangiovese, and Moscato, in addition to specialty wine products such as Frezzie De Vino, a frozen cocktail mix, and Veronica's Vino Drizzle, a sweet concentrated wine syrup meant to be enjoyed over cheese, fruit, and desserts. All of the wines can be purchased online and shipped to select states.

The vineyard's lush romantic setting makes it perfect for weddings, and the grounds may be rented for special events and private parties. Up to 225 guests may be accommodated under a tent on the property that features crystal chandeliers and beautifully draped fabrics. The winery also hosts entertainment during the warmer months, and upcoming acts include local musicians Vince Amore, Leon Rector, and Ralph Kluseman, and comedian/magician Don Antonio.

Whether one comes for the vino, entertainment, or music, Bruno is confident that the family's next generation will keep Fergedaboudit Vineyard and Winery prosperous.

"What we have created is the vision my dad has had for so many years," she said. "When you come visit us you will see our entire family working with their hearts and souls, and truly enjoying every minute. There are many aspects I enjoy about working with my family, but the one I enjoy most is watching my niece and nephew take pride in our family business and hoping my children will have the same passion and respect the rest of us have to keep our legacy alive for many, many years to come."

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