Denny Franklin has been winemaker for Pheasant Hollow for over a decade. Growing up around his Grandfather's arbour, Denny was making wine with his uncle from the age of eight. Later in life, as a coal miner in McLeansboro, IL, Denny resumed this passion making his first wine out of Welch's grape juice, water and sugar.
In 1988, Denny and his wife Cathy attended the third day of Alto Vineyard's grand opening where Denny began working part-time in exchage for grapes to make his own wine. Together, he and his wife entered wine making contests around the country and began winning awards.
From 1990 Denny manage a vineyard in Salem, IL for four years before he began work at Spring Pond Vineyards. There, in 1997, Denny made his first commercial wine.
Denny Franklin was invited by owners Bruce Morgenstern and Bill Needham in 1998 to be Winemaker and Pheasant Hollow Winery was born. Together, we have strived to make the best quality of wine possible and offer a creative variety of fruit and grape wines.
Having won over 30 awards since 1998, the proudest moment for Denny and Pheasant Hollow was in 2002 when our signature wine, "Black & Blue", was judged the Best Fruit Wine in the U.S at the Indy International Competition. We look forward to many wines over the years to come blended and produced by the best winemaker in the state of Illinois, Denny Franklin.