Winemaking is one of those businesses that typically is a family business.It’s as if winemaking is in your blood! Each generation makes important contributions and the wine just gets better and better.

-chris lawlor-white

1974

Cedar Rapids, ia

Robert Lawlor takes a class on home winemaking and has an idea!

1974

MCGREGOR, IOWA

Christine Lawlor gradates with her Degree in Enology from Fresno State University. Christina Wine Cellars opens producing 200 cases of Cherry Wine.

lacrosse, wisconsin

The Lawlors open a second winery in an old Milwaukee freight depot in LaCrosse, Wisconsin.

1980

1983

galena, illinois

During a trip to purchase grapes, the Lawlor family sees an opportunity to open a third winery in Galena, Illinois. They call upon Christine’s brother—Scott–and his wife, Karan, to move to Galena to help with the project.

galena, illinois

Scott, Christine, and their parents open the newly restored 1840’s granary building on Main Street in Galena. Galena Cellars celebrates its first annual “Beaujolais Nouveau” Wine Celebration and is featured on the Today Show.

1985

1990

galena, illinois

As wine production grows, the family acquires a farm on North Ford Road just outside of Galena. They begin growing experimental grapes and move the wine production to the vineyard location. The family decides to focus production in Galena and closes the McGregor and LaCrosse locations.

Flagship wine “Eric the Red” named after and created by Eric White, Christine’s son, is released.

1999

2002

Christine Lawlor-White is honored as “Winemaker of the Year” by the Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association. She will go on to win this award again in 2008, and 2017.

geneva, illinois

Galena Cellars opens a suburban Tasting Room & Gift Shop in Geneva, Illinois.

2004

2006

Cousins Eric and Sarah (Christine’s Son and Scott’s Daughter) begin their formal education in becoming winemakers at California Polytechnic State University and Fresno State University, respectively. Upon graduation began their winemaking careers…

Scott, Karan, & Christine Lawlor retire after the passing of their parents and our founders and first generation winemakers, Robert & Joyce Lawlor.

The third generation is called on to return from California. Britt, Eric, and his wife Oniqueh all return to take on operations of Galena Cellars. Eric White becomes Winemaker & President.

2018

2019

Christine Lawlor has the honor of presenting the “Winemaker of the Year” award by the Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association to her son, Eric White.

galena, illinois

Galena Cellars moves to a new location in the heart of Main Street Galena: 111 N. Main Street.

2021

2021

The third generation, Eric, Britt & Oniqueh, continue to expand and grow Galena Cellars with new ideas, techniques and experiences.

PRESENT