The tale of Tuscan Hills Winery is interwoven with the love story of a Midwest boy and a Canadian girl. Wes Pitcher and Wanda Berglund’s story begins in a tourist camp in Northwestern Ontario, where Wes’s family vacationed for two weeks every summer. Wanda’s family owned and operated this tourist camp, which Wanda still owns today as a third generation tourist outfitter. Wes and Wanda began their journey together first as friends, then on July 31st, 1979, they started a long distance relationship
In 1985, Wanda left Canada and married Wes to start their life together living on a farm near Montrose, IL. Building on the Pitchers’ agricultural background, they started and have grown to a 5,000 sow-farrowing operation called PitchCoIII which they still own and manage today. After settling into their life, Wes and Wanda were blessed with three beautiful children; Amanda, Kelly, and Christopher.
As entrepreneurial minded people, the Pitcher’s began brainstorming ideas about what kind of business was missing in Effingham. Over a bottle of wine one night, the couple decided that Effingham needed a winery. On July 1st, 2011, (Canadian National Holiday), with the help of their family and friends, Wes and Wanda held the grand opening of Tuscan Hills Winery. To celebrate the anniversary of the winery every year, the couple, along with vending sponsors, hosts a fundraiser for the United Way. They provide free pork burgers and hot dogs to all patrons. This celebration, aptly named “Swine and Wine”, combines all aspects of Wes and Wanda’s past, present, and future.
The winery has grown to be an asset to the Effingham community. It has been host to numerous weddings, including the wedding of their eldest daughter, countless birthday parties, showers, festivals, murder mystery dinners, as well as business and corporate events.
The winery is a unique extension of who Wes and Wanda are, not only as individuals, but as a couple. The vision Wanda and Wes have for the winery, is one of family and friendship. They enjoy creating a welcoming atmosphere for all who walk through the front door, hence their motto: “Come as our guest, leave as our friend”.