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 outpost camp which Wanda still owns today as a 3rd generation tourist outfitter. The young couple began their journey together as two friends sitting on a dock, but on July 31st, 1979, they started a long distance relationship.
In 1985, Wanda left Canada and married Wes to start their life on a farm near Montrose, IL. They established a 5,000 sow-farrowing operation called PitchCoIII which unfortunately suffered a devastating fire on January 12, 2021. Wes and Wanda were blessed with three beautiful children; Amanda, Kelly, and Christopher, and have also welcomed two granddaughters in 2020. In the summers they move their belongings and animals to Lake Sara so that Wanda can still live on the water.
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, they held the grand opening of Tuscan Hills Winery. The vision Wes and Wanda 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.”