August Hill's vineyard stands atop a bluff on the south side of the Illinois River on the same property as our winery. The first 2½ acres of vines were planted in the spring of 2003 with the help of many family and friends. Each hole was dug by hand, and each vine was planted by hand.
The vineyard includes a wide variety of grapes and a large experimental section. As the grapes grow, we’ll determine which grow best in our climate and which make the best wine.
At home in the Heart of Central Illinois, Sunset Lake Vineyards is pleased to share our passion for wine, our love for the land and our German heritage.
Once you have experienced Sunset Lake Vineyards, our excellent wines, the tranquility and beauty of the surroundings and our genuine German "Gemütlichkeit," you will feel bound to come back again and again.
Darrell and Tina Simmermaker are owners of the winery. After reading an article on grape production in the Iowa State “Vision” Alumni magazine, Darrell began planting grapes in 2006 on his Mother’s family farm with the help of his brother and both their families. While Darrell honed his skills at winemaking through classes and experience, the grape harvest was sold to local wineries.
After making the commute from Louisville, Kentucky, for five years, their family moved to central Illinois in 2011 to move forward on the winery.
During this time, Darrell continued to improve his winemaking, receiving medals from the Illinois State Fair Wine Competition over the last four years, and 2015, construction was completed. on the West of Wise Winery.
After celebrating our 20th Anniversary in 2015, we began 2016 with over 500 International awards and titles to our credit. This small, family owned business, began in 1995 as the way for the brother and sister team of Dr. John Brewer and Merry Bauman to "make the family farm profitable".
Beginning with Elderberry Wines, we now have over 40 wines - made from fruits, berries, and some incredible grape varieties. Our Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Wine - just won Double Gold in an International competition.
A family owned and operated Vineyard, Winery, & Distillery established in August 2012. Our vineyard consists of 6 acres of different grape varieties. We take pride in growing and processing our grapes from vine to wine and shine.
2017 GOLD SPONSORS
Pontiac Elks Lodge #1019
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2017 SILVER SPONSORS
Greg & Sue Verdun