West of Wise Winery
Walnut Street Winery makes fine wines in small batches using the best raw materials available. Amenities include a wine garden, food and a bocce ball court.
West of Wise Winery’s Story
WEST OF WISE WINERY·TUESDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2018·
Darrell and Tina Simmermaker are the owners of the West of Wise Winery. After reading an article on grape production in the Iowa State “Vision” Alumni magazine, Darrell began planting grapes in 2008 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 six years, and in 2015, construction was completed on West of Wise Winery. Many people ask why “West of Wise” as a name. As most parents with teenage daughters will understand, the move from Louisville to Central Illinois during early college and high school years was not a big hit in our household. While our oldest daughter was “helping” to choose winery names, as only a sarcastic young adult can; she suggested we call it West of Wise Winery because it wasn’t the smartest thing we had ever done.
The name stuck and we have made it through the transition to our new home and now look forward to you joining us for a glass of Illinois wine.