Harvest Hosts is a unique RV membership program that provides members access to free overnight accommodations at 1002+ locations across the country. One of the best things about being a Harvest Hosts member is the wide variety of available hosts. These range from wineries to farms, museums, breweries, distilleries, golf courses, country clubs, and so much more. These hosts offer a variety of amenities, activities, and services or goods for purchase, and no two hosts are exactly alike. One such host is Tuscan Hills Winery, tucked into a small town in Illinois. This gorgeous vineyard is a Harvest Hosts member favorite. Continue on to learn all about the host, their story, their business, and what guests can expect when they spend a night here.
The story of Tuscan Hills Winery started when Wes Pitcher and Wanda Berglund met at the tourist camp that Wes’ family visited in Northwestern Ontario each summer. Wanda’s family owned the tourist camp where Wes and Wanda met and became friends. The pair eventually began dating long distance in 1979. In 1985, the pair married, and Wanda moved to Montrose, Illinois, to be with Wes and start a family. There, Wes and Wanda began Pitchcoll, a sow-farrowing operation which is still in business today.
Years later, the Pitchers began to wonder what kind of business would add to the town of Effingham. One night, they decided that a winery was the missing piece, and thus, Tuscan Hills was born. On July 1, 2011, a Canadian national holiday, Wes and Wanda Pitcher opened Tuscan Hills Winery. It has since grown to be a successful pillar in the Effingham community and an asset to both their lives and the lives of all those who visit.
At Tuscan Hills Winery, visitors can find delicious, house-made wines to suit just about any palate. These include a full menu of whites and reds, ranging from dry to very sweet. They also serve a variety of beautiful sangrias, along with a bistro menu and a full selection of craft beers, wine slushies, and liquor. All of this can be found in a gorgeous Tuscan-inspired building, complete with a screened-in porch, surrounding gardens, and a bubbling fountain. The old-world Tuscan style business caters to small groups of people or those looking to host an event for 300+ guests. These include weddings, graduation celebrations, birthday parties, corporate events, or anything else that requires a beautiful location. The relaxing venue often hosts live music and boasts an intimate environment that welcomes all who gather there. It is even pet-friendly, which is perfect for visitors who enjoy traveling with their pet.
In conjunction with the Tuscan theme, the winery also offers a variety of pizzas and stuffed Tuscan breads, complete with all sorts of fresh toppings. Reviews for their location almost always mention their delicious foods. They also offer a variety of meat and cheese boards, complete with crackers, chocolates, olives, and other delectable pairings. Many visitors pair these food offerings with a glass of their wine of choice. On a warm summer evening, you can visit Tuscan Hills to find a full house of folks eating and drinking, listening to live music, and enjoying the evening air in their lovely gazebo. The Pitchers were surely correct when they thought their business would add to the heart of Effingham. Their motto is, “Come as our guests, leave as our friends,” and they invite any and all travelers and community members to stop by and enjoy the overall experience.
What Harvest Hosts guests can expect
In December 2017, Tuscan Hills agreed to become an official host for the Harvest Hosts program. Since then, hosting has greatly impacted the winery’s business. They can host up to five RVs of any size in their large, easily-navigable gravel lot. Many reviews for this location mention the beautiful parking area beside the fields, and the quiet, peaceful environment. Many travelers also enjoy chatting with Steve, Tuscan Hills’ friendly bartender. Both the owners and their team of employees enjoy hearing travelers’ stories and hope to become part of their story through the experience of the visit.
Tuscan Hills Winery perfectly embodies the sort of unique and personal experience that the Harvest Hosts program strives to provide its members. The friendly staff, gorgeous setting, exceptional wines, and fun, friendly environment make this an excellent stop for members of all ages passing through the area. The mutually-beneficial relationship between both Harvests Hosts members and hosts is extremely apparent at Tuscan Hills Winery. So what are you waiting for? Check out the hosts’ listing to plan your next Harvest Hosts stay in this lovely region of southern Illinois.
Have you visited Tuscan Hills Winery yet? How was your experience? What is your all-time favorite Harvest Hosts location? Feel free to tell us all about it in the comments below!
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