image of the front of Lake Hill Winery building

Our Story

image of the owners and family of Lake Hill Winery

Since 2010, Lake Hill Winery has been west central Illinois' premier winery and banquet hall. Check out our wines page to see the selection of the wines we produce. Have a look around our facility with our virtual tours. There is plenty of information here on our website, but if you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

Lake Hill Winery was founded in 2010 by Craig and Anita Wear. The first thought of a winery business was planted in Craig's head while on rotation for pharmacy school in Southeast Australia in 2003. He didn't even like wine at the time, but was intrigued by the winemaking process and the beautiful vineyards. Years later, after settling back in Hancock County, Craig began to explore the idea again. Wineries were becoming more popular all over the United States, including the tri-state area. With the surrounding communities being supportive of their other businesses, Craig and Anita wanted to do something that would give back to the area, create jobs and fill multiple voids. The idea for Lake Hill Winery was born...

In 2010, the Wears purchased approximately 63 acres of land west of the Carthage Lake. Work began on the wine production building, which was completed in September 2010. The vineyard was next, with the first day of planting on April 1, 2011. After hundreds of hours of labor, the vineyard was completed in June, 2011. The outdoor wedding gazebo and bridge were completed in the summer of 2011, with the first outdoor wedding being held on October 1st, 2011. Construction began on the banquet hall/tasting room in late May, 2011 and was mostly completed by New Year's Eve 2011, which was Lake Hill Winery's grand opening. Lake Hill Winery was built not only to be a winery, but also to be a gathering place with the ability to hold a wide variety of functions. Besides wine production, we pride ourselves on what also goes on inside the building and the many different avenues our guests can explore. Within the complex, there is a large tasting room that holds not only our personalized wine, but also a full liquor and beer bar. Also in our tasting room, we have a classic wine lover's gift shop, perfect for the wine-o in your life! Continuing through the Winery, you will find 2 banquet halls. The first, being the Barrel Room. Located upstairs, this room fits up to 120 people and is the perfect location for reunions, birthday parties, rehearsal dinners, showers, and much more! The other main room is our large Banquet Hall. Between its 2 spacious levels, this room has the capacity to hold over 400 people and includes a 160" TV/projector, a classic dance floor, a stage area, and 2 bars. This room is capable of accommodating almost any event and has been booked for weddings & receptions, large company parties, private parties, fundraisers, business seminars, high school proms, and college formals. On the exterior of the building you will find beautiful Carthage Lake as a backdrop to our large deck, as well as a wedding gazebo where some of the most stunning pictures have been captured. If your group or organization is looking for a unique experience at an upscale but affordable location, look no further than Lake Hill Winery and Banquet Hall. If you would like to host your next meeting or book the day of your dreams for your wedding/reception or anniversary party, please be sure to contact the wonderful staff at Lake Hill Winery. We would love to work with you and help make your occasion one to remember. Lake Hill Winery can also create custom wine labels with almost any combination of pictures, logos, and photos to make sure your party is never forgotten. Contact us today!

Meet Our Staff

Staff member profile picture

Rachel Slama & Brian McClellan


Own and Operating Lake Hill since 2022

Staff member profile picture

Brian McCellan

Wine Production Manager

Wine Production Manager. Holding current position since 2010.


Enjoy Your Visit