Waterman Winery & Vineyards is located on Tuntland Farms, a fourth generation operation based on sustainable activities, implemented before ‘sustainable’ was cool. Sustainability must be an ongoing process with each generation adding new knowledge and improved skills. Our sustainable activities include planting hundreds of trees; maintaining grass waterways; participation in the Illinois Acres for Wildlife and Roadsides for Wildlife initiatives; participation in the Conservation Stewardship Program and The Illinois Wind Energy (FP&L) wind-farm project; minimum (or no) tillage; and precise GPS fertilizer application.
Over 50 years of stewardship and conservation have created a productive and healthy environment. Tuntland Farms received a DeKalb County Sustainable Agriculture Award from the DeKalb County Soil and Water Conservation District. To enhance the farm operation, sustainable vineyards were planted in 1998; the winery and vineyards represent another sustainable venture.
Located near a creek, the vineyards help to stabilize the soil. The vineyards trellis system is made of re-used materials. Equipment for the vineyards is dual purpose, also used on the farm. Use of chemicals is limited. We begin the winemaking process within minutes of harvesting our grapes, without trucking or refrigeration. Inside a vintage barn, the wines are fermented in reusable stainless-steel tanks and later bottled by hand. Thus, the whole winemaking process takes place on the farm. Visitors can enjoy seeing a productive, sustainable Illinois farm and can sample and purchase wine made by Waterman Winery & Vineyards. Sustainability at its best!
Recipient of the DeKalb County Soil and Water Conversation Award