Walnut Street Winery was a second career for owner Loren Shanle, and now it is also coming to a close. Sunday, June 25, will be the last day of operations for the Rochester winery.
“My son-in-law has received a better paying job and can’t continue with it,” said Shanle, who noted that his son-in-law, Josh Martin, and daughter, Erin Shanle, have been helping him with the business for the past few years.
Shanle purchased a former bait store at 309 Walnut Street in Rochester in 1994 and turned it into an office for his insurance business. L.C. Shanle & Co. operated at that location until 2006, when Shanle sold his insurance agency and decided to learn the art of wine-making.
Walnut Street Winery opened in August 2009 and now produces and bottles 22 different types of wine on-site. The wines are also sold at retail locations throughout central Illinois.
“I don’t intend on selling the building, although we don’t know what we’re going to do with it,” said Shanle, who said it may be rented out for private events.
A final celebration is scheduled for Friday, June 23, with Ella Gibson playing from 6-7 p.m. and the Ivas John Band from 7-10 p.m.
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