EDWARDS — Kickapoo Creek Winery is to close for good before the end of 2021, it was announced Thursday.
The coronavirus pandemic and its effects on business have been too much for Kickapoo Creek to overcome, according to Catie Doerr, the winery’s general manager.
“I think our company was based off (special) events. That’s the bread and butter of the company,” she told the Journal Star. “I think when COVID happened, that changed. We’re not getting events like we used to.”
No special events are to be held at Kickapoo Creek after Dec. 1, Doerr said. The tasting room and restaurant are scheduled to be open until Dec. 31, but Doerr said she expects remaining wine inventory to sell out well before then.
Kickapoo Creek first announced its closure in a post on its Facebook page. Doerr wouldn’t comment about whether the winery was for sale.
The winery at 6605 N. Smith Road west of Peoria opened shortly after Dr. David Connor, an orthopedic surgeon, first planted grapes on the site of his cattle farm. That was in 2001, according to the winery website.
Eventually, the vineyard grew to 14 acres and spawned the tasting room and restaurant, both open most days from lunchtime through late afternoon. In 2005, a banquet facility and catering company opened there.
“A lot of people have made a lot of great memories around here,” Doerr said.