About Us

Midwest Vineyard Supply, was originally created by Denny and Cathy Franklin as a means of providing local grape growers with the supplies they needed at a reasonable cost. Denny is the winemaker at Pheasant Hollow Winery near Benton, Illinois. It soon became apparent that demand for the products exceeded expectations, and in October 2001 the Franklins sold the company to the current owners, Mike Switzer, Steve Payton, & Barry Craig, who moved the business to Decatur, Illinois where it shares warehouse & office space with Mike’s vineyard & engineering business. The expanded customer base for Midwest now includes vineyard and orchard owners throughout the United States and Canada, particularly in the greater Midwest region.

Mike Switzer and Steve Payton created Twin Bridge Vineyard in May 2001, planting two acres of Vignoles, one acre of Foch, and another acre of Lacrosse in Decatur, Illinois. Twin Bridge also planted an additional acre of the cold-hardy varieties Swenson’s White, St. Croix, Esprit, Lucy Kuhlman, Kishawaukee, Edelweiss, and ES 6-16-30—as well as the Hungarian vinifera Kadarka and Furmint—near the town of Oakley, outside Decatur.

Shortly after purchasing Midwest Vineyard Supply, Mike and Steve created an affiliate of Twin Bridge Vineyards, Five Guys Growing Grapes, which is co-owned by Dave & Linda Switzer and Terri Switzer. Through this partnership additional grapes have been planted on farmland owned by the Switzer family.

Current plantings at the 3 locations include Vignoles, Leon Millot, Foch, LaCrosse, Prairie Star, Kadarka, Kekfrankos, Furmint, Aldamina, Kishwaukee, IL 179-1, Lucy Kuhlmann, Esprit, St Croix, Swenson White, St Pepin, Edelweiss, Brianna, Cayuga, Frontenac, LaCrescent, Sabrevois, Traminette, Sunbelt, Reliance, & Mars

Mike Switzer is also a professional engineer, who owns and operates Switzer Engineering Services. Steve Payton is a certified public accountant and partner at Sleeper, Disbrow, Morrison, Tarro & Lively in Decatur, Illinois. Barry Craig is a database administrator and web programmer. Dave Switzer is a retired Quality Control Engineer, who worked for Caterpillar for 39 years. Terri Switzer is a professor of art history at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa.