Wine Tasting Vacation in Iowa

Iowa Wineries are now a growing product for the agricultural area of the state. When the change to less traditional products became necessary there were many in the state that went back in history to see that Iowa was indeed a good place to grow the grapes for great wines.

Going back just to the last century Iowa was the sixth largest grape producing state in the USA. When Prohibition became law the production dropped dramatically and the farmers moved to corn and soybeans. Those that had remained in grape growing saw the damage of the drift of herbicides and then the Armistice Day blizzard of 1940 wiped out a number of grape acres.

The industry re-birth has seen more than 600 acres of land planted to grapes with more being converted to grapes every year. State records of 2007 show that there were sales of approximately 256 thousand gallons of wine sold and that they anticipated a gross of $22 million for 2008.

There are approximately 20 varieties of grapes that have adapted to the Iowa climate, including native Catawba, the French-American hybrid Marechal-Fock, La Crosse and St. Croix. Other well suited varieties are Delaware, Norton/Cynthiana, Leon Millot, Seyval Balc and Vignoles.

Most of the wineries are run by families that have taken on the challenge of turning the grapes they grow into good wine for the consumers. It has not always been an easy road for them to follow but the wines they produce are certainly of a quality that makes a lover of great wine look twice at what is available in Iowa.

There are wineries that have been in existence for years in Iowa and there are those that have been built in the last few years, and more coming all the time, to provide the great wines that come from the grapes grown in Iowa.

Visit the "wine trails" of Iowa and experience the joy of beautiful scenery, great wines at the wine tasting (some poured by the winemaker themselves). One such trail will take you from Elk Horn to Thurman and back to Crescent.

Take the upper Mississippi Valley region wine trail which includes Lisbon, Baldwin, Anamosa, Bankston, Marquette, Decorah and West Branch and you will have a chance to experience not only unique tasting rooms but see some of the most beautiful country in the state with some of the nicest people.

Stuart, Iowa Falls, Pleasantville, Des Moines, Tama, Indianola, Adel, Ames, Runnels, Madrid, Osceola, Leighton, St. Charles, and Cambridge all have wineries on the Heart of Iowa Wine Trail which covers nearly the central one third of the state from north to south. Experience what the Heart of Iowa Wine Trail has to offer in the way of great wine and friendly environment. You will be glad you chose to come and visit.

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