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Are you someone like me who loves to visit wineries? Even though I’m in Wisconsin visiting wineries is by far one of my favorite things to do because I get to try out new wines and see what the wineries look like. Now even though I am in Wisconsin, there are a few wineries in Iowa that are worth visiting if you ever travel to Iowa.
Wineries in Iowa to Visit
Did you know that Iowa is a great place for winemaking and a top Midwest destination for those who enjoy wine and wineries? I didn’t know that until I did a virtual wine tasting with 4 different wineries which are all located in Iowa.
I will mention that if you are in Madison, WI some of these wineries are about 2-5.5 hours from Madison. Now as someone who doesn’t normally drink red wine these wines were delicious and not too dry.
Cedar Ridge Winery & Distillery (Swisher, IA)
Cedar Ridge is a family-owned winery, distillery, and event space nestled in the beautiful Swisher countryside. The grapes they use are Iowa-grown! From their unending bushels of corn straight from the fertile midwestern soil, the Quint family puts only the best into their wines and spirits. Cedar Ridge Winery & Distillery was named the Best Winery in Iowa by Taste of Home in 2018!
Nine Sixty Five – This wine has a blend of 5 different grapes such as Petite Pearl, Marechal Foch, Frontenac, Marquette & Merlot grapes. It’s aged for 11 months in new and used American, French, and Hungarian Oak barrels to give the wine depth and complexity. It definitely has bright notes of black cherry, plum, and violet which makes it a medium-bodied wine.
Let me tell you this wine was delicious. I loved the taste and it didn’t leave my mouth feeling so dry like some red wines do!
Park Farm Winery (Durango, IA)
Park Farm Winery was established in 2004. They are a family-owned and operated vineyard, winery, and wood-fired pizza eatery set atop the rolling hills in Iowa’s Driftless region, near Bankston, IA (west of Dubuque). The Park Farm Winery focuses solely on producing quality wine from grapes and fruit that grow in the upper Midwest as they help define wines of the Upper Mississippi River Valley.
Arrowhead Reserve 2019 – Let me tell you this one was a bit different for me. The grapes they used for the Arrowhead Reserve are the Iowa Marquette Grapes. If you let it sit for about 10 mins once you have opened the bottle, it opens up and expresses cherry and hints of black currant with clove and black pepper spicy notes. This pairs beautifully with dark chocolate.
Red Barn Wines (Story City, IA)
Red Barns Wines began with a dream of producing high-quality cold climate grapes coupled with creative winemaking skills to produce fine Iowa wines. The owners of Red Barn Wines have long appreciated good wines and have visited the best wine-producing areas of the world. The grapes used in Red Barn’s wines are grown on 6-acres with a number of the best cold-climate grape varieties.
2017 Marquette – This wine is a rich, dry, dark ruby color wine, pleasantly medium-bodied and blessed with good tannins and balance. This Marquette wine has a complex structure with notes of black currant, tart cherry, berries, black pepper, and spice in the finish. One thing about Red Barn Wines is that they let the grapes fully mature on the vine to lower the acidity and bring out the best in the wine.
The 2017 Marquette won silver medals in Indy and Mid-American Competitions.
Covered Bridges Winery (Winterset, IA)
Covered Bridges Winery is a family-owned and a relaxed and casual place where you can enjoy a wine experience. Their wine is 100% Iowa-grown grapes. Covered Bridges is nestled in the rolling hills of rural Madison County, IA.
Rattlesnake Red – Is a Covered Bridges signature wine. The body of a cabernet with the soul of Iowa. It has a balance of sweetness and bites. It contains a unique blend of Marechal Foch, Frontenac, and Geneva Red. It also contains black currant and earthy flavors. This one was my favorite because of the sweetness you get at first and then the dry at the end. It was different and delicious.
If you are ever traveling to Iowa, I hope you make a stop at one of these wineries and give their wine a try. They are worth trying out. I loved getting to know about the owners, winery, and of course their wine.