This coming weekend , I am going to my favorite Iowa winery, Summerset Winery , to be part of their Fall Harvest. I will pick grapes, drink wine, and get to spend time with an old wine drinkin' buddy ( and I'm pretty sure a new friend too).
I have friends that still prefer California wines to Iowa wines, and that's OK. But I feel very passionate about Iowa wines. The Iowa wine industry has come a long way in the last decade.
A little history of the wine industry in Iowa... The first commercial vineyard in the state was planted in 1857.
In the early 1900's , Iowa ranked sixth in the nation in grape production. In the 1930-40's with the beginning of Prohibition and the onset of disease issues , the grape industry in Iowa fizzled and the main focus of agriculture shifted to corn and soybeans.
In the late 90's with interest in wine growing , Iowa farm land once again was planted to grapevines . Today, there are 87 wineries and almost 1500 acres of land are planted to grapes.
The rolling hills and fertile Iowa farm land along with the advances in grape varieties have really boosted the wine industry.
I am very lucky to have another awesome Iowa winery just a few miles from me . The Engelbrecht Family Winery and Farm House Bed and Breakfast in located in Fredricksburg , Ia. Until recently it was also a working dairy farm ( another thing near and dear to me ). I have visited them often since they opened the winery and started planting their grapes in 2004. Their wine has come a long way since then and they have several wines I really enjoy.
To this day though , my very favorite wine continues to be the very first Iowa wine I ever purchased, Summerset Winery's Caba Moch. It's actually is a lot of people's favorite. Sales of Caba Moch make up 40% of Summerset's sales ! It's DELISH ! And this weekend I get to be part of their magic ! Just picture Lucy and Ethel stomping those grapes! That will be me and Rhonda ( although , she gets to be Lucy cause she has the red hair !) More pictures and an update to follow ... I promise !
Let the good times roll......