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October 2, 2012

There’s a small winery not to far away from our town. It opened about five years ago and is owned by the family of one of my high school classmates. It’s a lovely little winery, and the owners (and their family) put a lot of love and work into their wines. They have a wine release party the first weekend each September. Last year I wasn’t able to go as I was massively pregnant with kid3 (plus, I think we were out of town for a wedding). This year I was determined to go.

It was perfect weather for it: sunny and warm – almost too warm the afternoon we went – with a nice little breeze.

There’s an old silo on the farm/winery that’s prominent on the design of their labels.

There are a few acres of vines around the farm. I love that they are surrounded by cornfields.

Unfortunately, they said due to the late freeze in May and the drought this summer, the grapes were much smaller than normal, and the harvest would only be about half of an average year.

On the upside, they also said the sugar content of the grapes should be much higher this season due to the weather, so the wines next year should be excellent.

There’s a nice little tasting room and gift shop, too.

We brought the whole family, as there was plenty of entertainment for everyone. They had an ice cream eating contest – the kiddo tried his hand, but eating a cup of ice cream is harder than it sounds – plus live music and tables with local, handmade goods for sale.

The kidlet kept an eye on everything from the tasting room door.

While the kiddo liked the local County Conservation table with various animal items to touch and try on.

“Davy, Davy Kiddo, king of the wild frontier.”

We ended up buying three different bottles of wine. One is already gone (it was good) and the other two we’re saving for holiday dinners.

Small-scale wineries and breweries are a growing enterprise in Iowa, and it’s so nice to have one nearby that we can enjoy.

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