Iowa Wine? Yes, And It's Kind of a Big Deal

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

With more than 100 wineries and a regional audience that can't seem to get enough, there are a ton of Iowa wines to try, right now—but where do you start?

Summer came early to Iowa this year, and it's roughly 90 degrees on the late May morning when I pull up to Tassel Ridge Winery, not far from the town of Pella. Acres of vineyards, a striking interruption amid undulating fields of more traditional crops, are by now well on their way—vibrant, alive, almost tropically green. I've never visited a winery in Iowa before, but it's high time, I'm thinking—there are now more than one hundred wineries here. Ducking into the relative cool of the tasting room here at Tassel Ridge, with views out to the fields and vineyards and straight down to their production floor, I'm not sure what to expect.

We're making wine everywhere in America these days, and often that wine can be very good, or at least very interesting, often in places you'd least expect. Iowa definitely has that latter bit nailed—most people probably aren't aware that there are now seven wine trails in the state, for example, but there are. Could Iowa be one of those great surprises?

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