We did at our house and are trying to more and more. We’re not alone. More and more Iowans are sampling Iowa wine if the numbers are correct about Iowa’s wine industry.
According to Barb Rasko at Make Mine Wine magazine, Iowa now has 74 wineries and 392 vineyards. That’s a lot of wine and wine capability. She says the hope is to see 100 wineries by 2011. Just 13 years ago that number was around 6 wineries. That’s a lot of growth.
That fact got us going on this story for The Iowa Journal. Right now our production and air date is December 17th at 8p. I am still working on a guest list for our discussion.
We want to talk about how Iowa’s wine industry is growing. We also are looking to find out why and how the state is doing it. How much help is the state of Iowa in getting the industry to grow its reputation?
What is holding up Iowa’s wine industry from growing into a much bigger deal?
How do Iowa wines compare nationally and internationally?
The majority of this story was shot this summer on location in a eastern Iowa. I visited Brush Creek Winery near Bellevue. They are a small operation. But not new to wine making.
We also will feature Tabor Home Vineyards and Winery near Baldwin, Iowa. Baldwin is between Dubuque and Davenport in beautiful Jackson County. Paul Tabor is an Iowa legend when it comes to wine. He’s been around since the early 90s growing and producing Iowa wine. Tabor is a strong believer in Iowa-grown wine. Just prior to my visit to his winery, he told me about a new designation called the Upper MIssissippi River Valley viticulture area. This may not roll off the tongue like Napa, but its the same thing, a specific region with certain characteristics about the soil and the grapes grown there. Geographically, this is the largest viticulture region in the country.
We also visited Fireside Winery near Marengo and Williamsburg. On this trip, I had Dan Kaercher and Rick Fuller with me. We will use part of this interview for the new program called Simple Pleasures that will air on Iowa Public Television. Fireside will also make our Iowa Journal story.
We’ll also include some video from Tassel Ridge near Oskaloosa and Pella. The story there, they use a harvester to bring in some of their grapes.
What do you like about Iowa’s wine industry?
Who do you consider experts in Iowa wine?
What else do we need to talk about on our program?