Iowa Wine Tasting 2021: 10 Best Wineries to Visit

Also known as The Hawkeye State, Iowa is one of the leading producers of corn and pork, but it’s also home to a wide array of wineries. Popular for its delicious sweet-tasting wine, Iowa also boasts scenic views that include charming bluffs, rolling hills, and sunsets.

If you’re thinking of checking out Iowa’s wine scene, here are the best wineries in Iowa you need to visit.

What Wine Is Iowa Known For?

Iowa has a cold and wet climate, with harsh winters and hot summers, so it can be difficult to grow grapes, especially those commonly found in California like Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

The very cold winters in Iowa kill off most grape varietals, while the extremely warm summers can increase the risk of fungal vine diseases.

However, Iowa does have extremely rich soils, which is perfect for cultivating crops. Due to the area’s challenging climate for viticulture, the grapes grown in Iowa need to be hardy and able to withstand cold and hot temperatures.

French hybrid and American varieties are most commonly grown in Iowa, with a few plantings of Vitis vinifera grapes. As such, the most popular wines produced in Iowa are Briana, LaCrescent, Frontenac Gris, Marquette, La Crosse, and Vignoles.

Much of the wine found in Iowa is sweet-tasting as most of the aforementioned grapes result in wines that are sweeter than normal.

Best Wineries in Iowa

Now that you know what wines are commonly produced in Iowa, let’s get stuck into the best wineries in the region.

Best Wineries in Iowa Map:

1. Cedar Ridge Winery and Distillery: Elegant Tasting Room

Cedar Ridge Winery and Distillery 1

  • Address: 1441 Marak Road, Swisher, IA
  • Contact Number: (319)-857-4300
  • Website: https://crwine.com/
  • Operating Hours: 11am-9pm Monday to Friday, 11am-5pm Saturday, 9am-5pm Sunday.

Situated in Corn Belt in Swisher, Iowa, is the charming Cedar Ridge Winery and Distillery, specializing in handcrafted wines and spirits. The winery’s land is filled with fertile soil, which provides the estate-grown grapes with all the nutrients they need to be made into exquisite wine.

Cedar Ridge Winery and Distillery 3

There are plenty of seating areas at Cedar Ridge Winery and Distillery, including an elegant tasting room, vineyard room, outside patios, large event room, and lawn.

Cedar Ridge Winery and Distillery 2
Image Source: @cedarridgeiowa

Complimentary wine and spirit tastings are available, and there is a wide assortment of wines to sample, including a variety of house wines, estate wines, and premier wines.

Alongside wine tastings, the winery also offers delicious homemade wood-fired pizzas, cheese and meat boards, and other tasty dishes. Live music takes place at Cedar Ridge Winery and Distillery on a regular basis, creating a lively and welcoming atmosphere for wining and dining.

You can also hire out the estate for private events, so if you’re looking for a stunning and spacious venue for small or large groups, you can’t go wrong with Cedar Ridge Winery & Distillery.

Editor’s Note: Created with fresh-picked Concord grapes blended into apple wine, the winery’s Harvest Blush wine is a deliciously fresh and semi-sweet beverage. Perfect for any season!

2. Stone Cliff Winery: Historic Tasting Room

Stone Cliff Winery 1
Image Source: @stonecliffwinery
  • Address: 600 Star Brewery Dr., Dubuque, IA 52001
  • Contact Number: (563)-583-6100
  • Website: https://www.stonecliffwinery.com/
  • Operating Hours: 11am-7pm Sunday to Thursday, 11am-9pm Friday & Saturday

North of Dubuque in eastern Iowa is the gorgeous Stone Cliff Winery, set against an enchanting backdrop of rolling hills. The winery first started producing wine in 2001 after planting their first vineyard in 1995.

Since then, Stone Cliff Winery has won awards for many of their wines, all of which are produced to the highest quality. The beautiful tasting room is located in the Historic Star Brewery Building with views of a historic train bridge and the magnificent Mississippi River.

Stone Cliff Winery 2
Image Source: @StoneCliffWinery

You’ll be able to sample a variety of the winery’s delicious wines, browse through the gift shop, and even enjoy a spot of lunch if you get down early enough on a weekday. The winery offers homemade Soup of the Day, fresh salads, and a wide range of tasty sandwiches and flatbreads.

If you’d rather sit outside, the winery has an inviting wine garden that boasts views of the historic Shot Tower.

Every Friday and Saturday night, live music takes place inside the tasting room so you can enjoy your wine that little bit more in a lively atmosphere.

Stone Cliff Winery is also available to host weddings, private parties, and corporate events. Their historic atmosphere and beautiful surroundings will make for an unforgettable day.

Editor’s Note: With aromas of citrus, pear, and apricot, the winery’s Moscato will have you dreaming of summer all year long.

3. Wide River Winery: Intriguing Wine Tours

Wide River Winery 1
Image Source: @wideriverwinery
  • Address: 1776 E Deer Creek Rd, IA 52732
  • Contact Number: (563)-519-9463
  • Website: https://wideriverwinery.com/
  • Operating Hours: 11am-6pm daily (March-December)

Wide River Winery has a few locations in Iowa, including Clinton, LeClaire, and the Village of East Davenport. Each area offers a phenomenal experience for wine lovers.

The tasting room in Clinton, Iowa, features jaw-dropping views of the Mississippi River, so you can sip on sumptuous wine and enjoy a slice of nature.

Wide River Winery 2
Image Source: @wideriverwinery

They offer wine by the glass of water, as well as food, wine slushies, and even tours. You can bring your glass of wine as you wander the marvelous vineyards and bluff trail, all the while learning how the winery makes their remarkable wines.

The small bites menu has a variety of tasty items such as a garden salad with tortilla chips, creamy jalapeno dip with tortilla chips, and a sausage tray with cheese melts.

In addition to mouthwatering food and wines, live entertainment takes place at the winery regularly. If you need a gorgeous venue for a private event, the winery’s terrace deck is suitable for up to 60 guests.

The River Lodge next to the winery in Clinton can also be hired for overnight stays or weekend getaways. If you’re thinking of staying in Iowa for a day or two, and more importantly, want to fit in as much wine tasting as possible in all of their locations, Wide River Winery is the place to go.

Editor’s Note: If you’re interested in learning more about the winery’s history and wine production, request a tour of their 10-acre vineyard, offered from April to October.

4. Tycoga Vineyard and Winery: Sumptuous Homemade Pizzas

Tycoga Vineyard and Winery 1
Image Source: @tycogawinery
  • Address: 2585 195th Street, DeWitt, IA 52742
  • Contact Number: (563)-659-1443
  • Website: https://tycoga.com/
  • Operating Hours: 11am-7pm Wednesday & Thursday, 11am-8pm Friday & Saturday, 11am-6pm Sunday.

Next up is Tycoga Vineyard and Winery, a family-run estate that produces over 20 different wines from dry to sweet. Each year, they have won awards for many of their wines at the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition.

Tycoga Vineyard and Winery 2
Image Source: @tycogawinery

The warm and rustic tasting room offers a welcoming and friendly atmosphere, while the picturesque outside patio boasts a charming stream and wooden bridge.

Tycoga Vineyard and Winery 3
Image Source: @tycogawinery

While Tycoga Vineyard and Wineries delectable wines are a central highlight, they also serve scrumptious handmade wood-fired pizzas, which go perfectly with all of their beverages.

The winery’s barrel room, outside patio, and event room can also be hired out for private events, so if you need a stellar venue for your occasion, Tycoga Vineyard and Winery has you covered.

Editor’s Choice The winery’s rhubarb wine won awards in both 2015 and 2016, and for good reason. It’s a wonderful combination of sweet and tart, which pairs great with spicy foods like their buffalo chicken pizza.

5. Jasper Winery: Stylish Tasting Room

Jasper Winery 1
Image Source: @jasperwinery
  • Address: 2400 George Flagg Pkwy, Des Moines, IA 50321
  • Contact Number: (515)-282-9463
  • Website: https://www.jasperwinery.com/
  • Operating Hours: 10am-6pm Monday to Saturday, 1pm-5pm Sunday
Jasper Winery 3
Image Source: @jasperwinery

Another marvelous place to visit for casual and experienced wine drinkers is Jasper Winery, situated near downtown Des Moines in Iowa. The stylish and modern tasting room offers wine by the flight, sample, and glass.

Tastings are complimentary for up to 5 wines, but you can also book reserved wine tastings from $18. They also serve beer, sangria, cider, soda, and cheese boards.

Jasper Winery has a wine club priced at $25 per month, which includes a shipment of wines every quarter, exclusive member pickup parties events, and discounts on wine both online and in their tasting room.

Jasper Winery 2
Image Source: @jasperwinery

Alongside a bar, there is a cafe area and spacious outdoor patio with views into the barrel room and production area to give you a closer look into the winery’s operations. During the summer months, the winery holds a summer concert series every Thursday.

It’s open to the public and includes live music bands, as well as a variety of food trucks offering tasty foods like pizza and burgers. It’s a fantastic day out for friends and families.

Suitable for up to 150 guests, the winery’s large and sophisticated event room can be rented out for weddings and private parties. Additionally, they have a large outdoor party tent that can be hired from May through October to extend the size of your event.

Editor’s Note: Why not try the winery’s 100% Iowa-grown Chancellor wine, a medium-bodied dry red with strong aromas of cedar and plum?

6. Eagles Landing Winery: Breathtaking Views

Eagles Landing Winery 1

  • Address: 127 North Street, Marquette, IA 52158
  • Contact Number: (563)-873-1905
  • Website: http://www.eagleslandingwinery.com/
  • Operating Hours: 10am-5pm daily (closed Mondays and Tuesday from January to February)

Situated in Northwest Iowa in downtown Marquette is the elegant Eagles Landing Winery, featuring jaw-dropping scenery of the Mississippi River.

The family-run estate crafts an assortment of wines, many of which have won awards, and is committed to making high-quality wine with unique flavors.

Eagles Landing Winery 2

The winery currently produces 36 wines, from dry to sweet dessert wines. Free wine tasting is offered every day during operating hours in their cozy tasting room and gift shop.

The peaceful atmosphere transforms to lively and exciting during live music events, which occur regularly. Occasionally they offer other events, so be sure to check back frequently to see what they have planned on your visit,

Editor’s Note: If you fancy a crisp and clean wine, try the winery’s award-winning Marquette Rosé. It has notes of cherry and strawberry, and pairs great with grilled chicken or fish.

7. Park Farm Winery: Great Outdoor Area

Park Farm Winery 1
Image Source: @parkfarmwinery
  • Address: 15159 Thielen Road, Durango, IA 520039
  • Contact Number: (563)-557-3727
  • Website: https://www.parkfarmwinery.com/
  • Operating Hours: 11am-7pm Monday to Thursday, 11am-8pm Thursday to Saturday, 11am-5pm Sunday

Nestled atop the rolling hills in Iowa’s Driftless Region is the stunning Park Farm Winery. Whether you’re looking to try some high-quality wines or simply a place to relax and soak in scenic views, you won’t be disappointed with Park Farm Winery.

Park Farm Winery 2
Image Source: @parkfarmwinery

The tasting room and kitchen boast ample seating, a fireplace, delicious wood-fired pizza, and wine flights. Wine tasting flights cost $6 and include 3 (2 oz) samples. Live music also occurs in the summer, featuring talented local bands and musicians.

Park Farm Winery 3
Image Source: @parkfarmwinery

As lovely as the tasting room is, the outside area is the standout feature of the winery. It has striking views as well as a second and third-level tower, allowing you to sit up high with a glass of wine and marvel at the surrounding scenery.

Editor’s Note: Made from LaCrescent grapes, the winery’s Daisy Girl has fragrant aromas of tropical fruit, pear, and pineapple, giving it an intensely sweet flavor. It’s a must-try on your visit!

8. Snus Hill Winery: Perfect Venue for Private Events

Snus Hill Winery 1
Image Source: @snushillwinery
  • Address: 2183 320th Street, Madrid, IA 50156
  • Contact Number: (515)-795-3535
  • Website: http://snushillwine.com/
  • Operating Hours: 12pm-6pm Friday to Sunday

Snus Hill Winery is an award-winning and family-run business that crafts both American and French-American wines to the highest quality. Surrounded by quiet and relaxing countryside, the winery is the perfect place for sipping wines and private events.

Snus Hill Winery 2
Image Source: @snushillwinery

There’s even a large banquet room with a dance floor that’s perfect for weddings and parties.

The winery produces a wide range of wines, including reds, whites, roses, and dessert wines. The Frontenac is particularly fantastic, featuring aromas of blackberry, blackcurrant, and cherry. It’s aged in American oak barrels for 12 months, which also gives it strong hints of oak and vanilla.

While you sip on top-notch wine at Snus Hill Winery, you can soak in the peaceful ambiance of the idyllic scenery. Live music also occurs frequently from local bands of all music genres, so there’s something for everyone.

Editor’s Note: The winery’s off-dry white wine Boule de Poils has earned the most awards for its excellence, so it’s definitely one to consider on your visit. It has aromas of grapefruit and a background of pineapple, lemon, and lime.

9. Fireside Winery: Fun-filled Events and Activities

Fireside Winery 1
Image Source: @firesidewinery
  • Address: 1755 P Ave, Marengo, IA 42301
  • Contact Number: (319)-662-4222
  • Website: https://www.firesidewinery.com/
  • Operating Hours: 10am-5pm Monday to Thursday, 10am-8pm Friday, 1am-6pm Thursday, 12pm-5pm Sunday.

Featuring delicious wine, a tranquil atmosphere, and plenty of events, Fireside Winery is a great place to gather with friends and family. You can enjoy a flight, glass, or bottle of wine inside the tasting room or the outside patio, complete with scenic views of the estate’s grounds.

Fireside Winery 2
Image Source: @firesidewinery

A flight of wine costs $10 and contains 5 samples of wines of your choosing. Private group tastings can be arranged too, priced at $15 per person. It includes 5 tastes, a guided taste by one of the winery’s knowledgeable staff, and a selection of cheese and crackers.

In addition, tours of their production facility are available, so if you’re interested in learning more about how Fireside Winery makes their wines, be sure to give them a call.

Fireside Winery hosts a huge array of events, including live music, harvest celebrations, and farmers’ markets. There’s always something exciting going on at the winery, so make sure you check what they have in store when you visit.

Fireside Winery 3
Image Source: @firesidewinery

The cellar room, as well as the outside patio, garden deck, arbor, and pavilion can be rented out for private events. The pavilion can hold up to 150 guests, so it’s ideal for big gatherings like wedding ceremonies.

If you want to enjoy some wine at home, why not sign up for Fireside Winery’s wine club? It’s completely free and includes a 10% discount on wine purchases (15% on case purchases), quarterly exclusive pick-up parties, and first access to event tickets like their Dueling Piano events.

Editor’s Note: If you enjoy a bit of fizz in your wine, you can’t go wrong with the winery’s sparkling Brianna 2016. It’s dry and light with a palate packed with apple and almond.

10. Summerset Winery: Various WIne Tasting and Tour Options

Summerset Winery 1
Image Source: @summersetwinery
  • Address: 15101 Fairfax Street, Indianola, IA 50125
  • Contact Number: (515)-961-3545
  • Website: https://summersetwine.com/
  • Operating Hours: 10am-5pm Wednesday to Saturday, 12pm-5pm Sunday

Last but not least on our 10 best wineries in Iowa list is the stunning Summerset Winery. It has gorgeous views, mouthwatering wine, a luxurious inn, a majestic tasting room, and an outside deck overlooking the vineyard.

Summerset Winery 2
Image Source: @summersetwinery

Wine samples are offered at the bar, but you can also purchase wine by the flight, glass, and bottle. Local beers, soft drinks, and a range of snacks like Milton Creamery cheeses and Amana sausage are also available.

Summerset Winery 3
Image Source: @summersetwinery

The winery has an assortment of board games and yard games, including a full-scale bocce ball court that can be enjoyed with friends and family. You can also listen to live music every Sunday or sign up for one of their many other regular events like yoga and fitness classes.

There are a few tastings and tours to choose from, such as the formal wine tasting and tour which includes a tasting of 6 wines, a cheese platter, and a cellar tour guided by one of the winery’s knowledgeable staff.

With large banquet rooms, surrounding decks, and beautiful outdoor grounds, the winery is an enchanting place for a wedding and other special occasions. They offer an extensive wedding ceremony and reception package that has everything you need for an unforgettable wedding.

If you can’t get down to Summerset Winery in person, consider joining one of their exclusive wine clubs, all of which come with various perks and benefits.

The Loyalty Club, for instance, is $50 (plus shipping and handling) and includes 3 bottles of wine every month, seasonal food and wine pairing suggestions, $5 off $25 coupon for the tasting room, exclusive wine club member events, and 50% off shipping and handling.

Editor’s Note: Why not try the winery’s Caba Moch? It won the 2015 Silver Medal and is currently their number one best-seller. It’s a sweet and fruity wine made from Marechal Foch and Catawba grapes.

Final Thoughts

Although relatively new to the wine scene, Iowa is an excellent place to visit whether you’re a casual or experienced wine drinker. It’s known for its amazing sweet wines, so what better way to taste them than in person at one of the wonderful wineries above.

Alternatively, if you’d rather enjoy wine in the comfort of your own home, renowned online wine clubs like Firstleaf, Bright Cellars, and Winc are all great alternative options to taste a variety of delicious wines without traveling.

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