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A Taste of the Grape

By Staff | Aug 13, 2015

The Iowa State Fair opens today and already winners have been announced. We received a news release last week announcing the winners in the Iowa State Fair Commercial Wine Competition.

A couple of area wineries were on the list — Train Wreck Winery from Algona, 99 Bottles Winery from Garner and Soldier Creek Winery from Fort Dodge.

While I do not consider myself a real wine connoisseur, I have tasted a few wines from Train Wreck Winery. They received Gold Award for Orphan Train wine; Silver Award for Cow Catcher wine, Whistle Stop wine and Kate wine; and, Bronze Award for Brianna wine. Those names may be familiar to those who taste the grape.

A Gold award means the wine is one you would be “proud to take to a dinner or party.” A Silver award is a wine that you would be “proud to serve to friends in your home.” A Bronze award signifies a wine that a person “will enjoy drinking at home.”

During our years of traveling the state with Iowa Press Women, we stopped at a few Iowa wineries. The names of Iowa wineries and Iowa-made wines are quite creative. The wine name might tie in with the location of the winery, or signify a person or an event.

Eagles Landing Winery is in Marquette. The name fits the area. They took home Double Gold awards and three of four Best of Show awards. Covered Bridges Winery is in Winterset. Again, the name fits the area. They, too, won a Double Gold award and the fourth Best in Show award for Rattlesnake Red in the Red Wine category.

All four of the Best of Show award-winning wines will be available at Grandfather’s Barn each day of the Iowa State Fair.

For some reason the name of the red wine from an Iowa winery that sticks in my head is Barn Dance Red. If memory serves, that is from a central-Iowa winery.

Here are some interesting wine names that won at the Iowa State Fair: Francesca’s Folly; Mi Amor; Summer Crush; Lit’l Sippi; Star Spangled White; Blue Bell; Just Because; Hogback Bridge; Berry Patch Hoedown; Campfire Hootch; Old Brick Red; Whisker White; Farmers Daughter; Summer Sabbatical; Dusty Road White; Master’s Cuvee; and, Four Point Oh!

A trip to Little Swan Lake Winery at Superior and to Train Wreck Winery in Algona should be on your summer to-do list. Both are good for an afternoon drive. It’s fun, it’s interesting, and, you might bring home a bottle of the grape.