With nearly 100 wineries in Iowa, it's hard to know where to start your tasting adventure. Here are wineries to try in every corner of the state - and you can keep exploring with Travel Iowa's Wine, Beer and Distillery Passports.
1. Calico Skies Winery
Located near Inwood in far Northwest Iowa, Calico Skies Winery provides views of a state wildlife refuge while you enjoy a free wine tasting in their beautiful, light-filled winery. The winery regularly hosts pairing dinners and special events, as well as live music every Sunday afternoon.
2. Empty Nest Winery
Specializing in fruit wines, Empty Nest Winery near Waukon in Northeast Iowa, is a great place to check out often - they debut new wines seasonally. Try their Party Starter Strawberry wine in the spring and come back for Apple Road wine in the fall. In addition to special releases, wines like Blueberry Blast Off and Red Silk are always on the menu.
3. Jasper Winery
Located just minutes from downtown Des Moines, you'll feel like you stepped into a chic urban retreat at Jasper Winery. Visit the tasting room bar for sips of Jasper's wines, ranging from sweet whites to dry reds. Then get a bottle of your favorite and relax in the large cafe area or outdoor patio.
4. Wide River Winery
The second location of this popular winery is located in the middle of historic Le Claire, making it a perfect stop on a weekend shopping getaway. After browsing the antique, craft and gift stores along Main Street, grab a glass (or bottle) and a table in the courtyard. If you really don't want to leave, the one bedroom apartment above the winery is available for rent.
5. Santa Maria Winery
Santa Maria Winery is a little bit of Italy in the heart of Carroll in western Iowa. The historic building used to house an auto repair shop - and has been renovated into an Italian-style winery, tasting room and event center. The winery has been named one of the "Best Romantic Experiences" in western Iowa.
6. Train Wreck Winery
Iowa's railroad history plays a big role at Algona's Train Wreck Winery - the vineyard is located adjacent to the site of a famous Minneapolis-St. Louis line train wreck and the tasting room is housed in a restored Chicago Northwestern Railroad Depot, built in 1917. Take in the history of the location while enjoying a glass of Orphan Train blush wine or Caboose white wine.
7. Penoach Winery
Located in a renovated 1917 barn near Adel in central Iowa, Penoach Winery is about as close to the vine as you can get. The working winery's cozy tasting room overlooks the vineyard where grapes are picked and the owners are committed to helping you learn about the wine varietals they create (there are 14 to choose from).
8. Soldier Creek Winery
This family-owned winery in Fort Dodge opened in 2014 and offers nine Iowa-grown wines for tasting. The modern tasting room at Soldier Creek Winery offers classic wine styles including La Crescent, Brianna and Marquette. The winery also regularly hosts live music and craft nights.
9. Wooden Wheel Winery
Located on a fifth-generation family farm, this Keota winery takes its history seriously. The centerpiece of the tasting room and event center at Wooden Wheel Winery is the renovated 1860s barn. In another nod to history, all of the wines are named for family members. Try the Isabella, a sweet white wine named for the owner's great-great-grandmother who originally settled the farm.