Just because Iowa has a cooler, shorter grape-growing season doesn’t mean the state’s 300-plus vineyards don’t make the most of it. Here are five family-owned wineries in northeastern Iowa that make sipping a fun, friendly affair.
Located in: Waukon
Found in a reclaimed 100-year-old family barn in Waukon, the patio and gazebo at Empty Nest Winery is local favorite for sipping the day away. The family-owned and –operated winery was founded in 2011 with eight wines to its name. Now, in its relaxed, casual tasting room, guests are invited to indulge in their choice of 50 different options of wine, sangria, craft beer or cider—alongside free popcorn—each weekend.
Located in: Guttenberg
A family-run operation in Guttenberg, PromiseLand Winery offers a spacious tasting room for savoring its award-winning vino (grab a spot by the cozy fireplace for date night). Guests are even welcome to wander up the hill for a first-hand look at the gorgeous vineyard.
Located in: Decorah
Winneshiek Wildberry Winery is a family-owned and -operated winery specializing in award-winning fruit and Midwestern grape table wine. The focus of the winery is on making the sipping experience fun and unpretentious on the rolling hills of a 150-year-old family farm. PS: You must check out the view from the patio.
Located in: Fayette
Talk about social distancing: Heaven Boutique Winery encourages guests to bring their own seat or picnic blanket and find a spot to sip on its 15 beautiful acres. (There is also a small patio.) The winery showcases the best the area has to offer; it provides the opportunity to sample your choice of 100-plus different native wines, handpicked from more than 30 wineries all over Iowa.
Located in: Marquette
Eagles Landing Winery is a small family-owned business located in Downtown Marquette, and its wine can be found at more than 150 locations throughout Iowa and Wisconsin. Free tastings are offered daily in the tasting room and gift shop. Currently, Eagles Landing is producing nearly 40 unique wines, including seasonal wines which are produced in smaller batches.