#179 - August 26, 2011

Iowa State Fair “Wine Experience” – Successful again for 3rd year in a row!

Well it is over! Eleven days (August 11 – 21) of helping Barb Rasko (MakeMineWine magazine) and all our many volunteers run the “Wine Experience” at Grandfather’s Barn during the Iowa State Fair. It was a very, very busy 11 days. The Iowa State Fair released this year's attendance figures Monday morning. All together,1,080,959 people attended the 2011 Iowa State Fair, a 10% increase over last year. This is the second best all time attendance to 2008, when 1,109,150 people came to the fair. The State Fair is Iowa's largest event, annually attracting visitors from all over the Midwest, as well as the rest of the U.S. and many foreign countries.

Based on barn counts during the last 2 years we estimated that over 75,000 people visited the “Wine Experience” at Grandfather’s barn in 2009 and 2010. We attempted but ended up being too busy to do formal barn counts this year. I think I can safely say that our attendance would have easily exceeded 80,000 visitors this year. We ended up doing 143 rounds of grape stomps compared to 102 rounds last year. We gave out just over 4,750 Iowa Wine and Beer brochures showing where all the wineries and breweries are in Iowa. The kid’s area was expanded this year and a large water color mural was added to the kid,s attraction. We also had several new displays to show our visitors.

Once again the Commercial wines and Amateur wines and beers and their competition results were displayed at the Wine Experience. Results of these contests can be found here-

  1. Commercial wine results:
  2. Amateur wine results:
  3. Amateur beer results:

You can read and see what others think about this year’s “Wine Experience” here-

  1. Iowa Grape Stomp video, 8-19-11- IPTV
  2. Fair shows off Iowa wines, 8-20-11 – Omaha World Herald


I have posted 97 pictures of this year’s “Wine Experience” on my facebook page here:


“Wine Experience”, it was the volunteers that made it happen!

The “Wine Experience” at the Iowa State Fair would not have happened if it were not for the 76 volunteers who filled in the 110 working shifts that we had scheduled. On average, we needed seven people per shift. Our 2011 list of VERY appreciated volunteers is shown below:

Ed Ackerman – Mitchellville, IA
Luanne Alamao – Alemao & Associates, Cedar Falls, IA
Kary Austin – Grimes, IA
Linda & Tab Bartling – Indianola, IA
Mark & Kathy Behrens – Carroll, IA
& son Kyle
Suzie Berregaard – Grimes, IA
Amy & Ken Birlingmair - Smithville, MO
& daughter Mckenzie
Cassie Bott – Fireside Winery, Marengo, IA
Katie Bradshaw – Jasper Winery, Des Moines, IA
Kolin Brighton – Cedar Ridge Winery, Swisher, IA
Joanne & Mike Brown – Forest City, IA
Cindy & Bill Bush – Garden Winery, Gowrie, IA
Ken Choquette & daughter– Des Moines, IA
Kathy & Jim Davis – North Liberty, IA
Marty Davis – Pleasant Hill, IA
Kay & Mel De Vries – Prairie City, IA
Kris & Bob Elgin – Oskaloosa, IA
Loren Faeth – Ames, IA
Brennan Fehr – West Bend, IA
Penny & Jeff Fitzgerald – Newhall, IA
Mary Freitag – Indianola, IA
Cyndy & Roger Gay – Oskaloosa, IA
Jean Groben – Jasper Winery, Des Moines, IA
Greg Gruss – Carlisle, IA
Jennie Hansen – ISU Midwest Grape & Wine Industry Institute
Kayleen Kehoe – Webster City, IA
Deb & Tim Love - Love’s Wildlife Control, Knoxville, IA
Levi Lyle – Keota - Aronia Life , Keota, IA
Tammi Martin – ISU Midwest Grape & Wine Industry Institute
Linda & Don McCabe – Lindon Wines, Burlington, IA
Deb & Dave McDaniel – Indianola, IA
Brenda Moore - Solon, IA
Coyla & Mark Nobling - Scranton, IA
Colleen Murphy – Iowa Wine & Beer, Des Moines, IA
Kelly & Brian Nordschow – Windridge Implements, Decorah, IA
John Nuhn – Grimes, IA
Greg Peiffer – Cline, IA
Kathryn Pierson – Indianola, IA
Amanda Poole - Ankeny, IA
Aaron & Kim Rasko – Indianola, IA
Barb Rasko – MakeMineWine, Indianola, IA
Nathan Rasko – Sunrise Beach, MO
Valerie Sandner – Des Moines, IA
Beb & Ron Shelley – Creston, IA
Graham Smith – Prole, IA
Judy & John Spence - Carlisle, IA
Cori Stanley - Indianola, IA
Rebecca Victor – Victor Rose Vineyard, Indianola, IA
Tom White – Indianola, IA
Bob Whitlock - Indianola, IA
Mike White - ISU Midwest Grape & Wine Industry Institute
Eileen Wuebker – Story City, IA
Julie Wurr – Heart’n Home, Laurens, IA
Rona Wyant – Fireside Winery, Marengo, IA
Judith & Jim Yeager – Keosauqua, IA


VESTA – Missouri State University receives $4.99 mm Grant

The Viticulture Enology Science Technology Alliance (VESTA) centered out of Missouri State University will be receiving $4.99 million from the Federal government’s National Science Foundation grant program to continue training commercial winegrape growers and wine industry staff .

VESTA, began in 2003 with an initial National Science Foundation grant as a three-state partnership among Missouri, Illinois and Iowa. It has since expanded to 11 states. (AR, IA, IL, KS, MI, MN, MO, OH, OK, TX,WI)

The VESTA center offers technical certificates and associate degrees in applied science through the school's Springfield and West Plains campuses as well as online.

You can check them out here: http://www.vesta-usa.org/main/


I-80 Wine Trail – Iowa’s new wine trail

Up until just recently Iowa had only five wine trails. These five wine trails can be found listed on the Iowa Wine & Beer WWW site here: http://www.iowawineandbeer.com/winetrail.aspx?id=-3

The I-80 wine trail is the new kid on the block. It is composed of wineries within 10 miles of
I-80 in Iowa. The following wineries are on this new wine trail (west to east):

Breezy Hills
– Minden, IA
Danish Countryside Winery
– Exira, IA
Dale Valley
– Stuart, IA
Penoach Winery
– Adel, IA
Jasper Winery
– Des Moines, IA
Fireside Winery
– Marengo, IA
Brick Arch Winery
– West Branch, IA

Organizers of the I-80 Wine Trail envision working with other I-80 connected states and adding them to the trail, until ultimately, tourists traveling coast-to-coast can visit I-80 Wine Trail wineries from New York to California.

Check out the I-80 Wine Trail here: http://i80winetrail.com/


IA 2010/11 Fiscal Year Wine Report Completed and Online

Craig Tordsen of the ISU Extension Value Added Agriculture Group has once again completed his state fiscal year report of native Iowa wine sales, inventory, taxes and production for the 2010/11 Iowa fiscal year. Our industry continues to grow with all these parameters trending upward again. Here are some of the highlights of the report:

Iowa Native Wine

June 09

June 10

June 11


292,907 gal.

279,853 gal.

311,534 gal.

Total Sales

195,263 gal.

224,228 gal.

241,464 gal.


356,718 gal.

367,216 gal.

385,608 gal.

IA State Excise Taxes paid

$ 151,681

$ 202,874

$ 246,307

2011 Sales Note: 46% retail, 2% via a distributor and 56% wholesale.

You can find the entire report here: http://www.agmrc.org/media/cms/Iowa_Native_Wine_Production_and_Sal_FB9C605C46993.pdf


International Cold Climate Wine Competition Results

The results of the International Cold Climate Wine Competition (ICCWC) were announced on 8-18-11. 250 wines from 12 states were rated via blind tasting by 21 judges. Breezy Hills Winery, Eagles Landing Winery , and Tassel Ridge Winery were the three wineries from Iowa awarded medals at this event. You can see the entire results here: http://mngrapegrowers.com/competition

The ICCWC is a partnership between the Minnesota Grape Growers Association and the
University of Minnesota, which developed several of the cold-hardy grapes used to make the wines in the competition. It is coordinated by Gordon Rouse, AWS Certified Judge, of the Minnesota Grape Growers Association, Gary Gardner, Professor of Horticultural Science in the University’s College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, and Katie Cook, University of Minnesota Enologist.


ISU – New Stink Bug ID Card Available

A new, pocket-sized identification card for stink bugs in the Midwest will make identification of these insects much handier. Iowa State University Extension has just released the new identification card from authors Laura Jesse, Erin Hodgson, Donald Lewis, Matt O’Neal and Adam Sisson. The card was made possible with funding from a 2011 North Central IPM Center mini-grant.

This reference guide helps distinguish the brown marmorated stink bug from other bugs of the Midwest. Stink bugs are common insects found in lawns, landscapes, horticulture and field crops. This Stink Bug ID card can be purchased for $1 at our ISU Extension Online Store here: https://store.extension.iastate.edu/

Further resources:

1. ISU Extension & Outreach Stink Bug info page:



What happened to the annual Brix/TA/pH reports from ISU Research Vineyards?

Due to budget restraints, the majority of our ISU winegrape research vineyards were taken out from our research farms at Lewis, Nashua, Crawfordsville and Ames. There will be no statewide harvest parameter reports this year. Sorry. mlw


Machine Harvest Field Day – Ogallala, NE

The Machine harvesting Field Day originally scheduled for Saturday, August 27 at Ida's Vitas vineyard near Ogallala has been re-scheduled for Monday, September 19 at the same location. The re-scheduling was necessitated by serious weather-related events and a delayed harvest maturity of the grapes to be harvested.

Registration will begin at 9:30 a. m. followed by demonstration of the machine harvester in the vineyard at approximately 10:15 a. m. Discussion of the pros and cons of the use of a machine harvester will take place over lunch and in early afternoon. Cost of the Field Day is $15 (includes lunch). Directions to the vineyard will soon be posted.

This is an excellent opportunity to observe a grape harvester in action and to evaluate its potential for use in Nebraska vineyards.

Details here: http://agronomy.unl.edu/viticulture/


Notable Quotables

  1. “The wine is good but it dies on the middle palate.”
    From: Tasting Phrases, 8-11-11 – On Wine Blog


Marketing Tidbits

  1. Nielsen reports that table wine sales for the 52 weeks ending July 23 rose by 3.5% in volume and 4.6% in value, to 127.6 million cases and $9.6 billion, respectively. 8-11-11 – Shaken News Daily
  2. What to do with those gold medals, 8-11-11 - Wine Blog:
  3. Wine Marketing 102: for Wineries and Consumers, 8-19-11 – Winematch.com
  4. Wine Marketing Myths Demystified, 8-24-11 – The Buzz Bin:


Articles of Interest

  1. NY: Hotline and wine lab relaunch after 25 years, 8-17-11 -R&D Magazine:
  2. IA: Tax revenue from alcoholic beverage sales hits record, 8-18-11 – Eastern Iowa Government:
  3. Minnesotans are drinking more wine than ever, 8-19-11 - A. V. Club Twin Cities:
  4. Stompers get sticky feet in Gowrie, 8-21-11, Fort Dodge Messenger:
  5. New Minn, Grape is a Winner, 8-19-11 – Star Tribune:
  6. MoDOT unveils new app that calculates blood alcohol level, 8-22-11 – Missourinet:
  7. Finger Lakes Report Winegrape Prices, 8-26-11 – Vines & Wines Magazine:


Videos of Interest

  1. 17% increase (1,000+) more farmers markets in U.S. in 2011, 8-12-11 – The Packer
  2. Heart n Home wine videos by Julie Wurr of Laurens, IA:


Neeto-Keeno WWW Stuff

  1. Free Online group meeting scheduling: http://doodle.com/
  2. Cost of Establishment and Production of Vinifera Grapes in the Finger Lakes Region of New York - 2010, 29 pp. Cornell University Extension:


Calendar of Events

8-(27-28), Central Iowa Wine Tasting Tour. Starts and end in Cedar Rapids, IA. Visit 6 wineries. Contact: Bobbie Van Hoeck, ph: 319-373-4232 or bvanhoeck@tandt.com

9-19, University of Nebraska Mechanical Harvester Field Day, Ida’s Vitas Vineyard, Ogallala, NE. The western NE growers associated with the 5 Trails Winery have taken delivery of a machine harvester and will be discussing and demonstrating its merits at this field day. Details here: http://agronomy.unl.edu/viticulture/

10-(21+22), Small Scale Commercial Winemaking Course, Kimmel Education & Research Center, Nebraska City, NE. Details & Registration: http://www.nercd.com/r/p/119/

11-(16 & 17), 1st North American Wine Tourism Conference – Napa Valley. Details HERE.

4-(17-19)-12, License to Steal at the Lodge at Geneva, Ohio. Details soon here: http://nationalwinemarketing.com


Total Circulation of 1,350+ recipients in AZ, CA, CO, FL, OH, IA, IN, IL, KS, KY, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NV, NY, OK, OR, PA, SD, VA, VT, WA, WA DC, WI, Australia, Canada, Israel, Norway & Turkey

Michael L. White
ISU Extension Viticulture Specialist
909 East 2nd Ave. Suite E, Indianola, IA 50125-2892
ph: 515-961-6237, fax: 6017, cell: 515-681-7286


Iowa State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, sex, marital status, disability, or status as a U.S. veteran. Inquiries can be directed to the Director of Equal Opportunity and Compliance, 3280 Beardshear Hall, (515) 294-7612.

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