History

Iowa Native Wine Production & Sales Reports

Iowa History - This chart shows the approximate number of acres, vineyards and wineries in the state of Iowa from 1999 to August 2006.

Rich Pirog's "Grape Expectations" - The following paper, “Grape Expectations: A food system perspective on redeveloping the Iowa grape industry,” was researched and written to bridge some information gaps on the grape industry for interested Iowa producers, entrepreneurs, educators, researchers, and policy makers. The paper reviews the historical and present-day production of Iowa grapes; examines sources of table grapes, wines, grape juices, and raisins for sale in Iowa food stores; and provides some suggestions for redevelopment of Iowa’s grape industry.

1860 U.S. Census of Agriculture - In the first settlements on this continent, the grape-vines found indigenous, were esteemed among the most valuable productions. In “Force’s Collection of Historical Tracts” – 1620 to 1760 – frequent allusion is made by the writers to our native grapes and to the wine made from them. 

History of Wine in America - From the Beginnings to Prohibition - The history of the vine in America begins, symbolically at least, in the fogs that shroud the medieval Norsemen's explorations. Every American knows the story of Leif Ericsson, and how, in A.D. 1001, he sailed from Greenland to the unknown country to the west.

The Origins & Ancient History of Wine- Fermented beverages have been preferred over water throughout the ages: they are safer, provide psychotropic effects, and are more nutritious. Some have even said alcohol was the primary agent for the development of Western civilization, since more healthy individuals (even if inebriated much of the time) lived longer and had greater reproductive success. 

Foundations of American Grape Culture - For so great a nation as ours, both in expanse of territory and demand for every variety of vineyard product, the foundation of grape culture should be laid most intelligently broad and deep. It is quickly apparent to any practical vineyardist, that the chief material structure of American Viticulture must necessarily be, The Native Grapes of America. Without these we cannot secure adaptability, endurance and resistance to disease.  

Grape Production & Distribution in Western Iowa - Part I - Commercial grape growing is unusually successful in the vicinity of Council Bluffs, not merely because this district is naturally adapted to this industry, but also largely because of the influence of the excellent cooperative marketing organization known as the Council Bluffs Grape Growers' Association. Part II 

The History of Grape Growing in the Eastern U.S., Fred Elmer Gladwin, 1931, 39pp.

History of the American Wine Industry - Summary of the history of grape gorwing and wine making in the United States from early myths to post prohibition. Texas Wine Marketing Research Institute, Texas Tech Univ. 6/2007.

Iowa Wine & Beer Promotion Board video from late 1980’s or early 1990’s,

Des Moines Register historical photo of the wine tanks coming into the Council Bluffs Grape Cooperative

A Century of American Viticulture by Paul Read and Sanjun Gu, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 9 pp. Horticultural Science, Vol. 38(5), August 2003

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