The Rising Star interns have had a great time so far working throughout their regions. Region 1 had our first farm tour of the summer. We visited Little Swan Lake Winery out in Estherville, Iowa. Little Swan Lake is more than just a winery. It also serves as a bed and breakfast and hosts music events with homemade food. The building that holds it all consists of a barn and grain elevator. We started in the basement where the wine was made and aged. It was amazing to see the ins and outs of making wine. From a dry red dinner wine to a sweet peach dessert wine, Little Swan Lake Winery has a wine for everyone. On the main floor is the tasting room, gift shop, and event venue. The events are hosted multiple times a month and typically include a musical guest and homemade food. Scott Benjamin, who owns the winery, said sometimes its a dinner, sometimes its a concert, and sometimes its a party! There is something for everyone. We went to the upper floors to see the recently added Bed and Breakfast. One suite is in the second floor of the barn and the others are in the upper levels of the grain elevator. One bathroom has a wooden clawfoot bathtub! We were given a tour up to the top deck that outlooked the entire property. Little Swan Lake also has a herd of bison as well as a couple resident bald eagles on the lake! Overall, being able to see how they function as a business and learn about the processes from managing a herd of bison to making wine was such a great experience! If you want to learn more about Little Swan Lake Winery, their website is linked below!
Little Swan Lake Winery