Good wine starts at the vine.

More than 40 different types of grapes are grown in Iowa that are specifically able to withstand our cold winters. Below are some of the more popular types of grapes grown here.


If you like Moscato, then you’d love:


Sounds Like: (Bree-ah-na)
Looks Like: Medium-sized clusters of greenish gold to gold berries.
Smells Like: Pineapple, citrus and floral nose.
Tastes Like: Apricot, peach, pineapple, and honey flavors.
Used As: Produces nicely balanced, semi-sweet, white wine.
Cold Hardiness: Hardy to around -25°F.


If you like Riesling, then you’d love:

La Crescent

Sounds Like: (La CreS-sent)
Looks Like: Yellow-amber, fairly small berries. Produces a pale yellow wine.
Smells Like: Intense apricot, peach and citrus.
Tastes Like: Off-dry and sweet white wines with fruity apricot, peach, and citrusy notes.
Used As: Produces Germanic-type wine ranging from off-dry to sweet.
Cold Hardiness: Extreme cold hardiness (as low as -36°F).

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If you like sangria, then you’d love:

Frontenac Gris

Sounds Like: (Frawn-ten-ak Gree)
Looks Like: Grey, small to medium-sized berry.
Smells Like: Aromas of pineapple, apricot, peach, and citrus.
Tastes Like: Peach, pineapple and tropical fruit flavors, with hints of honey.
Used As: Produces a variety of styles from lively, refreshing table wine to sweet dessert and ice wines.
Cold Hardiness: Very hardy to at least -35° F.


If you like Chardonnay, then you’d love:

La Crosse

Sounds Like: (La Cross)
Looks Like: Medium yellow-green, spherical.
Smells Like: Pear, apricot and citrus.
Tastes Like: Citrus and stone fruit flavors with moderate acidity.
Used As: Produces good quality, clean, white wines, often dry or semi-dry.
Cold Hardiness: Hardy to -25°F.


If you like Gewürztraminer, then you’d love:


Sounds Like: (Adel-vise)
Looks Like: White, round, medium sized berry.
Smells Like: Candied-fruit aroma reminiscent of fresh strawberries or Jolly Ranchers candy.
Tastes Like: Fruity flavors like citrus, peach and green apple. Some also refer to it as “foxy”.
Used As: Produces sweet, aromatic, white wines.
Cold Hardiness: Cold hardy to -30°F.


If you like Moscato, then you’d love:


Sounds Like: (Veen-yole)
Looks Like: Small, light green berries with a pinkish hue in compact clusters.
Smells Like: Luscious floral, pineapple, apricot, fresh cut tropical fruit.
Tastes Like: An assortment of citrus, floral and tropical flavors.
Used As: Produces wines ranging from dry to the sweetest, late-harvest dessert wines.
Cold Hardiness: Moderately hardy to -10 to -15°F.
Pairs well with: fresh fruit and spicy dishes


If you like pink champagne, then you’d love:


Sounds Like: (Kuh-taw-buh)
Looks Like: Though technically a “red” grape, Catawba has reddish pink berries producing pale pink juice typically used in roses or blends.
Smells like: Very fragrant, like that of sweet strawberries. Sometimes described as “foxy”.
Tastes like: Medium bodied, sweet yet floral and woodsy, tastes like strawberries.
Used As: Versatile grape that can be used in producing sweet white, red, rosé and dessert wines as well as sparkling and ice style wines.
Cold Hardiness: Hardy (-15° to -20° F)


If you like Zinfandel, then you’d love:


Sounds Like: (Mar-ket)
Looks Like: Black color, small to medium sized berry.
Smells Like: Think your wealthy grandfather’s off-limits “man room” with scents of rich leather and cigars.
Tastes Like: Cherry and black currant flavors and aromas, notes of blackberries, pepper, plum, tobacco, leather, and spice.
Used As: Produces medium-bodied semi-dry red wines.
Cold Hardiness: Very hardy (-20° F to -30° F)


If you like Pinot Noir, then you’d love:

Marechal Foch

Sounds Like: (Mah-reh-shal Fosh)
Looks Like: Black, round berries producing deep purple-colored wine.
Smells Like: Earthy and dark berries.
Tastes Like: Light to medium structure with earthy, herbaceous and jammy dark berry fruit with a slight smokiness flavor.
Used As: Produces excellent red wines ranging from fruity and light to full-bodied and oaked.
Cold Hardiness: Hardy to -25° F.


If you like Syrah/Shiraz, then you’d love:

St. Croix

Sounds Like: (Saint Croy)
Looks Like: Blue in color, medium sized berry.
Smells Like: Dried fruit.
Tastes Like: Medium to full bodied dry red wine with low tannins, currant and other dried fruit flavor aspects. Production often employs oak barrel ageing to add even more complexity to the wine’s bouquet and flavors.
Used As: Produces medium to full-bodied, dry, deep red wines.
Cold Hardiness: Very hardy (below -20° F)


If you like Merlot, then you’d love:


Sounds Like: (Frawn-ten-ak)
Looks Like: Bluish-black color, small to medium sized berry.
Smells Like: Distinctive cherry aromas.
Tastes Like: Cherry, blackberry, current and plum flavors.
Used As: Produces rosé, red or port style wines that are often deeply colored.
Cold Hardiness: Very hardy (below -20° F)

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If you like Petite Syrah, then you’d love:

Petite Pearl

Sounds Like: (Put-eet Purl)
Looks Like: Small compact clusters producing garnet red wine.
Smells Like: Slightly floral with jammy fruit and hints of earth and spice.
Tastes Like: Red fruit with spice and earthy notes and a nice mouthfeel.
Used As: Produces excellent red wine with low acid and soft tannins, in addition to making a great rosé.
Cold Hardiness: Very hardy (below -20° F)
Pairs well with: Meats, such as grilled steak or wild game, or with hard cheeses.