It’s been a very busy summer and the frequency of my postings has stagnated, much like the hot and humid weather we’ve experienced in Iowa, for the past few months. The passing of a cold front today is giving us the opportunity to open windows to air out the house and feel a hint, a promise, of the upcoming season change.
Yesterday, almost a month earlier than previous years, the harvest season began in earnest with a full day of crushing and pressing Brianna, a cold-climate white grape. The Fireside Winery owners decided to upgrade their crush pad equipment with new separate destemming machine, a vibrating sorting table, and a crusher (really doesn’t crush but actually just splits the berry to release the juice) and a wonderful new positive displacement pump (gently moves the must).
|Fireside Winery Family Sorting Brianna Grapes|
High quality equipment combined with sourcing the best possible grapes and keen attention to detail, via sorting out the stems and bad berries will yield an even better wine product. We ended up processing about 1,000 gallons of Brianna! If you haven’t had Brianna yet – seek it out!
|Maiden Rock, Owner & Winemaker|
We took a long weekend to see a Jack Johnson concert near Minneapolis a month ago and visited wineries along the way in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Crossing back and forth across the Mississippi a group of four of us enjoyed good and sometimes excellent wines.
With map in hand we began in Marquette, Iowa visiting the Eagles Landing Winery downtown and were treated to excellent service and amazingly well-crafted wines. This winery is establishing a strong reputation of creating award winning wines! One of our very favorite stops and one that we were sort of reluctant to visit were Maiden Rock Winery and Cidery near Stockholm, Wisconsin.
Amazing apple wine and hard ciders and warm and thoughtful owners made the experience exemplary! If you have a chance to make the trip – don’t hesitate and buy more of the hard cider than you think you’ll want – we ran out too soon.
My wife and I launched an online, daily news magazine for the wine industry this summer, called Winedustry – wine news for the “other” grapes. During the past couple of years I have grown increasingly frustrated by the lack of attention given to the non-traditional (non-California) wine industry. Most wine industry journals focus almost entirely upon this market.
After months of preparation, on August 2nd we launched Winedustry! Building awareness among the professional wine industry community is taking a lot of my time but is incredibly rewarding. We’ve been fortunate to find State Field Editors for several states and as of today we have Editors for these states: Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, Illinois, Ohio, Maryland, and Virginia. Our State Field Editors are responsible for reporting the news about their states wine industry.
In the upcoming months I am sure I’ll get back to posting stories about the harvest, new wines, and my experiences judging wine competitions, and visits to wineries across the country.
Thanks for reading and supporting Two Wine Brothers. And I hope you take a moment to check out Winedustry - www.winedustry.com