I believe the date was December 20, 2008, though my date book offers no hints. I know bad winter weather was predicted, that we decided to make our trip anyway, and that Heidi drove -- which I've been sorry about since. She had a new Forester, which was (is!) lovely, but she's a more conservative weather driver than I, and I know it was a more stressful day driving for her than it would have been for me. At any rate, it did, indeed, snow a good deal of the day as we ventured north to take in the last two wineries on the Heart of Iowa Wine Trail, aiming to claim our prizes!
On this cold and snowy day, we visited Bluestem Winery in Parkersburg and Eagle City Winery in Iowa Falls.
Bluestem was remarkable mostly because it is in Parkersburg, made famous in summer that year by the tornado that almost completely decimated the entire community. We heard a few interesting tales from the winery proprietor and saw some interesting sites around town, mostly loads of brand new houses and a notable lack of trees. The winery itself was unremarkable, as were the wines. It was tiny, largely a retail gift and antique shop, with one small room dedicated to the wines. Here are the only two pics I took.
Eagle City was a bit more interesting. Partly because they had a donkey. Sweet. And mostly because the lady seemed a bit more interested in her wines than in her gifts. It's always nice when a place offers crackers and such to taste between wines. This was a nice cozy place - though you can tell it's winter from the way the proprietor is dressed! Not to mention the outdoor shots. This was the last winery on the tour, and we (finally!) got our lovely wine glasses, two each, engraved with Heart of Iowa Wine Trail and their logo. They are quite nice glasses, and the lady packed them for us in tissue paper and pretty gift bags (evidenced on counter in third shot below).
Was it worth it? Well sure. I am not sure Heidi thought so, at least at the time. She seemed to think risking our lives for two wine glasses might not have been the best use of our time. But she was a good sport about it. And now she's got those two pretty glasses and all our fine and fun memories. And this blog, which she never reads or otherwise pays any attention to. Doing the trail passport forced us to get done a good chunk of wineries in pretty short order. We were a little tight at the end, especially given the weather, and we were both ready for a break. Though we didn't intend for the break to extend until JULY 2009 ...