Heidi here, making my first posting to the blog, other than a snarky comment here and there. I like blogging just about as much as I like riding over rhinoceri on the Skyfari, feet dangling and nothing stationary to hold on to. But if I'm silent much longer, I fear I'll put my friendship and wine travel partnership with Jo at risk, so here goes.
She really did say almost everything I would say. And it would fatally disrupt the narrative if I go back to the first trip and start making comments, so I'll confine my remarks to the past week's adventures.
At Loess (rhymes with bus) Hills Vineyard & Winery, I tried a wine from another grape that I don't think we've had before, the Reliance, in their Rivers Mist selection. The Reliance is possibly better known as a seedless table grape, but their Rivers Mist is a dry white that was not at all sweet. I think both Jo and I are getting a little more conversant with the grape varieties in Iowa, although about the only grape I can consistently recognize by taste is the Concord. I've been trying the Edelweiss at each winery for comparison's sake but doubt I could pick it out in a blind tasting. My favorite white at this stop was the Loess Hills Blanc, a blend of Seyval Blanc, Edelweiss, and LaCrosse grapes, which they describe as a semi-sweet table wine. Very tasty! Also tried their Vignoles, listed among their sweet wines, though I didn't find it much sweeter than the Loess Hills Blanc. They compare it to a Riesling, and accordingly bottle it in a blue bottle for customers to make the association.
For me, the unexpected joys of this adventure have been the explorations of beautiful rural Iowa and the delightful and wide-ranging conversations we've had with the winery owners. They have been generous with their time and their stories and I feel richer for it. I'm getting a little ahead here, but Jo posted the picture of her new Fit at the Danish Countryside winery, so here is a picture of their vineyard, taken from the third story of their renovated barn. Corn and grapes, side by side, in the rolling Iowa countryside.