- Since July, we have hosted several tastings at our retailers, and are excited to announce our newest event in conjunction with the Webster City Community Theater’s Fall Production of ‘Drinking Habits’. Join us before the show on October 10 for a sampling! Can’t wait to see you there!
- Our Facebook page reached over 300 likes – thanks everyone for your support of our crazy adventures!
- We took the old wood of the front of the barn (saving as much as we could, of course!) and replaced with fresh siding – check it out, isn’t it beautiful? We do still need to get the final coat on, but are now waiting for a good frost to get rid of those little black bugs that are loving our fresh white paint. I think we’ll also be adding our logo to the front in the spring – stay tuned.
- With windows, doors, and siding installed, the barn is very close to being ready for *winter* - even though I’m not ready yet to give up this beautiful fall weather. With the barn enclosed and lit (it gets dark at 7:30 already!?!), it’s challenging now to go in for the night or take a ‘rain day’ knowing there are things we CAN be doing inside.
- We also had the new flooring for the hay loft delivered in July and as of last night I can OFFICIALLY say it is installed. Now, we move on to setting those few stray nails, lightly sanding, and finishing. Stairs will also be added in the next month or two which will be FANTASTIC in comparison to the old barn ladder we’re using right now (though, the barn ladder has some great character – any ideas on what we can use it for???) Story City Building Products has been AWESOME to work with and have provided us great products and support for our project– Thanks for all your help Bob and Clint!
- We added Boone HyVee to our roster of amazing local retailers carrying our product – so if you’re in the area, check out their amazing Iowa Wine selection and take a bottle home!
- We harvested our better-than-expected crop of hops and should have enough to make a couple batches of beer (for personal use) this winter. I think I’ve decided beer making is a great winter sport – sitting by the kettle for hours just calls for a cup of hot chocolate on a snowy day.
- Our vines continue to grow and exceed our expectations every day. Check out the photos. We’ve basically done all we can for them this year with training, and we’ve hardly had to irrigate at all. Now, we wait until mid-to-late winter to begin pruning and getting them ready for the next growing season.
We hooked up with Rick and Amie from Excursions of Escalante to take a two-day Canyoneering course and learn the basics – and they were beyond awesome. Really – they went out of their way and made our trip even that much more memorable. Check out the photos. Even though we ran into a little rain (other parts of Utah had some very serious flash flooding the week we were there), it wasn’t enough to stop us from having a great time and learning a ton about how to explore and stay safe in the canyons. Thanks Rick and Amie – you guys are the best!
Before and after our canyoneering adventures, we were also able to spend some time in Arches, Bryce Canyon, and Zion National Parks.
Both canyons were absolutely beautiful - with the changing falls color in contrast with pine and spruce trees, and the snow at the divide fit in just like a cherry on top. But to me, nothing tops the view we caught of a mother black bear with her two cubs by the mountain stream, eating roots to get ready for winter. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bear in the ‘wild’, and I wasn’t sure if I should be scared or excited, but they were so content, even graceful as they wandered and ate. You could just tell they truly felt at home and were paying no attention to the small crowd of hikers that had gathered to observe.
I’ll admit - all throughout the trip my heart ached to live in a place where all those parks and beautiful views were right there at your fingertips, but something hit me on that hike down (maybe it was the cold weather, wet feet, blisters, and hunger for good Iowa beef), but I realized that Iowa was where I belonged and I was ready to get back home. The ‘Backcountry’ (however you define it, and wherever it is that you are) is what inspired us to follow our dream and build the winery. When you’re there, feeling like you can accomplish anything if you just take one step at a time, you feel so motivated and inspired - it’s a feeling you want to capture and never let go!
So now we’re back in Iowa, and I’m already reading up and planning our next trip to the Backcountry, but it feels good to be home and continuing to chip away at projects in the process of making our dream a reality!