Prairie Crossing Vineyard & Winery Review
Address: 31506 Pioneer Trail Treynor,Iowa 51575.
Phone Number: 712-487-3812
Tasting Hours: Thurs 1:00-5:00, Fri-Sat 10:00-6:00, Sun 1:00-5:00
Region: Loess Hills District AVA, Iowa
Reviewer: Mark and Sonja
Review Date: 4/24/2014
Reviewer: Mark and Sonja
After a few miles of drifting carefully up and down the rolling hillsides surrounding the quaint and inviting hamlet of Treynor, Iowa, we arrived at a well-kept farmstead with a gnarled old tree out front and a sign that read Prairie Crossing Vineyard and Winery just below the lowest branches, green and budding on a windy April afternoon. To the east of the farmhouse, a vineyard adorns the gradually sloping hillside, while behind it a gazebo sits to the left of a small building with a patio overlooking the vines. Next to the smaller building, a larger one is going up, and as we pull in, a Bobcat scrambles nimbly about, moving dirt in anticipation of the busy summer months, of greater traffic, and of things to come.
Inside the main, finished building is a bar centered in a clean, well-decorated room that boasts a gift shop, racks of wine, and a cooler full of cheeses, meats, and beer. There are a few seating areas, but most patrons go directly to the bar to begin their wine tasting. The woman behind the bar greeted us promptly and we soon learned that a wine tasting at Prairie Crossing is free. Score! Although the woman attending to us knew more about the finished product than the wine making process, the co-owner and wife to the wine maker, a woman named Julianna, was able to answer all of our questions. In small vineyards like these, it isnt out of the ordinary to have an owner or family member present that can give you the inside scoop on the winery and the wines they produce, and we enjoyed speaking with Julianna, who seemed happy to spend the time with us as well.
There are regrettably few reds wines to sample at Prairie Crossing, only three labeled as such on the tasting menu. Like many other wineries in the area, Prairie Crossing focuses mainly on sweeter wines. Their first red offering however, Wagon Trail Red, had a smoky, rich bouquet, medium body, and flavor that would satisfy many red wine drinkers seeking a dry and tannic red. They also offer a Frontenac, as many in this region do, and a red blend they call Renegade that is made from 100% organic grapes. The whites are more plentiful, and include an off-dry white blend, also produced from organic grapes, called Meadowlarks Song. The white wines are generally sweet, a little syrupy, and generally seem to lack complexity, but they are a desirable offering on a hot Iowa afternoon, and accommodate the palates of most of the locals who frequent Prairie Crossing.
The great strength of Prairie Crossing, and there are many, from the relaxed patio with its vineyard views to the pleasant staff and more, is the blush wine selection that owner and winemaker Andrew Hrasky has crafted for his patrons. If you are a drinker of white zinfandels, white merlots, and similar sweet pink offerings, Prairie Crossing may prove your mecca. While many area vineyards offer one or two rose colored varietals, Prairie Crossing boasts half a dozen, each unique from the others, refreshing, and easy on wallet and tongue alike. Our personal favorite is Howling Coyote, an estate-bottled wine made of Catawba grapes that won silver at the 2009 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition. Kit Cat, made of St. Croix, dark in color with hints of spice and licorice is another we enjoyed, or, for the more scandalous visitor, One Night Stand might fit the bill. Though Prairie Crossing may come up a little short on reds, they make up for it in spades with their rose-colored delights.
Youre sure to find two things if you spend any real time in western Iowa. The first is fields of corn. The second is wineries. On account of their courteous staff, relaxing facilities, fantastic views, free tastings, and wide selection of wines, we would recommend that if youre in the area, you dont miss Prairie Crossing. Maybe well see you there.