Vine Street Cellars Review
Address: 17 N Vine St Glenwood,Iowa 51534.
Phone Number: 712-525-9463
Tasting Hours: Wed-Thurs 3:00-9:00, Fri 3:00-10:00, Sat 1:00-10:00
Region: Loess Hills District AVA, Iowa
Reviewer: Mark and Sonja
Review Date: 4/24/2014
Reviewer: Mark and Sonja
It would be easy to start listing our experiences between Napa Valley and Vouvray that werent nearly as satisfying as the one we had at Vine Street Cellars, located in Glenwood, Iowa, but weve been asked to keep this to around 500 words.
After approaching the brick storefront, just off the cute little town square of Glenwood, we stepped inside and immediately felt at ease. The gorgeous interior of Vine Streets tasting room could easily belong to a well-known California vintner, but instead this treasure is the property of rural Iowa. A hardwood bar, finished in red and marble, dominates the center of the room, while matching shelves run wall-to-wall, full of wines just waiting to be tried. The walls to the left of the entry feature works from local artists, many of which are available for purchase. And if the ambiance werent enough, the staff behind the bar, ranging from lifelong locals to the winerys winemaker to owners themselves on any given day, have in common a love of wine and a commitment to their customers. Friendlier people simply cannot be found, and we enjoyed ourselves so much that we stayed much later than we intended to.
A wonderful cheese plate with your choice of four cheeses, salami, a baguette, dried cranberries, and salted almonds, is a delightful accompaniment to their vast selection of wines that boasts a collection of reds and whites incomparable in the region, along with three dessert wines as well. An unusual feature of Vine Street is their large selection of dry red wines, both tannic and balanced, and likely to please even the most discerning of pallets. Their award-winning Chancellor is oaky and tannic, with notes of chocolate, and is aged in oak, a method that sadly isnt nearly as common in the Midwest as it is in more established wine regions.
While the Norton, St Croix, Frontenac and others complete the canon of reds – which ranges from dry and full-bodied to an enjoyable selection of lighter-bodied, sweeter reds that, in spite of this, do not want for complexity – the whites are just as impressive in their own rite. The Chardonel, a cousin to Chardonnay, is buttery, aged in oak, and reminiscent of the American-style chard you may be used to. The St. Pepin and Traminette remind us of German wines, while the Vignoles, Brianna, and Edelweiss will meet the needs of those seeking sweeter offerings more traditional to the region. Last, but not least, try the Porta Bella. Frontenac grapes, fermented to 17% alcohol rather than being fortified with brandy, create a dessert offering reminiscent of port-style wines, while the award-winning Blackberry wine, aged in bourbon barrels, is as delightful as it is unique.
A huge part of operating a successful winery is employing a winemaker who is skilled and passionate about their work. Mark Perry is one such man. Behind the stylish tasting room at Vine Street, the backroom is full of oak barrels and aluminum vats of wine. Mark offered us a tour, as he does with any guest that asks when time allows, and meticulously disinfected his equipment before removing a taste of wine from one of his barrels for us to try. Mark Perry, like others at Vine Street, is happy to show you around the facility and explain his process, and he might even let you taste the wine. His passion for his work is evident, and the fruit of his labor is nothing short of an impressive selection of incredible wines.
Vine Street Cellars is owned and operated by people who care about their customers as much as they do their award-winning wines. We love Napa and Sonoma, and we travel there annually. What gets us through the other fifty-one weeks of the year, however, is having Vine Street Cellars but a forty-minute drive away. The wonderful people, excellent wines, and beautiful facility allow us to step out of the Midwest and be transported to the best of California, but with local Iowa varietals, whenever we wish. If youre going to stop at just one Iowa winery in your life, we recommend you make it Vine Street Cellars.