It’s been a while since I’ve taken a road trip to find a new winery, and honestly, I was kind of dreading the lone trip up to Story City on a cold Friday morning by myself. Luckily, I talked Bev, our Thursday night gal, into coming with me. (It didn’t take much convincing when I told her there was wine tasting involved).
Red Barn Wines is exactly what it is. Wine produced in a little red barn just off the Story City Exit off of I-35. Nevermind the fact that we missed the building the first time we drove by. We simply circled back on the interstate and arrived on time. We introduced ourselves to John, the owner of the business, and jumped right into talking about his land and how he’s come to make his wines.
John and his wife enjoy traveling. Throughout their travels, they've sampled their share of fine wines and began to get the wine bug themselves, believing that with the right land and the right winemaking skills, fine wines could be made in Iowa too. So in 2005, his first vines were planted in the Skunk River Valley flood plain-rich in nutrients, sand, and gravel-ideal for grape growing. Today John has over 5 acres of grapes planted.
The Red Barn was built in 2016. That same year John developed a “custom crush” partnership with a vibrant winemaker and friend of mine-insert Anne Zwink from Soldier Creek Winery in Fort Dodge, Iowa (the 2018 Iowa Winemaker of the Year and winemaker of our Pella White and Pella Red). Through John and Anne's partnership plus the label design from Iowa State graduate, Mary Hayes-Christian, Red Barn Wines became a reality, producing high quality, cold-climate grapes, and on Friday morning at ten after ten in the morning, Bev and I got to sample them!
After sips and conversation we settled on the five wines we believe are great examples of John and Anne's partnership. Ones our dry wine-drinking customers will love.
Red Barn Wines we now carry: