In our continued quest to meet our winery partners and learn more about their wines, I had the opportunity to meet Donna with Calico Skies Winery. Donna was kind enough to come to The Wijn House for our visit, so I did not get the opportunity to visit the winery itself, but I was able to learn more about the venue, their journey, and their wines. The picture of their winery is one I took from their website and, as you can see, it is a beautiful location and the next time Richard and I are thinking of a wine tour, we will try to add this one to our list!
Calico Skies began their winemaking journey in 2010 and is located about 30 minutes from Sioux Falls, SD in the town of Inwood, Iowa. Their wines range from semi-sweet to dry and the names of their wines stem from their love of dogs; for instance, Deebo, a blend of Chambourcin, Marquette and Frontenac grape is their dry red blend that is named after one of their rescue dogs.
The Wijn House is proud to carry an assortment of wines from Calico Skies and will add them to our rotating tasting menu so you can taste them for yourself.
Last week I took an unexpected road trip to Wisconsin to help a friend during a medical procedure and on the way back to Pella I realized how close I was to Park Farm Winery in Epworth, IA. Since I was close, I thought it would be worth a visit. This was, technically, my first visit to a winery as one of the owners of the Wijn House and I was excited to meet the staff, see the winery and taste their wines.
I was NOT disappointed!
Park Farm Winery is approximately 30 minutes west of Dubuque and the drive takes you through rolling hills, pastures and woods. The winery itself is set on top of a hill with amazing views throughout the outdoor, and indoor, space! When you walk into the winery you are greeted by their friendly and knowledgeable staff in their tasting room where you can order your wine and, if you like, a wood-fired pizza. There is a wine that will please any palette, from their dry Prairie Reserve red, to their semi-sweet Picket Fence, to their sweet Bankston Red and Daisy Girl. There is something to suit every taste and plenty of space to sit and enjoy.
From there, you have several seating choices; the largest seating area is complemented by a beautiful stone fireplace and there is plenty of room for groups of any size. You have the option to go up the stairs to the second and third floors where the views are beautiful, even in the winter! The third floor hosts a smaller room that can be reserved for private functions. The outside space at the winery was amazing and I can not wait to visit again when the weather is more hospitable for sitting outdoors with a glass of wine and a pizza!
When you are looking for a day trip, or heading through the area, it is definitely worth a visit!
One of the best parts about learning more abut The Wijn House is learning more about the wines from our winery partners.
We are excited to have a "new to the Wijn House" wine in our tasting line up for the last week of January/first week of February. Stop in for a taste of El Caribe from Van Wijk Winery in Sully. El Caribe is a dry white wine with hints of grapefruit and vanilla, with delicate mineral and subtle buttery over tones. Caribe is the Spanish term for the Caribbean and, although not exactly beach weather, the warmer temperatures seemed like a good time to share El Caribe with friends.
Wow, so hard to believe it's already February! Richard and I transitioned as the new owner's of the Wijn House on January 1st and the past month has been a fabulous whirlwind. We have enjoyed meeting our customers and our winery partners and, even though the weather has been an interesting challenge (I understand it's winter, but wow, did it have to come all at once?), we are so happy to be following in Jeremy and Tara's footsteps!
At this time, we do not plan on making any large changes to The Wijn House; we might paint and rearrange, but the heart of The Wijn House will remain the same!
I think one of the most difficult elements of becoming a small business owner is keeping up with the social media! Quick note - I (Rene') went from only using LinkedIn as social media, to having 3 Facebook accounts, 2 Instagram accounts and a web page. I am slowly learning how to post...and am working on being more active on social media. Richard and I want to thank everyone for their continued support (and patience) as we continue to learn and grow (especially on social media)! Please stop in and see us!