May is Iowa's official Wine Month, and we can't think of a better way to prepare for summer than with a crisp glass of locally sourced vino. Pop, pour and get ready to explore nearly 100 wineries, tasting rooms and vineyards across the state. Sign up for the Iowa Wine Passport to discover more wineries and earn rewards with each visit. 

1. Visit a Historic Winery

Like a fine wine, these historic wineries located across southeast Iowa only seem to get better with age.

A view from afar of Buchanan House Winery with a field of grape vines partially obstructing the view
Buchanan House Winery, Tipton

Established in 1956, Ackerman Winery in Amana is Iowa’s oldest winery. The family-owned-and-operated business has produced award-winning fruit wines for nearly 70 years.

Buchanan House Winery is housed in a 135-year-old mansion that was successfully moved to Tipton in 2009. The home was beautifully renovated to include the winery's tasting room and charming outdoor garden with stunning views of its 19-acre vineyard.

East Grove Farms is one of only three meaderies in Iowa that produces mead with homegrown fruit from its family farm. Settled by relatives in 1837, the Victorian farmhouse in Salem is featured on the National Register of Historic Places.

Situated on a farm that’s been in the family for over 160 years, Wooden Wheel Vineyards near Keota produces a wide range of classic wines and features a historic barn-turned tasting room to drink in the lush outdoor views.

Olathea Creek Vineyard and Winery derived its name from the history of the land, which was once a campsite for the Sauk and Fox tribes. The term “olethe” in Fox means beautiful, an understatement when it comes to describing the property. Located in the quaint river town of LeClaire, the vineyard features a picturesque creek and provides a quiet, country setting along the majestic Mississippi River.

2. Wine and Dine

It’s no surprise that when someone says “winery” you think “wine.” But, these tasting rooms are serving up some seriously delicious food, giving you two reasons to visit this summer.

A view of Stone Cliff Winery with a few clouds scattered across the sky
Stone Cliff Winery, Dubuque

Located outside Cedar Rapids in Swisher, Cedar Ridge Winery offers a full-service restaurant with signature dishes including wood-fired pizzas and a smoked meat selection best enjoyed with handcrafted wine from its very own vineyard.

Walker Homestead, a field-to-fork farm and winery situated on 85 acres just outside Iowa City, is open just once a week pouring local wine and serving up a dinner menu that regularly changes based on ingredients sourced from its garden.

If a dinner and a show is more your style, try Stone Cliff Winery in Dubuque, which hosts a murder mystery party complete with a four-course meal every month.

When it comes to wineries with wood-fired pizza, Tycoga Vineyard and Winery in De Witt offers a unique selection of specialty ‘zas, including Mac and Cheese with Bacon and Chicken Arugula. Choose from its selection of more than 20 different wines to pair with your pizza.

If you prefer customizable options, Park Farm Winery near Bankston offers more than 20 different pizza toppings to choose from before its baked to perfection in their own brick oven. The chateau-style winery is reminiscent of France and offers breathtaking views of the Driftless Area scenery for you to soak in, too.

3. Sip, Shop and Stay

Why not make a whole weekend out of wine month? These wineries and boutique tasting rooms offer onsite accommodations and convenient access to local shops and nearby attractions.

A look inside The Wijn House with multiple displays of wine for sale
The Wijn House, Pella

With unique lodging opportunities in a converted chicken coop and grain bin just steps away, Heaven Boutique Winery in Fayette is the perfect place to rest, relax and discover your new favorite Iowa wine.

Wide River Winery features three locations along the Mississippi River in Davenport, Clinton and LeClaire. While its Clinton winery offers stunning views of the water, the tasting room in historic Le Claire offers a charming courtyard with spacious accommodations just next door, at the Wide River Winery Inn.

As the only true urban winery in Des Moines, Jasper Winery offers a modern tasting room complemented by an expansive green space and patio. Reserve a tasting experience to sample Jasper wines paired with different chocolates or cheeses.

Amidst the cobblestone streets in historic downtown Pella is The Wijn House, a boutique wine shop and tasting room specializing in Iowa’s finest wines. Fun fact: Wijn is pronounced “vine” and is the Dutch word for wine.

4. Soak in the Sounds of Summer

The perfect pairing: warm weather + homegrown grapes + the sweet sounds of summer.

A view of Covered Bridges Winery with seats set up on a patio and lush grass surrounding the building
Covered Bridges Winery, Winterset

In Fort Dodge, Soldier Creek Winery hosts Vineyard Vibrations, a free live music series with performances on Friday evenings. Bring your own snacks, pull up a chair, and sample some delicious wines produced by the vineyard’s female winemaker.

The weekly music series at The Cellar in Madrid offers live performances every Sunday this summer, best enjoyed with a wine tasting flight.

Covered Bridges Winery in Winterset, a scenic 45-minute drive southwest of Des Moines, offers free live music on select Saturdays and Sundays this summer.

5. Savor Award-Winning Wines

Good wine starts at the vine, and winemakers from across the state look forward to showcasing the fruits of their labor at the Iowa State Fair Wine Competition. Every year, around a dozen qualified wine judges select medal winners through a blind sensory and tasting evaluation, and the very best wine is honored with the Governor’s Cup Trophy Award, presented by Governor Kim Reynolds herself.

A crowd of people in lawn chairs listen to a band perform outside at Fireside Winery
Fireside Winery, Marengo

Fireside Winery in Marengo bottles the best of the best in white wine, and its Storyteller has maintained this reputation year after year. With delicate aromas of tropical fruit and pear, the palate is full of pineapple, apple and citrus. Visit the vineyard or host a private group tasting to see for yourself! 

The husband-and-wife duo at Oscar Carl Vineyard in Sioux City bottled their very first wine in 2019. Called Loesscato, this Frontenac Blanc wine features flavors of honeyed apple and tropical fruit cup with beautiful aromas of melon, pear, lychee, eucalyptus and tea. The vineyard's Aunt Billie, an incredibly smooth, yet bold, dry Petite Pearl wine has also won awards.

When it comes to fruity wines, Eagles Landing Winery in Marquette is one of Iowa’s very best producers. Its renowned Bluesfest, a semi-sweet blueberry wine reminiscent of berry jam, is one to remember. Sample it for free at the winery, which offers complimentary wine tastings daily.

Sometimes you crave a little sparkle, and Tassel Ridge Winery’s Oskyfizzante Iowa White features just the right amount of fizz. The Leighton winery is renowned for its semi-sweet, sparkling wine with notes of kiwi, peach and citrus on the palate.

Frisky Fox Vineyard and Winery in Riceville’s award-winning Habanero Heat boasts the perfect blend of sweetness from white grapes and spiciness from habanero peppers.

Cheers to Iowa Wine Month! We hope you enjoy celebrating – and sampling – at unique venues across our great state. Click here for more inspiration, and don’t forget to share your wine adventures on social media by tagging @traveliowa and using the hashtag #IowaWineMonth.