Explore the vineyards that supply grapes for our award-winning wines.
As we crest the hill behind our home and take in the panoramic view of our Brickyard Hill Vineyard it feels as though we are overlooking the hills of Italy rather than Iowa. The work we have put into this section of our farm since 2006 now offers a new kind of rural beauty.
This part of our farm is “Brickyard Hill Vineyard” – a nod to the brickyard located near this site in the 1800s that people around Marengo still recognize.
Our work in these fields is now done by hand and on foot – much like how our ancestors farmed. We have 10 varieties of grapes, planted across 20 acres of the rolling hills of Iowa.
In addition to the Brickyard Hill Vineyard, we started 2 acres of Brianna grapes on the backside of Fireside Winery in 2007. Visitors can take a stroll through these vines while at the winery.
We tend the vines by hand until the grapes are ready for harvest. Pruning begins in late winter and concludes in early spring. Throughout the summer, our vineyard crew manages the canopy and controls bugs, mildew, and disease. The grapes ripen from mid-August to mid-September, depending on the varietal. When the grapes are ready for harvest, we use a mechanical harvester that allows us to pick the grapes at their optimal ripeness. Ensuring the vineyard produces high-quality fruit is difficult, but ultimately makes for the best wines.
We bought a mechanical harvester in 2019. This has allowed us to pick our grapes at their optimal ripeness which has improved our fruit quality. Before we purchased this piece of equipment, we would have volunteers come to the vineyard and hand pick the grapes. We still have a smaller picking event in late August called the Harvest Celebration.
Wines from this grape boast a floral bouquet and are a favorite among Iowa vineyards and wineries.
Wines made from Brianna grapes:
Wines from this varietal are crisp with notes of pear and lemon. These grapes have the opportunity to be turned into sparkling, white, or ice wine.
Wines produced from this grape will have aromas of honey and apricot, with hints of citrus and tropical fruits.
La Crescent wines commonly have aromas of apricot, peach, citrus, and pineapple.
Wines made from La Crescent grapes:
Wines made from the La Crosse grape have a wonderful citrus quality on the palate.
Wines made from La Crosse grapes:
Marquette is the cousin of Frontenac, and a grandson of Pinot Noir, so the wines produced with this grape have aromas of cherry and a palate of pepper and spice.
Wines made from Marquette grapes:
Wines from this varietal have notes of spice, earthy aromas, and jammy fruit.
This dark-skinned grape produces flavors of dark berries and currants. It is best enjoyed young.
Wines made from St. Croix grapes:
These grapes have rich aromas of ripe orchard fruits like apple and pear. This varietal is typically used in blends.
This vintage of a Fireside favorite is made from 100% Geisenheim. The nose is sweet Granny Smith apple with a palate of citrus and soft acidity.