Bringing wine to school is typically frowned upon, but the team at Dale Valley Vineyard turned the rebellious act on its head: They brought a 19th-century schoolhouse to their vineyard. Nowadays, it serves as the tasting room for the vineyard that Cityview readers named the Best Local Iowa Day Trip for two years in a row. In the schoolhouse's single room, visitors sample award-winning wines such as White Schoolhouse—a catawba with citrus notes and an evocative chalkboard minerality—and V’s Berry, whose cherry and apple flavors commingle with raspberry and vanilla aromas. Live music entertains visitors most Saturdays from May through September, and the winery’s annual festival, dubbed Winestock, commences in July.
Two Saints Winery holds fast to the belief that wine should be representative of its region. That's why to create its award-winning Iowa wines, Two Saints uses only grapes from its own property or grapes grown by local farmers. Embedded within the rippling countryside of rural Warren County, the facility produces up to 30,000 bottles per year. And instead of using juices retrieved from faraway sources, such as California or the mini refrigerators inside seashells, Two Saints spurns flavor enhancements and lets the natural flavors of Iowa's land emerge by aging bottles for at least a year. Customers, meanwhile, can enjoy those products right at the winery, especially during free tastings and live events held frequently on the property.