The wine industry is very young in Iowa. We aren’t a thousand-year-old industry with tried and true methods of production and marketing tactics. Instead, our industry is only about 150 years old, and most of that 150 years contains ups and downs of wine production.
A *very* brief history of iowa wine
1860’s-1880’s: We made a lot of wine.
1920’s: Prohibition decapitated the Iowan wine industry.
1970’s: Some winemaking pioneers put the foot forward to try to sell wine again.
2010’s: Our industry is still growing. We have 103 wineries and over 1200 acres of vines.
Contributing to our industry’s slow reemergence is the antiquated laws surrounding our industry after prohibition. There have been changes, but they were pieced together, creating a messy list of do’s and don’t’s that are hard to follow.
For instance, Iowa wineries are allowed to sell beer by the glass in our tasting rooms (as of 2009).
However, if you’ve been to an Iowa brewery, you may have noticed that you cannot order a glass of Iowa wine. What gives?? This is an example of the unequal privileges for different types of alcoholic beverage producers.
Enter HF607, a House bill voted on March 28, 2017, that sought to make this law reciprocal:
On April 17, the Iowa Senate voted 50-0 to approve the bill, and Governor Branstad signed the bill on May 9, to take effect on July 1, 2017.
What does this mean??
In a nutshell, this means that breweries and taprooms in Iowa can now sell Iowa wine! All your favorite breweries, including ShinyTop in Fort Dodge, can now serve Iowa Wines beginning THIS SATURDAY! ShinyTop specifically will be serving our Goldenrod, Rubra, and Paragon Pink.
Thanks, Iowa lawmakers!!!