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Raise a Glass to Women-Owned Wineries in Iowa

March 25, 2021

Iowa’s reputation as a haven for wine lovers is quickly picking up steam as the state’s award-winning wineries are making a name for themselves.

Travel Iowa teamed up with Midwestern social media mavens to showcase three of Iowa’s wineries that are owned or operated by women. They shared their perspectives on each wineries’ distinct histories, the communities winemaking creates, and of course, how each wine tastes.

Thirsty for more? Sign up for the Iowa Wine Passport, which helps you earn prizes for visiting the state’s wineries.


Kelly Rowe (Live Laugh Rowe)

Summerset Winery

Jasmine Maria

Summerset Winery is located outside of Des Moines, Iowa, in Indianola, where they produce award-winning Iowa wine from locally grown, central Iowa grapes.

Summerset opened in the summer of 1997 and became one of the first estate wineries in Iowa. Today, the winery is located on 12 acres of vineyards just 20 minutes from the downtown area.

I loved the colorful postcard they sent, [winemaker] Megan [Farley’s] personality, and the bright tasty wine they provided. Therefore, I got such an energetic vibe from the whole virtual experience with Summerset, making me want to go and experience it for myself.

Summerset Winery provided the delicious Caba Moch. It’s their No. 1 seller, which doesn’t surprise me. It’s blended from Catawba (white) and Marechal Foch (red) grapes — and reminded me of sangria. A lot of us agreed it was a great deck wine too.

The Caba Moch is fruity with tropical notes of mango but brings a nice balance of acidity and sweetness. It was so good, and it’s understandable that the winery calls it a Party in a Bottle. Ha.”


Morgan Raphael, Bun Undone

Glyn Mawr Winery

“Next up was Glyn Mawr Winery, located in Mount Vernon, Iowa. They are a small, local business that started in 2009 with 1,100 grapevines on two and half acres. The tasting room makes 12 varieties and have produced over 21,000 pounds of grapes each summer, and over 9,000 bottles of wine each year. Anna Wilson + Brenda Broulik are a mother-daughter duo who shared more about their story, and it was so inspiring!

While drinking the St. Pepin bottle, a dry white wine made with Midwest grapes, Anna and Brenda shared a lot of insight on Midwest vs. California wines. Those same grapes wouldn’t thrive in the climate and soil in Iowa; however, you can easily find a unique wine that relates to a California wine, just made with local grapes. And truly — the uniqueness and local aspect makes it better and so much more special! This wine was SO good, both crisp and citrusy and once again so refreshing. We were all joking about how we pictured ourselves on the patio once again, or at a picnic pairing this with a hearty salad, fruit or even salmon. The wine was super juicy in body and complex.

You could feel the heart in this wine, all the way down to the label they do with their own hands as well.”

Andrea Larson sitting at a table with four wines to taste

“The wine industry in Iowa is largely being run and operated by women. When I recently sat down with three female winemakers for a virtual wine tasting, it was evident how much they value women in the industry. Anna Wilson and Brenda Broulik, the mother-daughter duo who own and run Glyn Mawr Winery have been planting, harvesting, making wine, and hand labeling and corking for 12 years.

Soldier Creek Winery in Fort Dodge is family-owned and operated with Anne Zwink, food scientist and award-winning wine maker, at the wine-making helm.

Summerset Winery in Indianola, one of the oldest and largest wineries in the state, is family-owned and features a bustling tasting room largely run by women. With large crowds gathering for live music in the summer and frequent weekend events, the tasting room rarely sees a quiet moment.”


Cheers to More Iowa Wine Stories

Ready for another round? Check out these stories that will be sure to satisfy your cabernet cravings.

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This is Iowa

Have an inspiring and unexpected Iowa story? Click here to share it!

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