Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Spark Forges GOLD Medal at Finger Lakes International Wine Competition

The results are in from the 2011 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition and Fireside Winery wines were acknowledged for their superb craftsmanship.  

"For the second straight year, the 11th annual Finger Lakes International Wine Competition set a record for the number of entries Saturday. At the Rochester Plaza Hotel, a record-breaking 3,259 wines from 788 wineries were entered.
The wines came from 19 nations, six Canadian provinces and all 50 states. Last year's entries comprised 3,010 wines from 666 wineries".
Our "Spark" is the newest addition to the Fireside Winery line-up features two locally grown white wine grapes, Edelweiss and La Crosse, and just a splash of Zinfandel to make it blush.  Lightly chilled, “Spark” with its bright floral aromas and smooth, juicy melon flavors are destined to be a Fireside favorite!  Perfect for summertime sipping or as an aperitif, “Spark” is elegantly balanced and offers a silky, long lasting finish that promises to satisfy.

Other Fireside Winery wines were entered into this critically acclaimed international wine competition.  An additional five wines were recognized for their excellence by receiving bronze awards.

Bronze Award Winning Wines:
  • Cordovan
  • Firefly
  • Hearthstone
  • Storyteller
Look for these award winning wines at our winery or at your favorite retailer.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

KCRG's A-List - Vote for Fireside Winery

Springtime awakens our vineyard meaning bud-break is close at hand....Springtime also brings about another seasonal observance -- the KCRG's A-List!!
It is that time of year again to vote for your favorite places, including your favorite "Wine Shop".  The last two years Fireside Winery has went from 11th to 4th and this year, with your help, maybe we can win the top spot.

Please vote for Fireside Winery now, by clicking this link --> KCRG's A-LIST

Thank you for your continued support!  We're planning a big summer and can't wait to see you soon.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Part-Time Summer Employment at Fireside Winery

Are you an enthusiastic fan of Fireside Winery Wines?  Are you a friendly, fun and outgoing person who wants to share your knowledge of wine (or learn more about wine)?  Then, Fireside Winery may have a summer job for you!

Fireside Winery is searching for a few additional part-time employees (must be at least 18 years old) to help around the winery this Summer. 

What kind of work?  Winery work! :) Helping out in the Tasting Room:  pouring and describing our wines, and answering questions; preparing food, being nice to our winery visitors, cleaning, and general “whatever needs to be done” work during weekends, holidays and special event days. 

When?  Part-time, throughout the summer (Memorial Day to Labor Day).  Mostly weekends and during big event days (e.g., holiday weekends). 

If you would like to be considered for one of these few, part-time positions please make an introductory inquiry to Cassie Bott (Marketing Manager) by sending an email to: by including “Summer Help” in the subject line.

It’s going to be a busy, fun-filled summer around Fireside Winery!  See you soon.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Uncorked...Food & Wine Pairing at P.H.A.T. Daddy's

This weekend (Sunday, March 27th) Fireside Winery wines will be featured during a special fine dining experience at P.H.A.T Daddy's in downtown Marengo.

A few spaces are still available - CALL NOW to reserve your place: 319-642-7332

Five spectacular courses featuring Fireside Winery wines! 

$50/per person/Sunday, March 27th/Doors open at 4:30pm/First course begins at 5pm

The Menu

Amuse Bouche
Jumbo Scallop/Brussels Sprouts/Pancetta/Pomegranate-Carrot Sauce
Wine - Iowa Seyval

Smoked Duck/Mixed Greens/Watercress/Blackberry-Almond Dressing
Wine - Iowa LaCrosse

Pork Belly Confit/Roasted Garlic-Ginger White Bean Puree/Leek Sauce
Wine - Cordovan (Red Zinfandel)

New York Strip/Horseradish Creme Fraiche/Sweet Potato Hash
Wine - CoCo (Cabernet Sauvignon)

Chocolate-Espresso Mousse/Tuile Cup/Raspberry Sauce
Wine - Night Cap (port-style)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Iowa Wine Growers Association - Annual Conference

This past weekend was a busy weekend filled, not with visiting with you in our tasting room, but instead, learning more about the wine business (i.e., wine making, growing and marketing), networking, and a fair amount of reconnecting with our extended Iowa wine industry family.

Cassie, our marketing manager, was involved with the conference organizing committee and is seen here (in the below photo on the right side) in her role as moderator speaking with Patty Held, a guest speaker, just before an interesting talk about tasting room management.

This impromptu photograph (below) captured Rona, Cassie and Bill (owners) as they exited one of the Iowa Wine Grower Association (IGWA) educational sessions.

Meeting periodically with other Iowa winery owners, grape growers, and industry experts is a way to stay current and ahead of trends.  The IGWA annual conference is not only informative but also a great opportunity to rejuvenate before the busy summer season takes off.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

NEW: Grape Vine Planning

This morning Bill (the owner) and his crew were working out back behind the winery and flagging where the next addition to our vineyard will be planted.  In the upcoming month we'll be planting about an acre of Brianna, a white wine grape here, and more grapes back at our Brickyard Hill Vineyard.

This first photo (above) shows the location of where both vines and trellis system will be placed.  Brianna (below) is a wonderful and prolific white grape making delicious fruity styled wines.

The next picture (below) is looking looking west (from the Veranda).  In addition to the Brianna we will also be planting another 1.5 acres of Marquette (red wine grape) adjacent to our Brickyard Hill Vineyard (closer to Marengo).  Each acre of grapes will ultimately yield about 3-5 tons of grapes!!

Finally, it may be early spring but we're really gearing up to have a wonderful event season.  And in case you want to extend your personal wine-season, we've enclosed (temporarily) our back porch so you can enjoy the warmth of our fireplace and the scenery while sipping your favorite Fireside Wines.

Hope to see you soon.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Retailer Spotlight: L Marie Boutique (Vinton, IA)

We want to recognize and highlight our retail friends who carry Fireside Winery wines.  If it is not convenient to stop by the winery to resupply your wine closet, cellar or cubby, then we want to make sure you have a locally available source to find our wines.

This morning I stopped by L Marie Boutique, located on 4th street in Vinton, to catch up with Lisa, the shop owner.  The first thing you notice upon entering L Marie Boutique is the great selection of items they carry.  Of course, my wine-eye always scans for the wine section.  Lisa does such a nice job of decorating her store and the Fireside Winery wines are beautifully displayed. 

Providing visitors with a taste of Fireside Winery wines gives her new wine customers a taste-test of our wines.  For those who already enjoy Fireside Wines it is just convenient to stop by L Marie to pick up a bottle or two, or case of their favorites: BLU, Firely, Storyteller, Serenade, Hearthstone, Edelweiss, Seyval and CoCo. 

If you live in or near (or want to take a road trip, for that matter) Vinton (Benton County, NE of Cedar Rapids), then make sure to stop by L Marie Boutique and find our wines.  Tell Lisa we sent ya!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

New Winery Blog

Hello Fireside Winery Friends!

We're excited to add another outlet to share the experiences of everyday life around Fireside Winery.  With our new winery blog, we'll post notes about the goings' on at the winery, upcoming events, snapshots of our friends (new and familiar faces), and post video of our special moments.'s to you, our wine friends and family.  Cheers!

Hope to see you soon!