February 23, 2011

Three Tassel Ridge Wines Win Medals at Florida State Fair Judging

Three Tassel Ridge wines won medals at the recent Florida State Fair wine judging.

2008 Iowa St. Croix—Silver
Iowa White Blossom—Bronze
Pizzeria & Pasta Too!™—Bronze

2008 Iowa St. Croix is a dry red wine made entirely from the St. Croix grape. It is maturing very nicely in the bottle. We offered tastings of this wine at the Minnesota Grape Growers Association Cold Climate Conference last weekend and got very positive feedback.

Our Iowa White Blossom is a dry white wine made entirely from Edelweiss grown at Tassel Ridge Winery. It offers pineapple notes that are typical of Edelweiss.

Pizzeria & Pasta Too!™ is a very fruity, dry red that works really well with spicy tomato sauces used on pasta and pizza.

All of these wines are sold at many of our retailers.

Tassel Ridge Wines Are Well Received at Cold Climate Conference in Minnesota

Tassel Ridge Winery personnel poured tastes of five different wines made from cold climate grape varieties at last week’s Cold Climate Conference Wine Stroll hosted by the Minnesota Grape Growers Association in Bloomington, Minnesota. These grape varieties were all developed by Elmer Swenson who lived in Western Wisconsin or by the University of Minnesota. All but two grape varieties we grow come from one of these two sources so we were very interested in how our wines would be received.
We poured the following wines:
• Iowa White Blossom
• Star Spangled White™
• Rockets Glare Rosé™
• Pizzeria & Pasta Too!™
• Finalé Iowa Red

Steve Richardson, Rhonda Taylor, and Sharman Wersen converse with attendees at the Cold Climate Conference Wine Stroll

The wine stroll attracted about 500 people and 25 wineries. I believe that all of the other wineries were from Minnesota. There was quite a crush of people, but we were still able to have numerous conversations with people who were very enthusiastic about our wines. My theory is that Minnesota growers have a tough time ripening the cold climate varieties as effectively as we do.

—Bob Wersen, President

What Is Happening In the Vineyard?

We Take Pruning Weights to Determine How Aggressively to Prune Our Vines

We begin our annual vine pruning effort this year on February 28. Before we start, we must determine how many buds we are going to leave on each vine. We do that by pruning two or three vines of each variety and weighing the total amount of wood from pruning. If we get three pounds of wood from Sabrevois grape vines for example, we will leave 50 buds. The actual count will vary by variety; however, our objective is to balance the vines in order to optimize the quality and quality of grapes.

Steve Richardson, Vineyard Manager, weighs cuttings from Marquette

If the vines are balanced, we will leave about the same number of buds each year. Year-to-year variations in the number of buds we leave will be dictated by the weather, vigor of the vines, and soil conditions.

Steve will meet with his pruning team today to conduct training. A total of seven people will work for two months starting February 28 to get all of our vineyards pruned. Then, after a short rest, we start planting!

Buy a Case of Wine at Tassel Ridge Winery and Get a Free Wine and Food Pairing Wheel

Purchase a case of your favorite wine or a mixed case of Tassel Ridge wines at the Winery and you will receive a 10% discount AND a free Tassel Ridge Wine and Food Pairing Wheel. The Wine and Food Pairing Wheel is very useful is selecting specific Tassel Ridge wines to pair with a wide range of foods.

Tassel Ridge Winery Events

Saturday, March 5—Wine & Fondue Dinner

7:00 p.m. – Wine Tasting

7:30 p.m. – Dinner Seating


Cost: $70 per couple, plus tax—Harvest Club Couple Price: $60 per couple, plus tax (includes 1 glass of wine with each course and gratuity)
Warm up at Tassel Ridge Winery with a three-course wine and fondue dinner for two. Begin with a California salad. Next, dip assorted crusty breads into our Signature Cheese Fondue. Finally, for dessert, enjoy an assortment of fruits to dip in Tassel Ridge In the Dark Chocolate Sauce. Each course will be paired with a specially selected Tassel Ridge wine. Advance reservations are required by Wednesday, March 2. Contact the Winery at 641.672.WINE for reservations.

Thursday, March 10—Girls’ Night Out “Caribbean Getaway”
6:00–8:00 p.m.

Price: $20 per person, plus tax Harvest Club Member & 1 Guest Price: $15 per person, plus tax (includes 1 Wine-a-Rita, appetizers, 1 souvenir photo, and gratuity)

Chase away the winter blues with a night in the tropics at Tassel Ridge Winery. Relax and enjoy a frozen Wine-A-Rita featuring our 2008 Iowa Frontenac Rosé. Feast on Caribbean veggie wraps, tropical fruit salsa with chips, and key lime tarts. Wear your favorite island attire and have a group photo taken in front of a tropical oasis. Everyone in your group will receive a copy of the photo as a souvenir. This event is sure to sell out fast! Advance reservations required by Friday, March 4. Contact the Winery at 641.672.WINE for reservations.


Saturday, March 12—Watercolors & Wine at Tassel Ridge Winery

10:00 a.m.–2:30 p.m.
Price: $60 per person, plus tax—Harvest Club Member & 1 Guest Price: $55 per person, plus tax (includes instruction, art supplies, lunch with 1 glass of wine, and gratuity)

Join artist and instructor Deb Baughman at Tassel Ridge Winery and learn the fundamentals of watercolor painting. Whether you’re a beginner or a more seasoned artist, Deb will help you discover and release your creativity. Have some fun and adventure with experimental watercolor and explore some quick and lively impressionistic and expressionistic methods for brightening your winter and taking you into a colorful spring. Raised in Soapcreek Township, Davis County, Iowa, and now living near the Fox Creek in Pulaski, Iowa, Deb enjoys watching as the outdoors changes from day-to-day and season-to-season. Her book, DAVIS COUNTY, IOWA, was just published, and she recently illustrated the new children’s book, The Red, White, and Blue Birdhouse written by Judy Combs.

Limited seating available! Call the Winery at 641.672.WINE to make advance reservations by Wednesday, February 23.


Saturday, March 26—Join Us for a Moroccan Inspired Wine Dinner

6:30 p.m.—Wine Tasting
7:00 p.m.—Dinner Seating

Price: $50 per person, plus tax—Harvest Club Member & 1 Guest Price: $45 per person, plus tax (includes dinner, 3 glasses of wine, and gratuity)

Enjoy an evening under a Moroccan style tent in the Tassel Ridge Winery Visitors Gallery. A three-course dinner will feature Moroccan Date and Orange Salad, Couscous Royale with chicken and a variety of vegetables seasoned to your taste with Harissa Paste, and an array of delicate Moroccan desserts. Each course will be paired with a specially selected Tassel Ridge wine. Advance reservations required by Wednesday, March 23. Contact the Winery at 641.672.WINE for reservations.

—Bob Wersen, President
Tassel Ridge Winery