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Newsletter Articles

We Pressed Iowa Prairie Snow® Last Week

Last week, we pressed our Iowa Prairie Snow®. We’d harvested the grapes right at the beginning of harvest starting August 2, 2017 and then took them to a locker for freezing. We left them at the locker until we could take a day or two to press

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Vineyard Team is Starting to Spray Herbicides and is Applying Potassium Under the Vines

Now that the first hard frosts have sent the vines into dormancy, the vineyard team is starting to spray herbicides to kill weeds and grass that grow under the vines and compete for moisture and nutrients. This is one thing we can do now that will increase

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Cellar Team Presses Frozen Grapes for Iowa Prairie Snow®

This week, the cellar team pressed the frozen grapes to start making Iowa Prairie Snow®. We hand-harvested them early in August and sent them to a locker to be frozen. We brought them back to Tassel Ridge on Friday. The grapes partially thawed and then were pressed

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Vines Start to Go Dormant, Vineyard and Equipment Maintenance Continues

Cooler weather and shorter days are telling the vines that it is time to shut down for the winter. The sap in the vines is headed down into the root system and soon all of the leaves will turn brown and a good wind will blow them

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We Harvested Our Last Grapes and Have Shifted to Fermentation Management

The Cellar Team has one more grape variety, Steuben, to crush. Steuben is a labrusca sport that is native to New England. It is usually the last grape we harvest each year. We really like the juice it produces because it makes a very popular wine that

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Our Grape Harvest is Nearly Done; The Action Shifts to Vineyard Maintenance

We harvested Frontenac today and now only have Steuben to harvest. The Steuben isn’t ready yet and we just have to wait for sugar and acid levels to reach our targets. In the meantime, we will start some post-harvest maintenance tasks like cleaning up the vineyard sheds,

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We are Harvesting Grapes as Fast as They Ripen

We are totally engaged in harvesting grapes. The Brianna was ready first, followed by Edelweiss, and then St. Pepin. These were all grapes for making white wines. Last week, we harvested our first red grape of the season, Sabrevois. This was followed by LaCrosse, another white, and

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Vineyard Crew Focuses on Harvest

The vineyard crew collected grape samples and then tested the juice in the lab for titratable acidity, pH (strength of acid), and sugar. Generally, acids drop and sugar increases as we approach the time to harvest. We’d like to see acid below 10 grams per liter and

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Vineyard Crew is Ready to Harvest

Last week, we harvested Brianna from Newport Lane and Tassel Ridge. The hot weather helped to bring sugar up and acids down. Most important, the flavors were outstanding. The grapes from Newport Lane were hand harvested and those from Tassel Ridge were machine harvested. Lower temperatures (relatively

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Harvest Began with Brianna on August 4

Harvest began on Tuesday, August 4 with about one ton of Brianna being picked by hand from Newport Lane Vineyard. The hot weather drove sugars up dramatically in the grapes in that one vineyard. Sugar in the other vineyards where Brianna is planted remained below our target

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