Do grapes grow in Iowa?           

Yes, grapes have been grown in Iowa since the mid-19th century. By about 1910, there were nearly 4,000 acres of grapes planted. Many of these grapes were Concord. A combination of events brought commercial grape growing to an end by the 1960’s including prohibition in 1919, a severe storm in November 1940, and the use of the herbicide, 2,4-D, in the 1960’s. Several attempts to restart grape growing in Iowa occurred through the 1970’s and 1980’s and by the 1990’s, conditions were favorable for grape growing. Today, there are about 1,200 acres of grapes growing in Iowa. For the most part, they are cold climate varieties that survive our cold winters and produce fruit that will make good wine in our short growing season.

What are yeast lees?           

Yeast lees are the leftover yeast particles that remain after fermentation is finished. As the yeast cells break down during a process that is called autolysis, they release tiny amounts of amino acids and sugars that are called polysaccharides. These acids and sugars give the finished wine increased body or palate weight.