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This video was produced by Luther College alum Bailey Mulholland and showcases Ken Barnes, the viticulturist and patriarch of the family.
Winneshiek Wildberry Winery in Decorah is family owned and operated by Ken and Yvonne Barnes and their two daughters Darla Jones and Beth Guzman.
The farm has been in Yvonne's family for 150 years tracing back to her great-grandmother. Ken and Yvonne have lived on the farm since 1969. During this time they have raised dairy cows, beef cows, and farrowed pigs. With the decline of farming visible all around them as well as their own firsthand experience, they decided to keep the farm viable by producing grapes.
Ken planted the first grape varieties in 2001. Darla, our winemaker, competed classes to increase her wine making knowledge and improve her craft. During this time Ken began drawing up plans to rebuild the barn into a winery. The winery was built on the original foundation of the dairy barn. It was built by the Amish, Henry Miller a.k.a. "Barefoot Henry" and his crew in 2004-2005. It all came together in the fall of 2005 with the opening of the winery's doors in October.
There are now nine acres of vineyards and two acres of Rhubarb for guests to tour as well as a patio for enjoying the scenery, flowers, birds and a glass of wine. Inside the winery is a beautiful wood furnished tasting room, complete with a majestic oak bar. The gift shop is the perfect place to pick up wine accessories or a gift for yourself or someone you know. After you spend time in the gift shop you can sample a flight of wine and have lunch.
Winneshiek Wildberry Winery truly is the perfect place to spend a day in the country!