Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tourist in My Own Town: Jasper Winery in Des Moines, Iowa

Since moving to Des Moines two weeks ago, tons of exciting things have happened. Both Nick and I started new jobs, and we booked a little summer getaway to Napa Valley in July. Combine the recent move, new jobs, and the fact that I'd never been to a vineyard before, and we decided it was high time that we took on the day as tourists in our new town and head to Jasper Winery!

Jasper Winery is located just a few miles from downtown Des Moines, and is super easy to get to. The actual wine tasting property has a ton of cool features, and several vines to give you the feel of being a vineyard- despite the actual vineyard being located about 30 miles from downtown Des Moines.

Upon walking up to the tasting room, we noticed that it was very busy- and for good cause. About once or twice a month Jasper Winery hosts a wine & painting event, and there were certainly tons of people present for the event! Unfortunately for Nick and I- regular old guests- this meant that we were asked to take a seat and they'd get to us as soon as possible for a tasting. While the 20 minute wait wasn't exactly what we had in mind, it was fortunately the only negative aspect of our visit to Jasper Winery.

Once we stepped up to the tasting counter, you are instructed to choose between two different tasting sets: the "Best of Des Moines" flight or the "Sweet & Feisty" flight. Because this vineyard is located in Iowa- and hence, not the ideal growing season for many different grapes- a lot of the wines can be fairly sweet. This is exactly why an entire flight is dedicated to sweeter wines, or more interesting wines- such as one made with hops from Jasper's sister brewery! Nevertheless, both Nick and I chose to taste the Best of Des Moines flight.

The best news about the tasting flights at Jasper? They are completely complementary for guests to enjoy! The Best of Des Moines flight features a Seyval Blanc, an unoaked Seyval Blanc, a JW Rosé, the 'Behind the Shed Red', the Marquette, and a Noiret. Upon speaking with Kylie, our helper for the day, she informed us that the Noiret was one of the most popular favorites among guests, and her personal favorite.

The Seyval Blanc was dry, fruity, and it was quite easy to taste that it had been aged in oak barrels. I would most recommend this to chardonnay lovers because of the oak barrel aging- while it was a good selection, it was not my personal favorite. However, the unbaked Seyval Blanc was quite delicious, with the same fruity flavors, and aging it in stainless steel made it almost reminiscent towards a Pinot Grigio. Ultimately, Nick and I decided to purchase and enjoy a bottle of this.

Each of the red wines was fairly dry and fruity. As Kylie mentioned, the Noiret was definitely the best selection. If Nick and I had been visiting the vineyard on a different day, and would be drinking inside instead of enjoying the sunny & 90 degree day, we would have selected the Noiret to enjoy. After purchasing a bottle of wine and ordering a meat and cheese platter, we headed out to the patio to enjoy the beautiful day!

The property at Jasper Winery is beautiful, and had a lot of great touches. Tucked away from the major highways and roadways, you really felt you were out in the country at a vineyard- versus being right in the city, like we essentially were! There are tons of picturesque spots at the winery, from the vines outdoors and the other gorgeous landscaping to inside the tasting room with the wine barrels behind you.

Overall, I would highly recommend Jasper Winery to anybody from the Des Moines area or swinging by and visiting! The wines were delicious, and definitely had a bottle for everyone's palette. Customer service overall was very good, and each of the workers were very knowledgeable. For a picturesque Sunday (or any day of the week, really!) afternoon, consider a trip out to Jasper Winery!


  1. Wow, thank you for sharing with so much detail. It is so important to know our wines ;) And I agree with your choice of wine, perfect for the occasion. It looks delicious from here haha! What a nice way to start exploring your new town and can't wait to see what you try in Napa. You guys look very happy!

    1. I love wine, so even though I would have loved a lazy day off before my crazy next month- I knew I had to visit! I'm so excited for Napa, definitely good motivation to keep working hard this next month :)

  2. I love visiting wineries, there are several around the area I am from and I can't wait to go home and visit them! Looks like a beautiful place you guys got to visit, and your going to love Napa!

    1. I can only imagine! After Napa I definitely want to hit some more Northern vineyards- you've got to be from such a good location for that!

  3. This looks amazing! I've never visited a winery but it's on my bucket list! Enjoy exploring!! :)

  4. I have never been to a winery - but this does look like something I would enoy, even though I am not a bit wine drinker!

  5. I had no idea there was a wine region in Iowa! I used to go down to the finger lakes pretty often when I was living in NY and the wine there is also pretty sweet. It's so awesome the tastings are free - especially once you go to the more expensive wine regions - even here in WA they can get pretty pricey.


  6. This post was quite awesome and interesting to read. Congrats for your work. Thanks a lot for providing this with us. Keep on updating this with us regularly. Alex


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