That's great! Some of the best advice we could give you if you're considering starting a vineyard or winery in Iowa is to spend your first amount of time and resources visiting many different vineyards and wineries in your area and within the state and even across the Midwest.

  • Attend industry educational workshops, the IWGA Annual Conference or take some viticulture or enology classes to educate yourself.
  • Enroll in the Iowa Wine Growers Association Registered Apprenticeship Program, where you'll receive education and on-the-job training to become certified as a cellar worker or winemaker.
  • Become a member of the Iowa Wine Growers Association, which provides many valuable benefits to industry members.
  • Take time to meet with winery/vineyard owners and discuss the benefits and challenges they've faced in this industry so that you're fully prepared to succeed once you are ready for business. Not only will you gain some great connections for mentors and future business contacts, but you'll have a pretty fun time exploring as well!

Here are a few additional resources for you as you begin your journey.

Iowa Wine Growers Association Registered Apprenticeship Program
Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division (State Licensing)
Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) (Federal Licensing)
Economics of a Small Premium Winery - University of Georgia (pdf)
Winery Business Plans and Feasibility Studies - Midwest Grape & Wine Industry Institute
Small Winery Investment and Operating Costs - Washington State University
Viticulture Enology Science and Technology (VESTA)
Wine America