Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Iowa wineries: Penoach Vineyard and Winery

For anyone who knows me well, they know I love a good glass (or two... or bottle...) of wine. So when my mom invited Adam and me to go to a local winery to hear a live band last summer, I wasn't about to say no. My first-ever winery visit was to Penoach Winery in Adel (a small suburb of the Des Moines region), and it has since become my favorite place for local wines.

The events are simple, yet so fun. Twice a month from May through September, the winery has a live band and a tent set up for guests to park their picnics under. You can bring in all the food you want (some people bring in literally tables full of food!), but they also usually have a food truck as well. Outside drinks aren't allowed because obviously they want you to buy their wine, but for just $15 a bottle you can have any flavor they have, chilled and ready to go. They also have a tasting station so you can sample a few kinds before you order a whole bottle. One of my favorites is the Rustic Red.

For food that night, my mom stocked up on some of our favorite wine-pairing appetizers, like gourmet cheeses, ham and turkey, focaccia, olives and crackers. Honestly, if I could eat these items for dinner every night, I probably would! I love picking out our favorite foods and packing a cooler for the winery. It's so much cheaper than eating out, but it's just as fun because you get to be around other people and listen to live music! The best part about this night was seeing a group of 50- to 60-year-old women dancing to all the 80s tunes — one woman was so into it that she stripped her jacket off and threw it in the air!

The winery itself is absolutely adorable. It's located outside the city on a gravel road and a large acreage. The owners live there in a gorgeous two-story white house, and they sell the wine out of a little barn in the backyard. The bands perform on a patio attached to the barn, and the guests are seated in an open grassy area next to the vineyard. It's such a beautiful area that I love to just walk around and take it all in.

If you live in/around Des Moines, Penoach is definitely a place to add to your bucket list!

P.S. 10 free things to do in Des Moines, 5 happy hour specials in Des Moines and my own summer bucket list

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