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Iowa: Wine Country?

July 9, 2007

Iowa is known worldwide for growing corn and raising hogs, and wine may soon join the mix. This weekend twelve professional judges will be at the Des Moines Area Community College for the first ever Mid-American Wine Competition. Eleven commercial wineries from several Midwest states, including Iowa, will be showcasing their wines to the judges. Wine expert Paul Gospodarczyk is an enology instructor at DMACC. He says 500 wines will be judged.

“We've brought in judges from across the United States that work with wines made in the best growing regions of the world to evaluate our wines and give their honest opinion and hopefully lend more creditability to our industry.”

Gospodarczyk notes that the wine industry is becoming more than a novelty in Iowa, it's creating economic development.

“It's given rural Iowa alternative agriculture options, and then it's also having a big effect on agro-tourism.”

DMACC's Enology and Viticulture programs will be assisting the competition with a "Swine Festival" that will be open to the public. The festival will focus on with type of foods that can and should be served with Iowa's vintage wines.

Festival information is at www.swinefestival.com.

Dick Layman/Jamie Folsom, Public News Service - IA