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Iowa Wine Growers announce 2019 award winners

Association continues to advance Iowa’s wine industry.

March 5, 2019

4 Min Read
KUDOS: Winners (from left) are Terry Bockenstedt, Nutrien Solutions; Doug Bakker, Madison County Winery; Jeremy and Tara Kohlhaas, The Wijn House; and Chris Larsen, Compass Hill Vineyard.

The Iowa Wine Growers Association recently presented awards to several members who have been integral to the success of the state’s wine and grape industry. The winners were honored at the 2019 Iowa Wine Awards Banquet, held during the association’s annual conference in mid-February at Ankeny.

Doug Bakker, Madison County Winery in St. Charles, won the 2019 Winemaker of the Year Award. This award goes to an Iowa winemaker who crafts superior wines using locally sourced products when possible, adhering to best practices of winemaking, and demonstrating a willingness to experiment and try new techniques.

Madison County Winery is owned and operated by Bakker and his wife, Cheryl. They planted the vineyard in 2001 and established the winery in 2005. Bakker has been involved with the Iowa wine and grape industry since 2000 when he became a member of the Iowa Grape Growers Association (now IWGA). He’s served as past president of IWGA and is actively involved in legislative efforts. A member of IWGA’s apprenticeship committee, he’s currently enrolled in the program. He is a certified wine specialist in the Society of Wine Educators.

Top vineyard
The 2019 Vineyard of the Year Award goes to Compass Hill Vineyard near Winterset. This award honors an Iowa vineyard for contributing to the industry through superior viticulture practices, providing high-quality produce for Iowa wineries, while continually seeking to improve its business through education and advancement. Chris Larsen and wife Erin own Compass Hill Vineyard. They are dedicated to improving the quality of Iowa grapes and wine. Chris Larsen serves on the IWGA board of directors.

Jeremy and Tara Kohlhaas of The Wijn House in Pella were presented the 2019 Retail Partner of the Year Award. This award honors an Iowa retailer for supporting growth of the state’s wine and grape industry by working with Iowa wineries and vineyards, and demonstrating willingness to showcase Iowa wines at retail.

The Wijn House is an all-Iowa wine shop and tasting room, featuring a different Iowa winery each week to educate the public on the wide variety of wines available across the state. This is the second year in a row The Wijn House has won this award.

‘Grape Guy’ gets special recognition
Terry Bockenstedt, Nutrien Ag Solutions in Dyersville, was presented the 2019 Outstanding Industry Partner Award. This honor goes to an individual or organization for supporting the growth of Iowa’s wine and grape industry, serving as an advocate and helping improve the quality of grapes and wine. Bockenstedt works with many vineyards throughout Iowa, sharing his expertise.

Mike White, Iowa State University Extension, was presented the 2019 Jean Gerrath Award. This is a new IWGA annual award named after Jean Gerrath, who helped establish the association and served as the founding president. This award honors someone for their outstanding work for the industry and within the association. White is the viticulture specialist for ISU and is commonly referred to as the “Iowa Grape Guy.”


SPECIAL RECOGNITION: The Iowa Wine Growers Association presented a new award for 2019, the Jean Gerrath Award. It goes to Mike White (center), ISU Extension viticulturist. Presenting the award are IWGA board member Mike Vincent (left) of Wooden Wheel Vineyards and IWGA President Andy Hrasky of Prairie Crossing Winery.

Serving on the IWGA board, White has been integral to the startup and success of the grape and wine industry in the state. For the past 20 years he’s provided grape growing, marketing and general wine industry technical support. He’s continued to help educate industry members through workshops and by authoring his popular ISU Wine Growers newsletter since 2007.

Iowa’s industry growing
In addition, IWGA board members Doug Lewis, Cedar Valley Winery, and Steve Larson, Train Wreck Winery, were presented with service awards recognizing their terms on the IWGA board. Mike Vincent, Wooden Wheel Vineyards, was presented with the Presidential Award for his service as outgoing president.

“The Iowa Wine Growers Association is thrilled to present this year’s awards and they couldn’t be given to a more deserving group of winners,” says Andy Hrasky, IWGA president. “The Iowa Wine Awards are nominated and voted on by peers within the industry. Receiving one of these awards is quite an achievement. We thank each of the award winners for their contributions to the growth of our industry and look forward to their continued success.”


SERVICE AWARDS: IWGA board members Doug Lewis (left) of Cedar Valley Winery and Steve Larson of Train Wreck Winery were honored with Service Awards at the annual meeting. Mike Vincent of Wooden Wheel Vineyards was presented the IWGA Outgoing Presidential Award for his service.


Source: IWGA, which is responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and its subsidiaries aren’t responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.





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