At Jasper Winery, we strive to produce world-class wines using Iowa grown grapes. This can be a difficult task, and requires substantial innovation in terms of grape variety selection, vineyard practices, and wine production techniques. Nevertheless, I feel it is important to interfere as little as possible in the winemaking process. One must first understand the style of wine for which each grape variety is best suited. Then, the winemaker must create conditions which allow for the natural development of the grapes into a wine which fully expresses each variety’s natural characteristics. Some important winemaking decisions are listed below:
Grape variety – A wine can only be as good as the grapes from which it is produced. Therefore, it is important to select varieties that both grow well in our climate and lend themselves to making high quality wine.
Harvest date – Possibly the most important winemaking decision, choosing when to harvest determines the flavor profile of the grapes and therefore the wine.
Blending – Although we do make several 100% varietal wines, many of our wines are blends of more than one grape variety. Deciding what proportions to use in order to deliver the best final product is what many consider to be the “art” of winemaking.
Aging – We employ oak barrel aging for several of our dry wines, which helps to improve the quality of these wines. Length of oak aging as well as type of oak (French or American oak) is an important winemaking decision.
Mason Groben, winemaker