Just minutes from downtown Des Moines, Jasper Winery sits surrounded by grassy lawns on a quiet street. A small vineyard provides an appealing view, and the angled red-and-black building looks modern and inviting. This is one of the more upscale stops on the I-80 Wine Trail, but a friendly, knowledgeable staff keeps the vibe low-key. Seven days a week, servers guide guests through tastings of sweet and dry wines. Best in class are the Marquette, a dry red with berry undertones, and the Seyval Blanc, a refreshing dry white. (Guests can also sample beer from Madhouse Brewing Company.)
A small but lovely bar area backs up to a large glass window looking into a room filled with barrels. Another window provides a glimpse into a production room full of busy workers. The outside space includes covered tent seating and metal tables around the patio, and on summer Saturday afternoons, the place is packed with friends and couples. Snack plates are available; the bread, stuffed olives and sweet peppers option ($10) is a nice compliment to most of the bottles ($10 to $20).
Jasper Winery hosts a number of events and concerts throughout the summer. Bring a blanket, kick back and enjoy some tunes on the lawn.