Midwest Living Review
With a name like Fireside, you expect this winery near the Amana Colonies (and close to the Williamsburg outlet mall) to be welcoming and warm. It lives up to its name, with a cozy tasting area complete with a granite-topped bar and a dedicated room -- with a fireplace -- for enjoying a glass or two. The wines are made locally, using a blend of grapes from Fireside's vineyards and shipped from other states. The Cordovan ($15 a bottle), made from California Zinfandel grapes, is particularly nice: very fruity and juicy with a dry finish. Other wines have more fanciful names, such as Firefly, Storyteller and Hearthstone. And what's better than a glass of wine with friends? Wine with snacks. Fireside offers a variety of appetizers, including a creamy spinach-artichoke dip with whole-grain chips ($9). Depending on the day's selection you might also try warm Brie dip with bread and apples or a pesto sampler. The outside is designed with events in mind, including multiple fire pits surrounded by deck chairs. A nicely landscaped gazebo area makes a lovely spot for an outdoor wedding. Rows of tidy vines enhance the view of rolling Iowa farmland. A full calendar of entertainment events keeps people coming back. In summer and autumn months, the winery hosts entertainment on weekends, usually live music by local performers. Owners Bill and Rona Wyant started the winery as a legacy for their children, as way to pass on their farming heritage. The care with which they created Fireside is evident in the surroundings and the wine.