OSKALOOSA— Tassel Ridge Winery, located just outside of Oskaloosa, was awarded the Iowa State Fair gold award for its blackberry wine.
Bob Wersen, the owner of Tassel Ridge Winery, said the winery is very proud of the win.
“We are delighted, we did win four other silver medals and so we are very pleased with those as well.”
Wersen said making award-winning wines begins with practice.
“We have been making the blackberry wine for the last 10 or 15 years but our approach to making it has improved. We have won awards for gold medals for this wine for several years," he said, "and so we think we've got the process dialed in and you pay attention to each step that your taking and you document it and just make sure you do it again.”
What sets them apart from other winemakers is, according to Wersen, Tassel Ridge is an Iowa winery and sells only their own wine, says Wersen.
“We grow a lot of our own fruit. Now in the case of the blackberry, we don't grow that ourselves we get that from outside but we are tuned in to the taste of our customers in Iowa, we sell throughout the state of Iowa," he said. "We go out and do tastings in our retailers all over Iowa and we get feedback and we zero in our wine based on that feedback and of course we watch the sales of the wine too so were pretty opportunistic about how we track customer feedback.”