Fall is one of my favorite times to explore Council Bluffs and the nearby Loess Hills. When I’m with my kids, we head outdoors for hikes or apple picking. But, if we have a kid-free afternoon, wineries are a fun destination. Here’s a list of wineries near Council Bluffs to get you started planning a day out.
UPDATE: This post was first published in 2018. It has been updated in August 2021 to reflect closures.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Unleash CB. All thoughts, opinions and typos are my own.
Wineries Near Council Bluffs
Ditmars Orchard & Vineyard
Where: 19475 225th St., Council Bluffs, Iowa
Events: The winery has concerts in the summer, with the next one coming up this Saturday. Big events at the orchard include Apple Days Music Festival on Sept. 2, Fields of Flight Hot Air Balloon Festival Sept. 7-9, Midwest Winds Kite Flyers Sept. 15 & 16, and the third annual Wine Walk on Oct. 6.
Worth mentioning: This is a pretty family-friendly place to visit, and so are the events, so I’d say it’s more orchard than vineyard. Purchase an activity band to enjoy the corn maze, playground and the tractor rides; time things right to pick your own apples or pumpkins.
Prairie Crossing Vineyard & Winery
Where: 31506 Pioneer Trail, Treynor, Iowa
Events: The winery hosts live music on select days in a series called Vineyard Vibes. Concerts are planned for this Sunday, as well as Aug. 12, Aug. 26, Sept. 9, Sept. 23, and Oct. 7 (customer appreciation day). The Aug. 26 Vineyard Vibes coincides with the Annual Harvest Party, which includes grape stomping from noon to 2 p.m. The event is all-ages, and teams can register now. The Sip & Shop Craft Fair is Oct. 21.
Breezy Hills Vineyard
Where: 31735 Tamarak Road, Minden, Iowa
Events: Wings & Wine-a-Ritas has live music Fridays, July 27, Aug. 3, and Aug. 10; Labor Day music featuring Ledd Peppers is on Sept. 2; live music also on Sundays, Sept. 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30.
Vine Street Cellars
Where: 17 N. Vine St., Glenwood, Iowa
Events: The winery will host food trucks during the Glenwood Iowa Farmer’s Market from 4 to 7 p.m., including Anthony Piccolo’s Mobile Food Venue on Aug. 1, 15 and 29, and Phy-Ros Food Truck (philly cheese steaks & gyros) on Aug. 8 and 22. The winery is participating in the Lawn Mower Poker Run sponsored by the Mills County Trails on Aug. 18, and has something planned for the Glenwood Homecoming on Sept. 21.
Bodega Victoriana Winery & Wedding Barn
Where: 60397 Kidd Road, Glenwood, Iowa
Events: The winery holds a live music series called Bodega BARN BEATS on the first Sunday of the month. The remaining 2018 dates are Sept. 2, Oct. 7, Nov. 3, and Dec. 2.
Soaring Wings Vineyard
Where: 17111 S. 138th St., Springfield, Neb.
Events: The winery has live music most Saturdays and Sundays, with Saturday concerts outside in the amphitheater and Sunday concerts indoors and acoustic. The annual pig roast, Swine on the Vine, is Aug. 18. The Harvest Festival is Sept. 29 and includes grape stomping.
Whiskey Run Creek Vineyard & Winery
Where: 702 Main, Brownville, Neb.
Events: None listed.
Wine Trails To Know
Most of the wineries listed above are part of a wine trail. The ones in southwest Iowa belong to the Western Iowa Wine Trail. Members of the trail host Western Iowa Wine Trail events that encourage road tripping (with a DD) through scenic western Iowa. On Nov. 3, there will be a poker run along the wine trail from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
If you want to venture into Nebraska, there’s the Southeast Nebraska Winery Trail. The two that are closest to Council Bluffs are Soaring Wings Vineyard in Springfield, Neb., and Whiskey Run Creek Vineyard & Winery in Brownville, Neb.
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