Iowa has a history with grapevines that goes back more than a century. New York lawyer Hiram Barney obtained a tract of land in southeast Iowa as part of the Half-Breed program following the American Indian Wars and created the White Elk Winery.
German settlers in Amana tended community vineyards for communal wines. Before Prohibition, the Council Bluffs Grape Growers Association grew grapes and shipped them eastward by the ton.
In the early 1900s, the state was among the nation's top producers of grapes. Pesticides, weather and government subsidies ended the time of the vines of the prairie until their recent return. Author John N. Peragine details the rise, fall and resurgence of the industry in the Hawkeye State.