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Central Iowa is booming with wineries and vineyards popping up all over – especially in the past few decades. Here are 10 wineries close to Des Moines where you can kick back, relax and sip the day away.
Brian Taylor Carlson/The Register

The founders of Summerset Winery are looking to sell the operation after more than two decades of serving Iowa wine lovers.

The winery, 12-acre vineyard, house and inn on the 65-acre property less than 10 miles from Des Moines has been listed with Iowa Realty for $2.3 million. According to the listing, the house has 4,758 square feet of living space with 10 bedrooms and seven bathrooms.

The sale also includes all of the winery’s production equipment, merchandise, chiller units and other machinery used to maintain the property.

Summerset Winery owner Ron Mark.Summerset Winery owner Ron Mark.Buy Photo

Summerset Winery owner Ron Mark. (Photo: Des Moines Register file photo)

Ron and Linda Mark bought the Summerset land in 1988. Ron Mark, a longtime wine lover, began planting grapes the following year and the winery opened its doors to the public in 1997.

Nicole Eilers, marketing director for the Iowa Wine Growers Association, credited the Marks and Summerset with helping the industry expand throughout the state.

“I would say they’re one of the founding wineries,” Eilers said. “There’s been wineries since before prohibition, but to get our current industry to where we are now, Ron, I would say, is one of the founders.”

Ron Mark said Summerset Winery was able to enjoy success from its start because of its unique nature.

“When we finally got open to the public we were so terribly successful since we were the only estate winery,” he said. “We just couldn’t make enough wine.”

Mark began holding seminars in 2000 to teach others how to grow grapes with the expectation that maybe five or six people would attend.

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