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Potluck: Between the Vines

Iowa Wineries

Between the Vines with a Glass of Wine

Compiled by Carol Bodensteiner
and Mary Gottschalk

Mary Granneman is a VIP. A very important person, yes, but more significantly she’s a Very Important Picker. Two Saints Winery of St. Charles bestows the title on those who help with the grape harvest each fall.

Granneman is a city girl who enjoys being out in the fields. “Walking the rows in the early morning, with dew heavy on my feet, raising up the leaves to reveal beautiful clumps of grapes: It’s a discovery. I love to go and help.”

“Every winery invites the public to help with harvest,” says Christine Carlton, who owns Two Saints Winery with her husband, Gary. “Events like this get people involved. They learn about grape production and have fun. We get our grapes picked. It works for us both.”

For the past six years, the Carltons have hosted pickers for four weekends in August and September to harvest their 10 acres of grapes.

After a day of picking, VIPs relax, put up their feet, and enjoy a glass of wine as they watch the grapes they just picked skinned and crushed. 

Two Saints Winery is one stop along the Heart of Iowa Wine Trail, which boasts 15 wineries. Start planning your grape escape by learning more online at and — C.B.

Photo courtesy Two Saints Winery.

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