Lyon County, IA couple "grow" award-winning vineyard & win - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Lyon County, IA couple "grow" award-winning vineyard & winery

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Year in, and year out, fall brings the harvest in so many fields across Siouxland. But, the crops that a Lyon County, Iowa, couple harvest aren't your typical corn and beans.

Will Kimberly, Calico Skies Winery Owner said "We're right at the top of the hill here." Will Kimberly, and his wife, Ashlee, tend 16 acres near Inwood, Iowa.

Farming is what Ashlee's family has done for year. But, here, corn and beans take a back seat. Ashlee Kimberly, Calico Skies Winery Owner said, " I grew up on a farm, so I think, initially, the vineyard was the first idea we wanted to do." They grow grapes to make wine. A passion they shared. Ashlee Kimberly, Calico Skies Winery Owner said, "Then we also loved wine, and wine tasting."

Time in wine country got them hooked. Ashlee Kimberly, Calico Skies Winery Owner said, "Living in California, we had the opportunity to visit a lot of wineries, and work with a smaller winery, boutique style. So we got to work with the owner, and gets hands-on experience with that."

Both have a horticulture background from Iowa State. And, while still out west, spent their spare time taking winemaking classes, online. Will Kimberly, Calico Skies Winery Owner said, "We really sort of obsessed over the business for quite a few years." That obsession lead the couple to this hilltop near Ashley's hometown. Will Kimberly, Calico Skies Winery Owner said, "Everything that happened in that first year was kind of a challenge."

The biggest challenge? Setting everything to their schedule. Ashlee Kimberly, Calico Skies Winery Owner said, "We booked our first wedding reception before we even had the building... the concrete wasn't even poured." Three years later, the Kimberlys have harvested their first homegrown grapes for wine with the Calico Skies label.

They grow grapes with names you may not have heard before. Will Kimberly, Calico Skies Winery Owner said, "There's La Crescent, Brianna, Frontenac Gris is a white that we use. Then there's reds... Frontenac, and Marquette are two of the reds we use." No Merlot, or Chardonnay here. Will Kimberly, Calico Skies Winery Owner said, "We just use Midwest grape varieties here." Hearty grapes that will survive the short growing season, and long, hard winters.

What about that name, Calico Skies? That's all in the family, too. Will Kimberly, Calico Skies Winery Owner said, "It's the name of a Paul McCartney song. Ashlee's mom is..." Ashlee Kimberly, Calico Skies Winery Owner said, "She loves Paul McCartney." Will Kimberly, Calico Skies Winery Owner said, "She's been in love with Paul McCartney he whole life." Ashlee Kimberly, Calico Skies Winery Owner said, "She loves Paul McCartney, she loves the Beatles, so therefore I grew up loving Paul McCartney, and the Beatles."

So, with a little "Help", the Kimberlys were able to "Come Together" and travel "The Long and Winding Road" to fulfill their dream.

To learn more about Calico Skies, click here.

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