Continue reading " />

by Chris Murphy, CPCU on

Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

CPCU September 2017 Chapter Meeting

September 21, 2017 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

September 21, 2017

3:00 pm

Jasper Winery

VIP Tasting and Tour.  Wine tasting including the history of Jasper Winery and information about the Iowa wine industry. Followed by a tour of the winery to learn how to make wine.

Speaker Information:

John Barber is from the Detroit, Michigan area originally. He has resided in Iowa since 1979 and was in civil engineering from 1976 until 2014 when the wine business took over his soul. John is married to Barb Hokel, an Ankeny native who just loves wine. Her other career is in commercial real estate, but her real passion is in the wine business. They realized opportunity was knocking and kept reappearing in different scenarios, Barb and John decided that it was time to "answer the door" and take the giant leap of faith!

That first chapter of their new adventure started in 2011. In the spring of 2012, mostly due to their love of dry red wines, John and Barb planted 103 Marquette vines in their own back yard, with the intention of just being back yard wine makers. By the end of their second year, approx.. 150 gallons of wine was pressed from the grapes and they gave away several cases of this wine to friends and relatives over the year.

Ottawa Vineyards, LLC, the official business name was established in 2012 and now manages five separate vineyards in northeast Polk County, Iowa. The vineyards grow grape varietals of primarily Marquette, Frontenac and will soon be planting Petite Pearl and Itasca. At harvest, other grape varietals are purchased from local vineyards to fulfill the juice needs for the wines to be created for that year.

The Cellar Winery at White Oak was established in March 2015, when another opportunity once again arose to take over the vineyards and wine production at the former White Oak Winery. The timing was right this time and they decided to jump in with both feet! It took over a year to get grape production revitalized and transition into wine making, the wines have been bottled and into available since May 2016.
John currently serves on the board of the Iowa Wine Growers Association.


September 21, 2017
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Category:


Stephanie Wells, CPCU


Jasper Winery
2400 George Flagg Pkwy
Des Moines, IA 50321
+ Google Map

Previous post:

Next post: