A delightful bed & breakfast adds a winery
From milk to wine
First a dairy, then a B&B, now a winery -- things are always changing on this small farm. Loren and Dianna Engelbrecht have lived and breathed the country life since they were kids. Both grew up on dairy farms, and Dianna once wore the crown of Iowa's dairy princess.
When Loren spotted a pretty 50-acre farmstead near Fredericksburg, Iowa, the couple decided to buy it even though the turn-of-the-century Victorian farmhouse was run down.
"Dianna and I have always liked old houses, and we thought it would be fun to restore this one," says Loren.
Their entrepreneurial spirit led them to open their home as the Farmhouse Bed and Breakfast in 1998. About 400 overnight guests visit each year to stay in one of the five guest rooms -- there are even two suites with private decks and whirlpools. Dianna prepares everyone a big breakfast featuring the farm's own eggs and locally grown meats.
Get your boots dirty
If guests want to get their boots dirty, they can help out in Loren's dairy barn. He operates a specialized dairy, selling other farmers fresh cows that he has milked for a month or more.
The family's newest venture is a vineyard and winery located at the back of their property. In the spring of 2004, the Engelbrechts planted 1 acre in grape vines, including Marechal Foch, a hardy variety perfect for red wine. Two more acres were added in 2005, including Frontenac, La Crosse, Kay Gray, Prairie Star, St. Pepin, and Edelweiss. The plan is for 6 total acres. The first crop will be harvested in the fall of 2006.
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