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The Beginning of Our Journey

Frisky Fox Vineyard, LLP is a small farm vineyard with one acre of vines near Riceville Iowa which is located in Northern Iowa. We grow Petite Pearl, Sabrevois, Marquette, Verona, Louise Swenson, Frontenac Blanc, Brianna, and Osceola Muscat. Many of these varieties will be used to blend and test wine quality. My interest in winemaking started on a vacation to Germany. Here's our story.

In Riceville, at my Grandpa's house a book filled with priceless family history lays on a shelf collecting dust. It unlocked the past and unleashed stories of my ancestors. I would flip through his genealogy book and dream about one day travelling to a German village, Neumagen-Dhron. In a valley, nestled along the majestic Mosel River, my eldest known ancestors called this place home. In this village they tended to their vineyards and livelihood as viticulturists and vintners. In 1846 when my Ancestors emigrated they did so from Neumagen-Dhron.

In March of 2009 a vacation had been planned to visit a distant relative's winery in Neumagen-Dhron, Germany. While approaching the Mosel the view was breathe taking. The road weaved through the steep vine covered slope on both sides of the road. Grape vines as far as an eye can see rose skyward from the ground and they sprawled across the land. It was easy to see that we were in wine country. As we drove down the steep slope into the village we crossed a bridge and as houses came into view I was amazed. The buildings looked as though they have been there for many centuries. As I approached the wineries copper door I noticed it had images of grape vines with trellises and people picking grapes etched onto its surface.

He told us to sit in the wine tasting room. I couldn’t believe that I was actually in Neumagen-Dhron and that I was about sample wine in the same village found in my Grandfathers genealogy book. We sampled Riesling, Spätburgunder, Sekt (champagne), dornfelder, and some table wines. As he poured the wine he was telling stories of growing grapes, family history, and history of the region. You could tell that they took great pride transforming the luscious grapes into wine and sekt (champagne).

In my mind I pictured my ancestors working in their vineyard. I found myself wondering how life would be if they didn’t move to America. The mysteries of the past kept running through my mind. During the flight to America I was reflecting on my journey to the land of my ancestors. Never would have imagined, at my Grandfather’s house a book filled with priceless family history lays on a shelf collecting dust and led me on a life changing journey. This journey to Germany led to my passion of growing vines and winemaking.

Zachary Fox

Frisky Fox Vineyard, LLP

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