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ROAD TRIPPIN' Clinton: Wide River Winery

Some of the wines offered at Wide River Winery in Clinton, Iowa. (Photo: Matt Hammill CBS2/FOX28)

You can float from Minnesota all the way to Louisiana and never find a wider spot on the entire Mississippi River. The bluffs are breathtaking, the view is gorgeous and appropriately it is the front yard for a destination that's growing in popularity by the day, Wide River Winery.

Owner Dorothy O'Brien laughs that it's the hobby that got completely out of control and took over her life and now she and her family wouldn't want it any other way. Amid this bluff-top panorama, visitors find a spacious outdoor deck nestled in the trees. It's a perfect hideaway for a summer afternoon or evening of sipping some of a dozen wines that are made right here. Acres of vineyards surround the winery and cozy tasting room. Dorothy says her dream was to serve the nectar of the gods and today a never ending parade of wine lovers wander to her door every day.

"I started because I like to grow grapes and I like to drink wine. There are over 100 wineries in Iowa now, and I mean, ten years ago there were like three. "

In the vineyard, Dorothy points to tiny clusters of buds that are just sprouting. By September, they will be giant bunches of purple and green grapes to be picked and made into popular, award winning varieties with some fun names. Ms. D'Meanor White won the medal for best dry in Mid America, Caught Red Handed earned a double gold and Felony Red rocks fishnet stockings on the label in a dry cabernet.

Visitors who inquire about the name are simply told it would be a crime to spill any of this wine! Dorothy says making what guests love is all part of her passion for producing a high quality product.

"Our best seller is Pursuit of Happiness, which is a grape wine with fresh raspberry added right at the end so it's got that kind of rich red wine feel to it, but then it's got that fruit pow."

With prime deck months ahead, Wide River Winery is gearing up for another season of live entertainment. A variety of bands pair nicely with the varieties of wine as guests enjoy this amazing and relaxing oasis. Wide River is already producing more than 85,000 bottles a year, but the future promises to grow even more. Along with expanding the vineyards, the business has expanded to another part of the river in Le Claire and is distributing wine throughout Iowa and Illinois.

For the vintage and the view, there's maybe no better way to spend some time on the Iowa Wine Trail and Dorothy and her family are betting you'll be glad she decided to share her hobby, " It's the experience, I mean you're out here, you're enjoying the river, you're relaxing in nature and having a sip of wine doesn't hurt a bit." Come along as Matt Hammill takes you to the widest and one of the prettiest spots on the mighty Mississippi as we go ROAD TRIPPIN' to Clinton and Wide River Winery!

Check them out at http://wideriverwinery.com/

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