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Sugar Clay Winery and Vineyardswine glass

Contact Information

1446 240th Avenue
Thurman, IA 51654
Iowa Wine
E-mail WineryEmptyIowa Wineries
Wine Tasting
Tasting offered: Yes
Mon-Wed: No hours specified
Thu-Sat: 10:00am - 6:00pm
Sun: 1:00pm - 5:00pm
Closed Easter, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve, and New Year's Day

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Winery Journal

Wine: 4 stars Winery: 5 stars Ambiance: 5 starsAug 28, 2011

Lots of ambience and fun place to visit. Have always enjoyed our outing to this winery.

Wine: 3 stars Winery: 4 stars Ambiance: 5 starsMay 14, 2011

Favorite Wine: Cedar Ridge Red / Loess Hills Blush

We visited four wineries today in western Iowa and Sugar Clay is our favorite amongst the four in terms of its tasting room and outdoor patio. In fact, the outdoor patio area, nestled against the side of a loess hill in a dense grove of trees may be the best or most relaxing we have visited in the 27 wineries we have visited so far. It is certainly right up there. It helped, of course, that we visited in early May before the full heat of summer sets in. Even in Summer, though, I suspect with all the trees this patio is a nice reprieve. The patio really does have a treehouse feel. It is a very relaxing way to enjoy wine and a meat tray on a lazy afternoon with subtle background music and Vino, the winery’s gentle golden retriever, nearby. Our host, Amy the co-owner with her husband, was very gracious and welcoming. For the wines, liked the Cedar Ridge Red, a blend of Norton, Chambourcin, St. Vincent, St. Croix and Frontenac (did I forget any?). Perhaps I liked it best of their wines as I am always searching for a traditional, dry, European style. Amy opened a brand new bottle for us and it was a little tight at first during the sipping. Later we let it breathe for a good 30 minutes and it was much more enjoyable. However, it wasn’t a traditional red (at least for me). I am newly exposed to the varietals Frontenac, St. Croix and St. Vincent. So I suspect that is what I am still trying to get my arms around. But with the breathing it opened up and was good in its own unique way and all was warm and good in the world. Another red we like was the Loess Hills Blush which Amy compared to a Sangria. We had it chilled and it was fun, yet unique too. My wife liked the Bandana Red as well. It is a blend of St. Croix, Frontenac and Catawba grapes. Our tasting was slightly chilled and the label says it can be served chilled or cellar temp. Perhaps I would like it better if it was cellar temp. While it was okay, I think I may have just been getting antsy to return to a more “traditional” red taste. I came here hoping to taste the Norton/Cynthiana varietal but they’re currently sold out. However, they have a batch aging, so I hope to try it on another visit. We’re not big on the whites usually, but we did like their III Vines which is a blend of Seyval, Vidal Blanc and Vignoles. It was a sweet white without being too sweet. Nice floral notes. We like Vignoles so that is what really stood out in this blend for me. The winery’s calendar is full of what look like many fun events such as “Winestock” – a live music event featuring many musicians and a monthly event called the Wine Wenches Club which is a ladies night out type deal. Overall, we like the atmosphere, the hosts and we see this winery only improving with time. We will return often as it is less than an hour southeast of the Omaha metro (our home) and could be part of Nebraska City / Waubonsie State Park day-trip not to mention the Western Iowa Wine Trail itself.

Wine: 3 stars Winery: 3 stars Ambiance: 3 starsJan 04, 2010

After tasting 66 other Norton grape wines from ten states, I decided to order a Norton wine from Iowa. On a scale of one-to-five, I would rate Sugar Clay's Cynthiana (Norton) a 2+ with their Cedar Ridge Red Blend (Norton-St.Croix blend) a solid 3. Either would go well with a meal of smoked turkey, beef, lamb, or pork. Not bad, considering our Norton ratings to date stand at: 22 Poor/ 18 Fair / 19 Good / 5 Excellent / 2 Exceptional. [IGNORE Winery & Ambiance ratings since we did not visit the winery]

Ken Campbell

Location: NE

Wine: 5 stars Winery: 5 stars Ambiance: 5 starsJun 22, 2009

Favorite Wine: Faus Haus

2nd time visiting and was as enjoyable as thew first. Enjoyed a bottle of Faus Haus and meat platter on the deck overlooking vinyard

Autumn Wardyn

Location: NE

Wine: 4 stars Winery: 5 stars Ambiance: 5 starsAug 26, 2007

Favorite Wine: Bandanna Red

Very beautiful. The day we went there was a wedding reception there, so it was easy to find, we simply followed the "Wedding" signs. The ladies working there were very nice and the tasting was free. We bought two bottles, Bandanna Red and Faus Hans Rosa. . .both excellent.


Location: IA

Wine: 5 stars Winery: 4 stars Ambiance: 4 starsMar 30, 2007

Favorite Wine: Cynthiana

Excellent wine

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Wineries / Vineyards Near Sugar Clay Winery and Vineyards

Bodega Victoriana WineryBodega Victoriana Winery - Glenwood, IA - 12.4 miles
Kimmel Orchard & VineyardKimmel Orchard & Vineyard - Nebraska City, NE - 12.9 miles
Arbor Day FarmArbor Day Farm - Nebraska City, NE - 13.5 miles
Vine Street CellarsVine Street Cellars - Glenwood, IA - 14.8 miles
Slattery Vintage EstatesSlattery Vintage Estates - Nehawka, NE - 17.2 miles

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This winery information last updated: Mar 17, 2015

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