A first of its kind Iowa “cork flight” record attempt is slated for Friday, February 27th (7pm) on the campus of Kirkwood Community College. Sparkling winemakers of Iowa have accepted the challenge for the first “Flight of the Corks” record attempt during the annual Iowa Wine Growers Conference in Cedar Rapids.
There is effervescence among some Iowa winemakers, a bubbly personality motivating them to craft exceptional wines, and a growing trend to create traditional method champagne style wines of incredible quality. The traditional method of creating sparkling wines (known as Champagne in the Champagne region of France) is a slow, time consuming process requiring patience and yielding some of the finest bubbly wines in the world.
“Some Iowa winemakers have recognized the grapes grown in the region are particularly well suited for sparkling wine production,” said Lucas McIntire, Kirkwood Community College enology and viticulture instructor and winemaker at the Winery at Kirkwood, “and the sparkling wines we’re making are gaining international attention.”
John Burns, owner and winemaker of Barrel Head Winery (Dubuque, IA) makes traditional method sparkling wines from grapes grown in his own estate vineyard. John’s 2012 bubbly, called Tomcat (named after his pet cat, Tom) won international recognition at the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition, going head-to-head with sparklers from around the world, earning top honors – a double gold medal, one of only two awarded.
“This is an occasion for Iowa sparkling winemakers to have a little competitive fun to see whose corks can fly the farthest,” said John, “and the only prize is the satisfaction of having won.”
In the two-round Cork Flight event, sparkling winemakers of Iowa will shoot their corks from a fixed table inside Washington Hall (Kirkwood Community College). Judges will measure each flight and the winner will be announced after the final cork has launched. The Friday, February 27th event will begin at 7pm and the public is invited to attend and are encouraged to arrive by 6:45pm.