They call the kinds of wine grapes that grow in the upper Mississippi region, cold-hardy grapes, grapes bred to withstand extreme temperatures that would kill the traditionally grown grapes of California or France. These grapes, the farmers and wine makers of  the Midwest are pushing the envelope of viticulture and enology, growing grape vines that not only survive but thrive at temperatures as low as 40 below zero, yet yield exceptional wines. This story is called, Wine Diamonds: Uncorking America’s Heartland™


Forget everything you thought you knew about wine!  Wine Diamonds: Uncorking America’s Heartland explores the difficulties and excitement of creating a new wine region in the Heartland and rewrites winemaking history in the process.

Wine Diamonds: Uncorking America’s Heartland begins by tracing the historical significance of one of the early grape breeding pioneers of the Midwest, Elmer Swenson and then explores the challenges of grape production, wine making and consumer acceptance in the upper-Midwest.  Five winemaking families share their person stories of struggle and success as they attempt to create a new wine region. World renowned wine authorities, Doug Frost (Master Sommelier and Master of Wine) and Tim Hanni (Master of Wine) answer the big questions about cold-hardy grapes and wine. The film ends on a high note as key figures in the wine industry imagine the future of this new nontraditional wine region.

Internationally recognized wine authorities and experts nod approvingly at the wines emerging from these new grapes. Exciting new cold-hardy wine grapes such as Marquette, Frontenac, Brianna and La Crescent have captured the attention of wine fans and critics from across the world.

Wine aficionados are often a little slow to recognize and accept new wine regions and grapes; however, the experts agree something great is happening in the Heartland. Traditional method sparkling wines are gaining appreciation and look to be very promising for this new wine region.


Wine Diamonds (n): A slang term used by wine aficionados to describe the crystallized precipitate of Potassium Bitartrate (aka: Tartaric Acid) that accumulates on the underside of closures, corks and sometimes found in the sludgy sediment at the bottom of wine bottles.

PRESS CONTACT: Call 319.329.1509 (Brad Johnson, Producer);


To learn more about the project, follow along with our progress, and meet the team visit:


Facebook at

Twitter: or  Tweet @winediamondsflm

Questions? Contact Brad Johnson at


4 thoughts on “About the Film

  1. I’m 75. Grow cold hearty grapes ,make my own wine ,try to get better each year,so want to see the Wine Diamonds documentary, can’t travel. Will it ever be on DVD?


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