Iowa Decanted is an online magazine featuring the wine industry of Iowa. It is a comprehensive website featuring wine reviews, industry news, tips, and profiles.

Who we are

Nick Thornburg illustration, Iowa Decanted
Nick Thornburg
founder, editor-in-chief

View Nick Thornburg's LinkedIn profileView Nick Thornburg’s profile

Derek Andes illustration, Iowa Decanted
Derek Andes
webmaster, director of philosophy

Julia Jessen illustration, Iowa Decanted
Julia Jessen
staff writer

The Vine Guy, Iowa Decanted
The Vine Guy
the anonymous vineyard know-it-all


A message from the editor

Iowa hosts the full spectrum when it comes to wine. To those unfamiliar with the industry the thought of Iowa wine might bring to mind cloying ‘grapey’ wines – generously chapitalized, fruit-forward wines which sit heavy on the tongue. But thinking that is all Iowa has to offer is like saying the only thing a cell phone is good for is for making calls – there is so much more to explore!

I’ve traveled all over the state, tasting wines from all sorts of establishments. I have to tell you, every time I visit a new winery I am always presented with something that is unexpected. When I first began drinking wine, this was rather intimidating. There were so many different styles, so many different varietals… how was I ever going to wrap my head around it all?

To be honest, I’m still learning. And that’s the way it should be. How can one be taken seriously in an ever-expanding industry if he decides that he has learned all there is to learn? Learning the ins-and-outs of the Iowa wine industry has been (and still is!) an amazing journey. It developed within me a passion which I had never known existed – a passion that I always hoped to share with others in some way.

This site is my way of sharing that passion.


When I conceptualized the idea for this magazine, I struggled to come up with a name which clearly communicated what I had envisioned: a publication for both professionals and enthusiasts, which honored the wine industry in Iowa without canonizing it or placing it up on a pedestal. I was interested in clear, honest journalism. The stories we would share would be of a calibre found nowhere else, with insights and information for all, compiled in one place.

How on earth would I ever distill all that into a name?

And then, as I sat wracking my brain for a solution, I wrote Iowa Decanted on a scrap of paper.

As you may well know, a decanter is a glass vessel used to aerate wine, allowing for some of the hidden, or more subtle aromatics to be released. It’s an easy way to separate wine from any sediment that may be lingering at the bottom of the bottle, and it has aesthetic appeal as well (nothing adds a bit of sophisticated flair to a dinner party like bringing out a polished decanter full of beautiful wine, right?).

I realised that the decanter was the perfect metaphor for the publication I was hoping to establish. In a way we would be aerating the industry, creating an environment where those hidden gems, which might have otherwise remained unknown, could surface for all to experience. But we would also have an obligation to readers to separate the sediment, the stuff that isn’t so pretty about the industry, and explore it in an objective manner. Our reporting would allow readers inspect the wine industry of Iowa through an objective lens, and let them see its clarity, its beauty – or, in some cases, its lack thereof.

It was agreed upon that the decanter was the perfect image for the magazine.

As editor-in-chief, I promise you that we at Iowa Decanted will be vigilant in our pursuit of excellent journalism. We’ll bring you the stories that you want to hear, that you need to hear – and like the crystalline walls of a decanter, we will allow you to peer into the depths of the wine industry and decide whether or not you like what you see.

You will find the following things on our site:

• Industry news
• Personal profiles
• Features on viticulture and winemaking
• Wine reviews
• Recipes, DIY projects, and much more!

It is my sincerest pleasure to welcome you to our site. The first official issue of Iowa Decanted will be released in early September 2013. I hope you’ll make us a regular visit.

Nick Thornburg
Founder, Editor-in-Chief

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