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‘PromiseLand’ winery in Guttenberg becoming a local favorite

April 21, 2019

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Nestled away in rural Clayton County is a small weekend paradise.

Double doors open to what looks like a town square that would be found in a European countryside, complete with classical lamp posts and windowsills decorated with bouquets of flowers.

Quaint shops sit tucked away in the walls, and tables are scattered about the courtyard. It’s an impressive illusion for what amounts to the main hall of PromiseLand Winery in Guttenberg, Iowa.

Of course, the facade isn’t why people come. The main attraction on Sundays always has been the wine and the music, the Telegraph Herald reported.

“It’s a great way to spend an afternoon,” said Joan Hosch, a New Vienna, Iowa, resident who regularly visits the winery. “They have a lot of good bands that come out here.”

PromiseLand Winery opened in 2013 as a passion project of Patrick and Cindy Wachendorf. The family-operated business sells 14 wines, which also are sold in 75 stores in Iowa.

However, Patrick said coming to the winery is an experience all to itself.

“We want people to come and relax and appreciate the live music,” Wachendorf said. “We have pretty good wine and pretty good music, so it’s a pretty nice place to be.”

Every Sunday, the winery hosts a live music performance, either inside the main hall or outside in the backyard event space, which sports a waterfall.

Wachendorf said the bands and artists he books traditionally range from country to classic rock ‘n’ roll. Or a little of both.

It’s a decision that primarily is influenced by the type of crowds the winery attracts.

“Most of the people out here tend to be older, so we are booking music that we know they will like,” Wachendorf said. “There are young people out here, too, but they don’t seem to mind it.”

Shows are from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Wachendorf said they chose that time in order to avoid competition with other venues.

“No one else has live music around then,” Wachendorf said. “We’re kind of unique in that way.”

Local artists don’t mind either. The three-piece country-rock band Triple Threat recently played.

Guitarist Steve Moser said the winery often brings in a good crowd. Much of their performance garnered enthusiastic applause.

“It’s a nice atmosphere,” Moser said. “Everyone is always out here to have a good time, which is what we are here to do, too.”

Wachendorf hopes to continue to draw people from around the area to attend Sunday shows. They can come for the music, but they can stay for the wine.

“We have people driving in from Jones County to come here,” Wachendorf said. “That’s a pretty big draw.”

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Information from: Telegraph Herald, http://www.thonline.com