Our winery is located in the historic Chicago North Western Railroad station in Algona, Iowa. Our vineyard, located on the Clark Century Farm south of Livermore, Iowa, sits adjacent to the site of a famous train wreck on the old Minneapolis-St. Louis Rail Line. We’d like to tell you that this winery business is the culmination of a comprehensive master plan, displaying our great vision and planning acumen. The truth is, serendipity played as large a role as vision.
When we started down this “rail” road in January, 2005, we never imagined ourselves operating a winery in this remarkable old depot, nor harvesting our own grapes by the banks of Bloody Run Creek. In January, 2005, Dallas Clark, the owner of Train Wreck Winery, NFL Superbowl champion and hometown son, witnessed the decrepit state of the old train depot in Algona, and made the commitment to fund the purchase and renovation of the structure. In 2006, Dallas was researching projects that would add value to his farming operation on the Clark family farm, with an emphasis on those that could involve the extended family. Witnessing a growing interest in locally crafted wines, he decided to plant wine grapes. After a good deal of research and preparation, we were ready to plant our first grape vines in the spring of 2008.
Four years later, we harvested our first crop of grapes. Simultaneously, but with no thought of its eventual use, Dallas spent over two years securing possession of the depot. Once possession was gained, there began a slow but continual renovation of the depot. Initally we had discussed building a winery at the vineyard.
However, by early 2011, Dallas decided to establish the Train Wreck Winery at the depot location in Algona. Working diligently throughout 2011 we pressed hard to get the finishing touches on the structure in time for our opening. We opened our depot doors on December 20, 2011.
We’re proud of our depot restoration, our wines and our story. We’d love for you to come and visit us at the depot, taste our wines, learn more about the history of our area and our winery, and sit back and enjoy yourself.
All Aboard Train Wreck Winery!