Ed & Tracy Mahlstadt

The History of Dale City

John Lonsdale was born February 14,1818, in Yorkshire England. In 1841 at the age of 23 he traveled across the Atlantic and settled in Chili, New York, where he stayed for 1 year. He then moved to Madina County, Ohio where he formed a partnership with Enoch H. France, and ran a woolen mill for a number of years, later Mr. France would join John and his family in Dale City.

John did not stay idle long in 1858 he established a woolen mill along the banks of the Raccoon River.  The mill was known for its high quality woolen blankets, cashmere and flannel as well as the employment it provided to many of the local inhabitants. It was housed in a 96’-0” x 60’-0” structure.  In addition to the mill he established a local goods store in 1861, which would additionally serve as a post office from March 9, 1865 to June 15, 1992, with John serving as the postmaster for many of those years.

The Guthrie County records indicate Mr. Lonsdale’s net worth in 1860 as $7,000 for the mill and $1,000 in his personal estate. Within this record it notes his household inhabitants to include Mr. James Barnes a 19 year old school teacher from Ohio.  The property in which the school house resides was owned and given for the specific purpose of providing an education to the children of the 30 plus inhabitants of Dale City.  Letters from this period record John commenting back to his former countryman about the educational opportunity that was available to all citizens within the United States.

John Lonsdale passed away April 26, 1892 in Dale City and is buried in Morrisburg Cemetery.

Our school house in which we moved from it’s original location up to the winery, is the school house which is spoken of above, additionally it was placed on the original 1500 plated acres.

We planted our first set of Edelweiss grape plants (400) in 2001 and another 800 in 2002. As our soil has a high concentration of clay, it took 5+ years to see significant production. Our first harvest was in 2006; fermentation commensed and finally we bottled in 2007, just in time for our Grand Opening on July 7, 2007 (yes, lucky #7-7-7). Since our early beginnings, we have expanded to over 8 different varietals of grapes. Our assortment of award-winning wines has grown to over 14 types.

The event facility has grown significantly from a modest, yet historical, one room schoolhouse to an extensive deck area including a lighted pavillion that seats over 100. This is a perfect venue for weddings, reunions, family gatherings and relaxing with friends. Live music is performed most Saturday afternoons from May to October from 2:30-5:30. Usually the second Saturday in July, we celebrate our anniversary with Winestock, a festival with multiple bands, wine, beer, and food. Find more details on our Event Page. We look forward to seeing you very soon!





Brides....We are starting to fill our calendar for 2016 weddings and receptions.  
Please contact us for additional information about renting the outdoor facility, 515-523-2199.


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Come visit our 100 year old, one room school house, which serves as our tasting room and gift shop.  Sample our wines, enjoy a bottle of wine on our deck while relaxing and taking in the spectacular view!  Be sure to visit our Events Page for a listing of live music and other Dale Valley Vineyard activities.

3097 285th St.
Stuart, IA 50250

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Looking to do something new and fun?  Join our volunteers during bottling season.  Meet new friends, learn the bottling process, and take a bottle of wine home with you. 
Simply click here to join the volunteer list.

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