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Relaxing and dancing at Penoach Winery

7/8/2015

A Friday night out can get expensive in a hurry, especially for large groups. First there’s the cost of dinner, then a few round of drinks, and if your group wants to see a live band, many places charge cover or require you to purchase tickets. It can add up quickly. So how can you get all of this and still keep your checking account above zero? Visit a local winery.

Family-owned Penoach Winery, located in Adel, offers free concerts every other Friday during the summer.

Family-owned Penoach Winery, located in Adel, offers free concerts every other Friday during the summer.

Penoach Winery, located a little ways outside the city in Adel, hosts a series of events throughout the year, including a free concert series on some Friday evenings. There is no cost to get in, and visitors are encouraged to bring their own dinner or snacks. The only money you’ll spend is on wine and beer, as outside beverages aren’t allowed in — but once you taste one of Penoach’s 14 varieties of wine, you won’t complain about that.

Penoach is a family-owned winery housed in a repurposed barn from 1917. Local bands turn the covered patio into a stage, while the audience fills up the large grassy area in front of the vineyard.

The concerts are family-friendly, and ages range from youngsters playing catch in the back to seniors dancing in the open space between the seating and the band. Penoach puts a tent over part of the area for those who’d like to sit in the shade, but guests can also bring their own tents, chairs, blankets, tables and whatever else you need to make the perfect picnic.

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Wine tasting is available outside the barn, and all wines are for sale inside for $15 per bottle. Beer and different food vendors are available for purchase as well, ranging from wood-grilled pizzas to barbecue.

Most groups bring a few lawn chairs and coolers full of snacks to share. The lawn at Penoach acts as a park-like space for picnics to merge together in one space. Everywhere you turn, someone has a foldable table set up with anything from simple cheese and crackers to an elaborate layout of salads, salsas and snacks. The best part about an evening at the winery is how customizable it is to each person’s taste.

The last time I went, local cover band Abby Normal was playing to a full house (or lawn, rather), which included a Class of 1979 high school reunion. The graduates took hold of the dance floor, singing along to some of the biggest ’80s hits. For those who are skeptical that a winery can offer much of a party atmosphere, we witnessed several women dancing wildly to every song. At one point, one woman took her jacket off and twirled it above her head several times before throwing it high into the air.

The concert series has a tendency to be a more casual and laid back atmosphere, but it’s not without its wild moments. After all, music is made for dancing — and wine is made for drinking. CV

 

PENOACH WINERY
16759 N. Ave., Adel, 993-4374
www.penoach.com
Fri. noon to 6 p.m.
Sat. noon to 5 p.m.
Sun. 1-5 p.m.
Live music from 7-10 p.m. some Fridays

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