Following a trip to California with his wife, Genie, founder Bob Reed had a vision to begin a wine wholesale company that would bring in fine wines from the West Coast to Northwest Iowa. He asked his son, Mark, if he had any interest in this new adventure and Mark was on board immediately. Mark’s love for wine was natural and evident. In 1989, Mark became the proud owner of Okoboji Wines with Bob offering his guidance, experience, and whatever else was needed along the way. Mark loved traveling with his father and seeking out those smaller boutique wineries who needed a launchpad among the bigger players in the field. Mark is proud of those relationships he still has today. In 1999, Mark’s wife, Sheila, came on board full-time giving the company administrative structure. The growth of Okoboji Wines has always been a block by block process. Whether that was adding staff, offices, warehouses, vehicles, etc., it was done when needed. Today, Okoboji Wines is a three-generation business that employs approximately 35 people, including a few of their own children (though all who work for the company are considered “family”).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Okoboji Wines continues to distribute those obscure boutique wines but also has included those good quality mainstream wines from around the world throughout the states of Iowa and South Dakota. Whether you are just beginning to stroll down the wine path or you enjoy wines with greater complexity, Okoboji Wines’ portfolio is currently listing over 3500 wines from around the world to choose from.

Bob Reed passed away in 2011. He would be proud of what Okoboji Wines is today. Bob had the vision of bringing wine into Iowa as a connector to bring people together. Mark, Sheila, and the entire Okoboji Team, past and present, have made sure his vision has continued to be a reality.

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