About the owners: John McNutt and Ilene Lande
John was born in Iowa City and raised on a farm a few miles from town.Â He farmed with his father, Paul McNutt, for 27 years before leaving his allergies behind to change careers. Since 2000, he has been using his BS in Ag Econ (Iowa State) and MBA (Univ. of Iowa) as a business management consultant at Latta, Harris, Hanon & Penningroth in Tipton www.lattaharris.com.
Ilene grew up in Webster City, IA, and came to UI in 1969, and (except for a 2 year post-doctoral fellowship in Dallas)has lived here since.Â She earned BS and PhD degrees in Microbiology/ Immunology at Univ. of Iowa, was involved in basic biomedical research for 10 years, then started a small biotechnology company, Elmira Biologicals, Inc., (www.elmirabiologicals.com) in 1988.
Ilene (well, he didn’t offer to change his name so I didn’t either) and John were married in 1980 and still live in the farm house John’s great-grandfather built in 1908. They have three children: AJ (ISU Chem. Engineering) married to Kirsten Wallace and very recently, the parents of a beautiful son (Keegan James); Michael (currently in Surgical Tech program at Kirkwood); and Ellie (2nd yr. Materials Engineer at ISU).
John and Ilene partnered with Ed, Melody, and Joan Wallace to start Wallace Winery near West Branch in 2005. After 5 years of joint effort, the partners decided to part company and John & Ilene looked for a new location for the wine production and tasting room.