Mother-daughter duo bring winery to Olin

Mother Brenda Broulik and daughter Anna Wilson are the owners and operators of Glyn Mawr Vineyard and Winery in rural Olin. They produce several varieties of their homegrown wine. (Photo by Kim Brooks)

Glyn Mawr Vineyard includes roughly 2 acres of ground on the Highway 38 property. The name stems from the original owner of the farm. (Photo submitted)
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     A long-time passion and dream for a mother-daughter duo from Olin has finally become a reality.

     For over a year now, Brenda Broulik and Anna Wilson have been producing their own wine on the family farm. Located south of Olin on Highway 38, Glyn Mawr Vineyard and Winery has been busy not only growing grapes, but literally producing the fruits of their labor.

     The name “Glyn Mawr” stems from a piece of local history.

     “It’s the name of the farm,” shared Broulik. The family moved to the farm 30 years ago, and saw an old barn on the property with the name “Glyn Mawr” on it.

     “It was established in the ‘20s,” said Wilson.

     The farm was synonymous with the raising of purebred Angus heifers. The Mawr family sold their last heifer in 1949.

     “Everyone knew of the farm,” said Broulik of the area. “There are people here who are still familiar with it.”

     When trying to come up with the right name for their vineyard and winery, Broulik and Wilson looked no further than their own farm.

     “We contacted the family in Nashville and told them we wanted to use the name,” explained Broulik. “They were very pleased.”

     Ever since Glyn Mawr has been producing wine, the namesake family has purchased several bottles during the holiday season.

     “We just thought it would be a great name for a winery,” said Wilson.

     “We had a name before we started putting anything in the ground,” added Broulik.

     Early in their venture to start a winery, three generations of the Glyn Mawr family stopped by the farm in Olin for a visit.

     “It was the coolest thing,” said Broulik.

     With that rich, local history, the duo started their vineyard in May 2009, initially selling their grapes to other wineries.

     “The goal was to always produce our own wine eventually,” said Wilson. But, she explained it takes a few years for the grapes to mature for enough wine.

     The 2 acres of vines includes the following grapes: Marquette, La Crescent, Frontenac, Frontenac Gris, Marechal Foch, and Brianna.

     A lot of behind-the-scenes work went into planting the vineyards to make sure the land was conducive to planting grapes. This required soil tests and research and assistance from Iowa State University Extension. Wilson and Broulik also attended winemaking classes through Kirkwood Community College.

     Wilson credits her mother with the dream.

     Before starting their winery in 2015, each had her own full-time job. Wilson lives in Mount Vernon and Broulik worked with her husband in their construction business.

     “I wanted to do something other than run heavy equipment all day,” said Broulik.

     With a perfectly good shop building in place storing construction equipment, a portion of the building was then turned into their future winery. Wilson prefaces this by saying Glyn Mawr is a production site only. Another future goal would be to establish a tasting room in the very near future.

     After the planting, it was time to design a logo and bottle label. Broulik admits that was the hardest part.

     “That’s the life of your business,” she said. “It sticks with you.”

     The design is all theirs with a classy look to it.

     “We just shared ideas back and forth until we came up with something we each liked,” added Broulik. “It took actually took a while.”

     The names of their wine selections are based on the grapes used in the production.

     “Some are blends,” said Wilson. “We don’t purchase outside grapes; we produce what we grow.” Glyn Mawr is Midwest grown.

     Last year, they were able to harvest over 11 tons of grapes, which produced about 1,500 gallons of wine.

     “We did a lot of experimenting at home making wine before we were ready to go commercial,” said Broulik. “We wanted to get it down to a science.”

     Glyn Mawr now produces sweet, semi-sweet, and dry in reds and whites.

     “We try to keep it simple,” said Wilson of their selections. “We know our grapes because we use what we grow.”

     Broulik added, “We handle it all from start to finish,” referring to the planting, harvesting, and production of wine.

     With a website and social media presence, as well as a blog, customers can find Glyn Mawr wine in many places throughout the state. Locally, it’s sold at Savor the Barn in Monticello, The Buzz Shak in Olin, and Giggle Juice in Anamosa.

     Wilson and Broulik also invite people to the farm in early September to help with the harvest of the grapes.

     “We could always use the help,” said Wilson. They try to pull in 3,000 pounds of grapes in a day, typically working on the weekends. Those who assist are treated to lunch, a t-shirt, and more.

     Glyn Mawr offers public and private wine tastings off-site.

     “Just contact us and we’ll make the trip,” said Broulik.

     Overall, the duo said they enjoy spending so much time together on the family farm, which now includes the grandkids.

     “It’s an extension of our family,” Wilson said proudly. “We love being an Iowa winery!”

     To contact Glyn Mawr, visit their website at


Subscriber Login