A southcentral Iowa venture in wine barrel making that’s partly financed by two local electric co-ops is getting an award today from the Iowa Area Development Group. The Southern Iowa Electric Cooperative in Bloomfield and the Northeast Missouri Electric Power Cooperative, and the City of Bloomfield each put up $150,000 in 1993 to construct a “speculative building” in the hopes of attracting a business to locate there. Joy Evans, who is on the board of the Southern Iowa Electric Coop, says in 2001, they finally struck pay dirt. Seguin Moreau, a French firm that’s been making wine barrels for 150 years, decided they liked the white oak that’s available in Davis County because the wood doesn’t flavor the wine. Evans says the white oak in the area “is a very neutral wood.” Seguin Moreau touts its research which the company says has yielded barrels which do not taint wine with an “unpleasant woodiness,” Each barrel costs about $300 and after the wine is poured out and bottled, the company sells the barrels to bourbon makers. The Bloomfield facility opened for production this year. Davis County white oak is harvested and taken to the facility where it is cut into strips that’re called the “staves” of the barrel. Evans says the wood is dried in the Bloomfield plant, then shipped to Missouri where the bands around the barrell are made. The parts are then shipped to California, where the barrells are finished off. The project is getting a “Venture Award” today from the Iowa Area Development Group.