After a great wine-filled breakfast at Easley Winery, it was now time to head off to our next destination on the Wine Tour journey: Wine for Lunch at Olivery Winery!
(If you need to catch up on our journey, read my past two posts – Marion County Farm Bureau Wine Tour and Indiana Vino Adventure: Breakfast.)
All caught up? OK, back to Oliver Winery! I’ve always heard about it and I already knew that I loved their Oliver Soft Red wine so needless to say I was pretty pumped about the visit!
Once we arrived, we met with Vineyard Manager Bernie Parker who gave us a tour of their show vineyard and shared his WEALTH of knowledge about grape growing and wine making. No seriously, he taught us a lot. I mean, who knew that you could use helicopters to decrease frost damage?!! (More on that fact later.)
Bernie told us about the history of Oliver Winery, how the business has grown over the years, and several interesting facts about grapes and wine.
Here are a few Did You Knows for your reading pleasure:
★ DYK: There are wineries in all 50 states! The hybridization of grapes allow states to grow them that normally wouldn’t be able to.
★ DYK: It takes 3 years to get a crop off of a vine. They are transferred form the nursery to the field and they can be in full production by the 4th year. Talk about needing to have patience!
★DYK: All the grapes at Oliver Winery are currently HAND PICKED! With 54 acres of grapes and different varieties that need to be picked at different times, they sure stay busy!
★ DKY: The commercial lifespan of a vine is 30-40 years! (So think back to that patience I said you needed to have to wait the 3-4 years for your vines to produce grapes…it is well worth the wait!) That’s a pretty good investment if you ask me!
Aren’t those some neat facts?! It was definitely an educational experience with Bernie and the Oliver Winery crew.
Ok, now back to that helicopter thing I mentioned earlier.
Frost is a main concern for grapes because it causes significant damage to crops if the frost is bad enough. They had a few bad frosts in the past so they decided to get a little bit creative with their methods in trying to decrease the severity of the frosts.
One method they use is to have “Frost Fans” sit around the vineyards to pull warmer air down and moves it through the vineyard which raises temperatures by 4-5 degrees throughout the vineyard. Frost causes more damage the longer it sits on the vines so moving the air keeps the frost from being able to settle.
And then the other method, like I mentioned earlier, is to rent helicopters to fly around the vineyard to push the warm air down. They created a path that was less than 5 min. to make a full circle because that’s the time it takes for the temps to cool back down. Neat huh?!
Now, this might seem a little extreme at first but its well worth it in the long run.
“Helicopters are expensive, but if we didn’t have these methods we could have lost 70% of our crop, but with these innovations we only lost 20%. So even with the expense, just a one-time use makes your money back,” Bernie explained.
I agree Bernie, way worth it to save your crops!
After our tour we went inside to have our wine tasting and eat lunch (that’s where the lunch part of the title comes in) in case you’re a little tired today and missed the connection. 🙂
Here were my favorites!
After the tasting we had a nice lunch outside on their patio and re-fueled for the afternoon ahead.
By then it was about time to head to our next destination but we couldn’t leave without getting a few souvenirs to take home! Wine counts as souvenirs right?
We had GREAT time at Oliver Winery and I want to give a huge THANK YOU to Bernie and the rest of the staff for being such great hosts and teaching us about grapes and wine! I will definitely be making a trip back soon.
Is it just me, or does it seem like we’ve already had a whole day’s worth of wining and dining? We were just now at lunch. We still had three more stops ahead of us!
Be sure to check back soon for the third leg of our tour, you won’t want to miss dinner!
Wow what a great weekend!
My parents were in town, I managed to squeeze in some pool time, and had an AMAZING time at the Marion County Farm Bureau wine tour!
In Farm Bureau, we try to plan activities throughout the year which allow us to tour local agri-tourism sites, learn about different agricultural practices in Indiana and have fun at the same time. All of the activities pretty much guarantee a good time, but I was especially excited for this one, we planned a wine tour!
Some of you might not have thought that the wine industry was a part of agriculture but it is actually a very big industry and has a lot of similarities to crop farming.
Did You Know: There are over 6,700 family wineries in the U.S.?
As for the wine industry as a whole, wineries in all 50 states attract 27 million tourists annually, create 1.1 million jobs in America and have a $162 billion economic impact on the American economy. – Wine Institute
If you ask me, I’d say that’s pretty impressive!
During our wine tour we visited five central Indiana Wineries where we tried several different wines, toured their facilities, and made an economic impact on the industry (AKA…buy wine to take home) ♥
Over the course of the day we visited:
Easley Winery – Indianapolis, IN
Oliver Winery – Bloomington, IN
Butler Winery – Bloomington, IN
Brown County Winery – Nashville, IN
Mallow Run Winery – Bargersville, IN
Have any of you visited these wineries?
We had such a great time! I have a lot of neat information to share with all of you but if I tried to squeeze all of our fun into one blog, you would need a nap just from reading it. So in an effort to help you refrain from tuckering out, I am going to re-cap our “Indiana Vino Adventure” over the course of three posts: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. (Who can guess why this relates?)
Be sure to check back for an inside look at these awesome wineries that are right here in our own backyards! And better yet – if you subscribe to my blog by email, my posts will be delivered right to you inbox so you won’t miss a thing!