Here it is, finally!! The 3rd and final leg of our Marion County Farm Bureau Wine Tour!
I am extremely sorry for the delay on this, but with the last minute Indians Ticket Give-a-way, filming a TV commercial at work, 2 friend’s weddings and planning for my class reunion coming up in 2 weeks, I’ve been a little swamped to say the least!
But I didn’t want to leave you hanging, so here is the final part of our journey: Dinner! Better late than never right? (Please say yes so I don’t feel as bad for being so late on this).
Brown County Winery was such a cool place. I have been to their shop in downtown Nashville (IN) for a tasting before and I loved their Blackberry Wine and their Vista Red Wine! But unfortunately during this visit, I got a little car sick on the ride down there (don’t worry I didn’t physically get sick) so I didn’t feel like tasting the wine – but I did still get my souvenir! I got a Wine Cork Cage that was shaped like a wine glass!
I am very excited to add this to my decorations in my apartment!
After everyone finished tasting, we headed to Butler Winery for our next stop! I had never been to Butler Winery before but it was a pretty cool little place!
Did You Know? – You can’t call a Port Wine “Port” unless it’s made in Portugal, just like you can’t call sparkling wine “Champagne” unless it’s made in France!
Neat, huh? I never knew that before! If only I would have been able to take the Wine Appreciation Class at Purdue, I might have been better prepared for all of this wine trivia! Haha
Have any of you ever taken the Wine Appreciation Class at Purdue? I’m not joking, it’s a real class. 🙂
Thankfully, I felt better at Butler Winery and did try some of their wines.
My favorite was their Indiana Red! Just like its description, it’s a “fruity red wine perfect for picnics. If you are serving a meal & aren’t sure if you have dry wine drinkers or sweet wine drinkers, but you want to have a red, pick this one.”
Plus, the best part, its only $11.95! Great deal if you ask me!
By this point I couldn’t believe that our day was going by so quickly! I wish we could have stayed a little longer at each place, but we had to stay on schedule. But the little tease of a visit just gives me more incentive to go back later!
So after Butler Winery, we were on the road to our final destination – Mallow Run in Bargersville, IN.
This was one of my favorite stops of the day. It’s just such a neat place! Their tasting room is a remodeled barn that is beautiful inside and out, and they have a great patio outside with tables and chairs which allow you to enjoy the weather as you enjoy your wine.
They also have music and pizza for people who want to stay for nightly entertainment! I definitely want to go back again and stay for their events.
As far as their wine, all of it was awesome. Hands down. But if I had to pick a favorite, I LOVED their Picnic White! I ended up choosing that one as my “economic impact” and purchased a bottle as my souvenir.
WHEW! Are you guys as worn out as I am after all of this fun? After a long but fun-filled day, our wine tour had finally come to an end. We had such a great time! I loved getting to tour several Indiana wineries, trying new wine, and building friendships and memories with my fellow Farm Bureau members.
I can’t wait to go back to some of these wineries and take my friends and family there.
THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO HELPED MAKE THIS DAY POSSIBLE!
If you have any questions about wine, our trip, or if you would like to learn more about becoming Marion County Farm Bureau member (which you totally should because you get to do cool things like this!) I would be happy to share any information I have!
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!
Now, some of you might be slightly confused by this title, especially if you didn’t read my post from yesterday. But I have to admit, I did drink wine for breakfast on Saturday (don’t worry this isn’t a regular occurrence) at our first stop of the Marion County Farm Bureau Wine Tour.
I mean technically it was only a few sips during the tasting, and it was more like brunch because it was at 10a.m. but I’d say it still counts – wine for breakfast.
We kicked off our wine tour at Easley Winery in Indianapolis, IN, where we were able to taste several great wines from their collection.
I had never heard about Easley Winery before this trip, being a southern Indiana girl and all, but it was a great little place!
A little history about their winery:
“Jack & Joan Easley purchased the former Fertig Ice Cream factory in downtown Indianapolis and had their first grape crush in the fall of 1974. This facility is still in its original location and is located in downtown Indy’s Cole Noble Commercial Arts District. Today, second generation owners Mark & Meredith Easley continue the family tradition of creating and selling award-winning wines and champagnes made right in the heart of Indiana. Easley Winery offers 20 or more wine and champagne offerings depending on the year and season. Great wines are meant to be shared, and at Easley Winery, we’ve been creating memories since 1974.”
During our tasting, we were taken to their Barrel Aging Room and got to select 7 wines to taste.
Here were my favorites!
I am more of a ‘sweet wine’ person so naturally my favorites were the sweet wines. My #1 fave was the Reggae Red, which makes sense as it is their #1 bestseller! (So naturally, I had to help increase my economic impact by purchasing a bottle.) ♥
They also gave us several good tips on what to pair the wines with. One cool thing that I thought was unique was they gave us recipes to take home for making fun summer cocktails with their wines!
I can’t wait to try these!
Have any of you tried Easley’s Reggae Red or any of their Reggae wines? Let me know what you think if you do!
We had a great time during our first stop and I’d like to say a big THANK YOU to the staff at Easley Winery for your hospitality and great tips!
But I repeat, this was only our first stop. We still had a long day ahead of us, so we headed back to the bus to travel to our next stop on the tour – Oliver Winery!
Be sure to check back soon for Part 2 of the Wine Tour “Indiana Vino Adventure: Lunch” at Oliver Winery! I have a lot of cool things to include in this blog so you won’t want to miss it!
Oh, and P.S. – did you know that Easley Winery has a Pinterest account? Check it out for some fun recipes, facts, and wine inspired décor!
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!