Bloomington, Indiana is home to Indiana University and two of the best wineries in south central Indiana. Oliver Winery and Butler Winery are both fabulous locations for finding the perfect wine to compliment the evening meal. Each of these has a nicely decorated and fully stocked tasting room so that you can try before you buy.
Oliver Winery has beautiful landscaped gardens as well as a nice outdoor patio and picnic area with a lake view that is amazing. Located in the rolling hills of Bloomington, the scenery is even more beautiful in the fall of the year. Founded in the 1960’s by an Indiana University professor, Oliver Winery has grown from a business that began in the basement of a home to being one of the largest wineries in Indiana as well as one of the most successful.
Oliver Winery opened to the public in 1972 and is now distributed in 14 states with over 270,000 cases of wine sold each year. It is not only one of the largest in the state but also one of the largest in the eastern United States. It is still owned by the family of the founder and the family is still very active in the business.
Creekbend Vineyard is the winery’s own work of art to making delicious wine out of grapes grown right in Indiana. The Creekbend Vineyard was reestablished in 1994 and is now nationally recognized. Tours are given on Wednesday’s this year for the vineyard for customers who want to see the beautiful vineyard and grapes that are used to make some of the best wine in the country.
This winery carries many different types of wines including dry white wines, dry red wines, semi sweet wines, semi dry wines, and dessert and sparkling wines. One of the most popular semi dry wines is the Bean Blossom Blush 2010, which is named for the small town that is located north of Bloomington and home to the Bill Monroe Bluegrass Festival each year. This wine is made from ripe red grapes with strawberry and citrus flavors added to it. The beautiful blush color makes it a nice wine to serve with any meal and the taste is simply amazing.
All of the dessert wines that they currently have for sale are Creekbend wines made from the vineyard right on the premises. These are usually sweet wines with very distinct tastes. Most of them are currently wines that were made in 2007. Visitors are welcomed to taste several different wines including each of the dessert wines between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday thru Friday and from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. While tasting is encouraged, visitors are advised that they are welcome to sit around for a little while after their tastings are done to promote the idea of safe driving and friends not allowing friends to drive under the influence.
Butler Winery is also a very beautiful winery with a tasting room. Opened in 1983, it is the fourth oldest winery in the state. Owned by Jim and Susie Butler, this winery is dedicated to making fine wine from grapes grown right in the area of the winery. There are several locations throughout the state of Indiana with two locations in Bloomington.
They offer dry, semi dry, and sweet, fruity wines as well as three specialty wines. Each of the specialty wines offers a unique flavor for dessert wines. The 2008 Butler Vineyard Late Harvest vignotes is a delicious dessert wine that combines a fresh pineapple taste with the sweet grapes that is bound to be a favorite once you have tried it. The 2007 Terra Rossa wine is a limited production wine that is 20% alcohol. This wine is a port style wine that is made with the vineyard’s own Chambourein. This is a wonderful wine to sip after a meal while chatting with friends. The third specialty wine is a combination of black currants and grape brandy to make the port style wine, Cassis Noir. This wine can be used in many cooking recipes and is fabulous paired with dark chocolate. An absolutely delicious wine.
For wine lovers everywhere, these are some of the best wines in Indiana and with these two beautiful wineries to be seen, it is well worth a trip to Indiana to enjoy these wines. Spend the day enjoying the views of south central Indiana and be sure to visit both wineries, where you are sure to find an excellent bottle of wine, fabulous domestic and imported cheeses as well as a large variety of crackers and summer sausage and salami.