The Indiana wine industry make not spark the immediate recognition of those of California or the Finger Lakes, but it’s a hidden jewel of the Midwest. The southern part of the state, which alternates between agricultural regions and forests, is abundant wine country. Unfortunately, visitors usually can’t make the trip to every single winery on their search for regional grapes; with that in mind, here is a list of the best wineries of southern Indiana.
In Corydon, you’ll find Turtle Run Winery, surrounded by peaceful woodland and fifteen acres of vineyard. These grounds are open to the public to explore as they drink a complimentary glass of one of the thirty available wines, ranging from dry red to sweet white. Turtle Run’s maxim to “to create exceptional quality wine that goes with food and friends”. They pride themselves on carefully-crafted wine made with a faithfully classic production process that doesn’t take any alternate routes. In particular, they make their sweet wines by utilizing the natural fermentation process rather than adding sugar. The beautiful grounds are a peaceful haven dedicated to the craft of classical winemaking.
Nestled in an idyllic eighteenth-century building, Lanthier Winery in Madison offers free tastings of its white, red, and fruit wines, as well as its special holiday wines during the Christmas season, including Snowflake White, St. Nicholas Blush, and Rudolph Red. It also offers attractions that are a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds, such as its French gardens and art exhibitions in the connected Loft Gallery. These attractions are open to visitors and make for a complete Lanthier experience in a vintage setting.
Pepper’s Ridge Winery in Rockport, along the Hoosier Wine Trail and close to the Ohio River, is a quiet, idyllic setting that’s a perfect country getaway. The winery offers free tastings from its enormous wine list that includes unique names such as Lock and Load, Knob Hill Quencher, and Cowboy Up White. They also offer fruit wines with a variety of notes such as cranberry and peach. This out-of-the-way winery is a wonderful place to enjoy a glass of local and delicious wine.
The name French Lick might be a confusing name for a winery, but its vineyard, Heaven’s View Vineyard, is aptly named. Run by the Doty family, French Lick Winery offers a selection of twenty-nine different wines, including fortified and bubbly varieties. Most of their tastings are free. The building, which includes a tasting room, gift shop, and attached café serving Italian cuisine, once housed a portion of a piano factory. Today, it’s a place to try some of southern Indiana’s best wines including the Traminette, an aromatic Gewürztraminer, the dry Heaven’s View Vidal, or the sparkling French Tickle. The winery also offers wines from the initial harvest of Norton grapes in Indiana as well as varieties uniquely suited to the southern Indiana climate.
Visitors may not be able to make every stop in the rich wine country of southern Indiana, but these wineries show off the best of the region.
By: Stephanie Cara