Category Archives: BEST VINEYARDS WINERY

Wine and Doughnuts, an interesting pairing

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Today is National Doughnut Day and what pairs well with everything? You guessed it—wine!

While it may leave some vino connoisseurs shaking their heads, wine can pair with America's favorite fried dough. We don't recommend drinking wine with your Dunkin' Doughnuts or Krispy Kremes in the morning, but since it is National Doughnut day, you gotta at least try it once!

In the case of doughnuts, sweet pairs well with sweet. So enjoy your powdered, sprinkle, cinnamon, cake, glazed, jelly and all of your other favorite varieties with a sweet or sweet sparkling wine.

We recommend the following Indiana Uplands wines:

From Best Vineyards and Winery: Concord, a dark sweet wine with an awesome Concord flavor for  just about any occasion.

From Brown County Winery: Old Barrel Port, a barrel-aged port that is perfect for dessert or as a nightcap.

From Butler Winery: Vineyard White, a light grape-y wine made from Catawba. Just like eating grapes off the vine complete with the distinctive grapeskin zing on the finish.

From French Lick Winery: French Lick Tickle, a sweet bubbly blush wine with tangy citrus flavors.

From Huber's Orchard, Winery & Vineyards: Sparking Starlight, a semi-sweet sparkling wine overflowing with aromas of pineapple, white peach, and pear.

From Oliver Winery: Creekbend Vidal Blanc Ice Wine, a unique dessert wine is made from frozen Vidal Blanc grapes picked in mid winter.

From Owen Valley Winery: Crimson & Cream, a unique, delicious blend of three grapes (Catawba, Niagara, and Cayuga)

From Turtle Run Winery: Slip My Mind, a wine that is just good. Too many great fruit flavors to name.

From Winzerwald Winery: Ice Style Wine, a very sweet white dessert wine.

Don't be afraid to try your own unique combination because experimenting is half the fun! No matter how you choose to celebration National Doughnut day, Bon Appétit!

5th Annual Uncork the Uplands

Tickets for the 5th annual Uncork the Uplands are now on sale! The Indiana Uplands Wine Trail's signature event will take place on Saturday, July 25 at Huber's Orchard, Winery & Vineyards in beautiful Borden, Indiana. Tickets can be purchased through www.uncorktheuplands.com. Be sure to check our event's websites for latest updates and happening for the event.

We can't wait to see you all there!

 

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Chocolate Lovers' Weekend at the IUWT

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Happy New Year from the Indiana Uplands! 2014 was a remarkable year and we’re excited about what’s in store for 2015!

Just like you, we’re longing for the return of summer and the opportunity to sit outside on a warm summer evening with a glass of wine, gazing across fields of vines. But we also believe in the beauty that winter has to offer and have some great upcoming events to help beat those Winter Blues!

When we think about Valentine’s Day, we think of wine (because we’re always thinking about wine), but we also think about chocolate. And we know you do, too! On the weekends of February 7 & 8 and 14 & 15, the Indiana Uplands Wine Trail will be hosting a delicious Chocolate Lovers' Weekend at all 9 of our wineries.

Each winery will feature their unique twist on chocolate ranging from suggested wine and truffle pairings to a chocolately wine milkshake. Our tastebuds are already singing and we know yours will be, too!

 

Best Vineyards will offer guests:

  • Candied Orange Peel Tidbits Dipped in Rich Chocolate
  • Petite Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Chocolate Panna Cotta w/ Blueberry or Strawberry Wine Reduction
  • Chewy Brownie Bites with Sea Salt and Caramel

Brown County Winery will feature a chocolate milkshake made with their signature Black Raspberry Encore, plus chocolate ice cream sprinkled with chocolate shavings!

Butler Winery will be serving "various assorted chocolate items" for guests to choose from and will include a baked item, traditional chocolate truffles, and an unusual, but yummy, surprise!

French Lick Winery will be offering little love bites of 3 different flavors of our homemade fudge to pair with wine:

  • Himalayan Salted Caramel to pair with our Crema Dolce
  • Dark Chocolate to pair with any red or our Cherry
  • Chocolate Cheesecake: you decide which wine you like to pair it with!

Also available will be their Broken Hearts fudge because how do you mend a broken heart? With wine and chocolate, of course!

Huber's Orchard, Winery & Vineyards will feature complimentary chocolate pairings with every wine tasting with 4 specially made chocolates from Schimpff’s, a Jeffersonville, IN chocolatier. Huber Wine Club members will also have a bonus chocolate made by Cellar Door Chocolates in Louisville, KY, that uses Huber's newly released Bourbon. Live music will also play in the Garden Room from 1-5p.m. each Saturday and Sunday of Chocolate Lovers' Weekend.

Oliver Winery will offer handmade chocolate truffles from Bloomington chocolatier Peacetree Mountain Truffles. Guests can choose 2 chocolates to pair with their wine tasting from Dark Chocolate Balsamic, Milk Chocolate Strawberry and White Chocolate Passion Fruit. Additionally, they will offer samples of delicious chocolate sauces by Best Boy and Co. on February 7 & 8, and by Stone Wall Kitchen on February 14 & 15.

Owen Valley Winery will serve the following 4 selections during the Chocolate Lovers' event:

  • White Chocolate Mousse swirled with Strawberry Wine Syrup
  • Triple Chocolate Ghirardelli Brownie Bites with a Barrel Reserve Zinfandel Reduction
  • Dark Chocolate Raspberry Truffles
  • Sea Salt and Turbinado Sugar Dark Chocolate Almonds

Turtle Run Winery will serve custom-made Chocolate Turtles, dark chocolate, milk chocolate and the very decadent white chocolate with their signature wines. Tippy and Tipsy are sure to make an appearance, too!

Winzerwald Winery will offer Free Tastings of 3 wines with 3 chocolates, and will feature a lineup of Organic Free Trade chocolates from Lake Champlain Chocolates:

  • Cherry Dark Chocolate
  • Toffee & Almond & Sea Salt Semi-Sweet Dark Chocolate
  • Granola & Cinnamon Milk Chocolate
  • Chocolate bars will be available to purchase for your Valentine!

*Plus Save $1.00/bottle on all 6 featured wines.

 

Mark your calendars for our spectacular Chocolate Lovers' Weekend and prepare to indulge!

4th of July Wine and Food Pairings

Which wine goes best with a hamburger or hotdog fresh off the grill? These are the questions a true wine connoisseur asks themselves every 4th of July. So what are the best wine pairings for the most patriotic day of the year? Here are our top 5 picks from around the wine trail to help you celebrate America and the red, white and wine!

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1.) The classic All-American beef hot dog will be complimented nicely with a fruity, bold dry red like Chambourcin.

2.) Going for a little surf n’ turf at your Independence Day BBQ? The natural sweetness of grilled shrimp makes it a perfect match for a subtly sweet white wine such as Indiana’s signature varietal - Traminette.

3.) Cabernet Sauvignon is without a doubt one of America’s favorite wines. If you’re looking to bust out the good stuff at your 4th of July gathering, try a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon with a juicy, grilled steak. Cabernet Franc’s earthy, dark fruit notes make a wonderful match as well!

4.) Pork lovers can’t go wrong with Chardonel. The notes of apple, citrus and oak will not overwhelm the herbal flavors in your favorite pork dish.

5.) What could be more American than dessert? To polish off your summer feast, sip an Uplands Port or a glass of Vidal Blanc with your slice of apple pie.

Uncork The Uplands: Accomodations

Uncork the Uplands News

We’re only about 6 weeks out from this year’s Uncork the Uplands event and it’s time to plan your stay! Out of town guests in need of accommodations after a relaxing evening of wine and food can choose from a few local options offering exclusive Uncork rates.

Where to stay:

The brand new SpringHill Suites Hotel is just a hop, skip and a jump away from Creekbend Vineyard and will be offering King Suites for only $139 on August 2nd (regularly priced at $199 a night).  To book, call and ask for the “Uncork the Uplands group rate”.

Phone: 855-610-2116
Website: http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/bmgsh-springhill-suites-bloomington/

Guests also have the option of making this year’s Uncork a full weekend getaway by taking advantage of the Marriot Courtyard’s Friday and Saturday night special offer.  Book both nights, and receive a 2 Queen or 1 King room for only $169 per night (regularly priced at $249). To book, call and use the code “UTU”.

Phone: 812-335-8000
Website: http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/bmgcy-courtyard-bloomington/

Limited number of rooms available. These special hotel booking— along with Uncork’s early bird ticket prices—will only be offered until July 15th, or until they sell out.  So book your Bloomington stay now!

 

Announcing Uncork the Uplands TICKETS ON SALE

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SAVE THE DATE FOR THE 4th ANNUAL UNCORK THE UPLANDS 2014

Let’s raise a toast to the 4th Annual Uncork the Uplands, the signature event of the new American Viticulture Area, the Indiana Uplands AVA. For one night only on August 2, 2014, enjoy a tasting of all nine south-central Indiana Upland Wine Trail wineries in one beautiful location at Oliver Winery’s Creekbend Vineyard.

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Uncork the Uplands offers vino lovers the chance to sample award-winning wines from all nine trail wineries paired with many savory foods. Uncork will also offer guests the opportunity to explore the Indiana Uplands’ unique terroir firsthand with a guided tour of Oliver Winery’s Creekbend Vineyard. Take a stroll, breathe in the summer air and sip your favorite Indiana Upland red or white while learning from the many winemakers who have helped build the Indiana wine industry with over 180 years of combined winemaking experience. This year, guests will even be able to purchase their favorite wine by the bottle to relish at home.

Creekbend Vineyard’s hilltop location and well-drained limestone soil creates an ideal environment for growing wine grapes that produce signature varietals such as Traminette, Chambourcin and Vignoles. Encompassing 33,000 vines on 54 sprawling, sun-kissed acres, Creekbend wines have gained a national reputation for taste and quality. Like Creekbend, the vineyards of the Indiana Uplands wineries have won the hearts and minds of wine judges and wine writers across the country.

The Indiana Uplands Wine Trail is located within the Indiana Uplands American Viticultural Area, a federally recognized grape-growing region established in 2013. The trail wineries include Best Vineyards Winery of Elizabeth; Brown County Winery of Nashville; Butler Winery of Bloomington; French Lick Winery of West Baden Springs; Huber’s Orchard, Winery and Vineyards of Starlight; Oliver Winery of Bloomington; Owen Valley Winery, Turtle Run Winery of Corydon and Winzerwald Winery of Bristow.

Uncork the Uplands will take place on August 2, 2014 from 4-8 pm at Creekbend Vineyard located at 7508 N. Woodall Road, Ellettsville, Ind. 47429.

Early bird ticket prices are $40 before July 15 and $50 after July 15.

Tickets will be available for purchase at all nine wineries, or at the BCT box office website.

For more information about the event, please visit UncorktheUplands.com.

Uncork The Uplands 2014

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The eight wineries on the Indiana Uplands Wine Trail are peppered throughout south-central Indiana, but for one night, they’re all in one place.  Uncork the Uplands is the signature event of the Indiana Uplands Wine Trail. Consistent with our mission, its goal is to provide a premier educational and wine tasting experience. With the establishment of the Indiana Uplands American Viticultural Area (AVA) in 2013, we also celebrate the recognition of our unique terroir in Southern Indiana, and the quality wine grapes grown within.

This coming year would be the 4th annual event.

Uncork the Uplands 2014 will offer guests the ability to explore the Indiana Uplands’ unique terroir firsthand with a guided tour of Oliver Winery’s Creekbend Vineyard.  Home to over 33,000 vines on 54 acres - walk along the rows, taste the grapes and chat with the folks who farm these lands.  Learn what makes it unique, wonderful for wine grape growing and what led the region to be recognized as the first all-inclusive American Viticultural Area in Indiana.

Follow that up with the opportunity to explore wines from all nine wineries, shared by the winemakers and owners who have helped build the Indiana wine industry, and amongst them have over 180 years of winemaking expertise.  Signature Uplands varietals like Traminette, Chambourcin and Vignoles alongside classic Vinifera, port and dessert wines and more that highlight the wide variety found throughout the Uplands.

Hearty food, live music and a beautiful setting round out this wonderful summer evening!

SAVE THE DATE: Saturday, August 2.

More details to come. Stay tuned to uncorktheuplands.com in the coming weeks.

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#IUWTSUMMER Wine Trail Spotting PHOTO CONTEST

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#IUWT Summer Wine Trail Spotting SOCIAL MEDIA CONTEST RULES

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Whether you are an out of towner experiencing your first time along the Indiana Uplands Wine Trail or a regular fan along for a weekend out, take us with you to win cool wine perks. Whenever you snap a picture of an Indiana Uplands Wine Trail experience, all you have to do is make sure you add the location plus the hashtags #IUWT to be entered to win. It’s that simple!

Feel free to get creative with the object of your lens—food, drink, the winery, tastings, sites along the trail—winespotting at its best.

HOW IT WORKS:

Post of picture on your Instagram, Twitter or Facebook of your Indiana Uplands Wine Trail experience (wine & beverage closeups, shots of  the winery, signs....etc), indicate location information, tag #IUWT, #IUWTSummer and @IUWT, and add a fun comment.

We will be choosing our favorites and announcing gift prizes throughout all the months of Summer, so stay tuned and start NOW!

PRIZES:

Winners will receive either an Indiana Uplands picnic backpack or picnic blanket.

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Vineyards in the Spring

It’s “Vineyard Time” in the Indiana Uplands American Viticulture Area as well as all other AVA’s and other areas in the northern hemisphere that grow grapes.  So what does vineyard time in the spring entail?  Pruning, trellising, planting, fertilizing and discarding old clippings.  This year we have the added dimension of checking bud health.  Normally it doesn’t get as cold as it has this year, so there is a general concern we lost some fruitful buds.  As a rule, the idea of losing fruitful buds causes us to delay pruning then begin a mad dash through the vineyard to get it done.  Here are some thoughts from several of our growers.

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Butler Winery:  Just recently started pruning Vignoles. We are usually well under way by this time but are postponing a bit longer to see what the winter damage is, especially with Chambourcin and Chardonel. I want to see buds coming out before I go in and prune. We cleared several more acres last fall and planted wheat. We will not plant grapes until 2015, varieties yet to be determined.  This year will be soil preparation.  We have some trellis to repair, a few end post to reset, some wires to tighten in the mean time.  We are trying to get as much cellar work done now so that when the weather pops we can focus on the vineyard.  – Jim Butler

Owen Valley Winery: We’ve begun to work through the vineyard by straightening the existing trellising. This involves removing some or all vines from the wires and pulling the wires with the tractor to get them solid, and sturdy for this years grapes. We then re-tie the vines back on the wires and move to the next row.  We are also performing some obvious pruning, but waiting to perform the core pruning until the last frost risk is past.  We are also preparing to plant 578 more Catawba vines this spring. This involves prepping the soil where the rows will be, identifying the hands to assist, and assuring all the machinery is operational.  – Anthony Leaderbrand

French Lick Winery:  We usually graze the grass in the vineyard closely with our 180 Katahdin ewes and newborn lambs as well as repair any damaged trellises. We also spread diammonium phosphate fertilizer to encourage fruitful vines. With the cold temperatures this past winter, French Lick Winery is delaying the dormant pruning until bud break in early April when we will become very busy. Since the buds will be open, pruning will have to be done by hand which will take approximately two weeks.  We will complete final bud count pruning after the danger of frost has passed, usually in the first week of May.  Pruning the vines to 30 - 60 buds per vine ensures quality fruit and vine health.  – John Doty

Turtle Run Winery:  We started pruning in late November of what we call obvious pruning opportunities.  However when the first major cold front came through that dropped temperatures more than 50 degrees in a few hours, we decided to wait until bud break occurs before pruning.  Turtle Run will be adding manure as well as last year’s skins and stems back into the vineyard for some natural fertilizing.  Additionally we will add a limited amount of commercial fertilizer to the vineyard in the early spring to get the vines the nutrients they need when they need it most, the early stages of growth.  – Jim Pfeiffer

 

 

Sip and Learn

With over 175 years of grape growing and winemaking experience, the Indiana Uplands Wine Trail will be sharing our knowledge the weekend of May 10th and 11th in an extraordinary fashion.  Join us for the 2014 Sip-N-Learn Experience!

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For Sip-N-Learn, each winery will be providing unique educational opportunities detailing the fine Indiana Uplands art from grapes to glass.  You’ll get the insider’s scoop on how we do it and the passion behind our wines!  So if you’re the inquisitive type or if you simply want to learn more about what it is that we do, this is the perfect weekend to visit your favorite Indiana Uplands Wine Trail wineries.

No reservations needed.  Times for all sessions will vary from winery to winery.  Check out our individual websites or give us a call and we will let you know the best time to plan your visit.  We hope to see you at the first Sip-N-Learn!  Here are some of the great sessions we have in store.

Best Vineyards Winery:  Winemaking starts in the vineyard and with wines containing upwards of 1500 natural chemical compounds, how we prune our vines has a dramatic effect on the aromas and flavors that develop in our wines.  At Best Vineyards Winery, stop by and learn all about pruning.

Brown County Winery:  To filter or not?  If so, when?  And how tight should filtration be, meaning how microscopically “tight” are we going to filter a wine?  Is filtration different for different styles of wine such as a dry red Cabernet Sauvignon or a nice and fruity Concord?  You’ll learn all the in’s and out’s of filtering from Brown County.  And yes, there is a difference between filtering a Cabernet Sauvignon and Concord.  Find out why!

Butler Winery:  Did you know the first commercial winery in the United States was launched right here in Indiana?  Owner Jim Butler and his son, John wrote the book “Indiana Wine,” so Butler Winery will be discussing the fascinating history of Indiana wines, the grapes of Indiana, and the two American Viticulture Areas within Indiana, the Indiana Uplands AVA and the Ohio Valley AVA.  Ask about the “Cape Grape” while there!

French Lick Winery:  Did you know that our sense of smell can recognize and remember over 10,000 aromas?  Did you know that wine, with over 1500 natural chemical compounds has over 100 aromas that have been identified?  Stop by French Lick as we discuss the wide world of wine aromas!  And come with a group and see if everyone recognizes the same aromas.  Considering the casino nearby, here’s a good, safe bet.  Your friends and you will discover different aromas coming from the same wine!

Huber Winery:  With the oldest vineyards in the state, the Huber’s will be discussing from “Farm to Bottle!”  Just ask about the French term “terroir” while here!  Yes, “terroir” encompasses soil type, sub-soil type, soil amelioration, slope, elevation, climate, meso-climate, micro-climate, grape variety selection and vineyard management.  Ask how the Huber’s maximize and manage all the great benefits of growing grapes at their homestead farm and how different areas on their farm are better suited for different grape varieties.  Many other topics included in Farm to Bottle.

Oliver Winery:  Learn “Winemaking 101” at Oliver Winery.  Join the Oliver production tours and see how their winemaking team takes unique varietals and turns them into extraordinary wines - and how each step in the process of winemaking has an effect on the final aromas and flavors you experience.  Ask if fermentation temperature or if yeast strains matter in determining final flavors in wine.  What role do various bacteria play in winemaking?  Could one bacteria be great for one wine but create fatal flaws for another?

Owen Valley Winery:  Ever heard the term measure twice, cut once?  The team of Owen Valley will be discussing “Chemistry” and what we have to do to behind the scenes in order to ensure we deliver for you a great bottle of wine each and every time. Skipping simple tests, taking short cuts are not part of exceptional winemaking.  This behind the scenes look at “Chemistry” will add a whole new level of understanding to what we do.

Turtle Run Winery:  “Barrels and Blending” To barrel age or not to barrel age?  Now that’s the question!  Or perhaps these are the questions… Where the oak is sourced, does that matter?  What exactly is “toast level” and how does that affect the wines?  Are barrels re-used?  If so, how many times?  How long should and can wine age in barrels?  Do different wines age for different amounts of time?  And when the wine is finished aging, could one barrel have different flavors than another?  And what decisions go into the process of blending?  Learn this and more at Turtle Run!