Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Indiana's Oldest Winery

This is spring break week for Indiana University.

Since taking a trip to some exciting place

like Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, TN

is out of the question this year,

the Foodie Girls decided to have some fun
a bit closer to home.

The dear husband is very happy about that

(and so is his wallet).

Indiana's first winery is just outside of Bloomington.

"Oliver Winery was started in the 1960s

as a hobby in the basement

of Indiana University law professor William Oliver.

His enthusiasm for making wine led him to establish

a vineyard northwest of Bloomington.

Soon the flourishing vines produced grapes

far in excess of his needs as a hobby winemaker,

and he began plans to open a commercial winery.

Professor Oliver was instrumental in passing legislation

allowing for the creation of small wineries in Indiana .

The Indiana Small Winery Act passed in 1971

and Oliver Winery opened to the public in 1972."

-From Oliver Winery's web site.

Now that the Foodie Daughter is old enough,

I thought we should go to to the winery

and taste some wines.

This lovely building houses the tasting room and retail area.

To get to the tasting room,
one must first traverse the gardens.

They hold a certain beauty,

even in mid-March.

Large boulders of Indiana limestone

accent the landscape.

I was pleased to see that the waterscape

was up and running,

despite it still being winter.

This building

behind all the daffodils

is the original tasting room.

If I recall correctly,

it is now used as office space.

This is the view from the front of the building.

They even have a pond below with picnic tables

dotting the lawn.

Back in October of 2007,

our county's Master Gardener group

took a garden tour here.

Oliver Winery employs a talented gardener

to tend to the plots.

Isn't this just gorgeous?
The original tasting house is hiding behind
the lush landscaping.
(Hint, this is the same garden plot
that currently holds the daffodils that you saw earlier.)

Can you tell it's October in this picture?

So, what gave it away?

I wish they'd come tend to my garden.

I tell you, I have serious garden envy here.

Don't you just love the frog in the pond?

And now we are back to a chilly March day.

This fence and gate was custom-made

by an artisan.

Iron grapevines twine around the fence.

Detail of the artistry.

When I was a child,

growing up in my rural Ohio town,

I was fortunate enough to visit

a blacksmith who had been working
in the village for many years.

I was fascinated by how much work

and effort it took to bend the iron

even the tiniest bit,

and all without breaking it.

I cannot fathom the amount of work

and love

that went into the making of this fence.

The artist even expressed the grapevine

as growing up from the ground

by the fence.

More detail.

I love this fence.

A few years ago the winery planted a mini vineyard

at the entrance to the winery.

They don't look like much now,

but just wait until later in the year.

And in case you were wondering,

we ended up purchasing a few bottles of wine,

and a wine cooler that was created

by a local potter.

Happy early Mother's Day to me?

Not a bad start for our Indiana Uplands Wine Trail.

And just think,

we only have eight more wineries to go.

1 comment:

Rosie Hawthorne said...

I love the gardens. Beautiful.