Wine may not be one of the first things you think of when you think of Indiana, but we’ve got wine aplenty in the Hoosier state. In fact, according to the site IndianaWines.org, there are 36 wineries for travelers to visit.
Oliver Winery, located just a few miles north of Bloomington on SR 37, is Indiana’s biggest and oldest. Founded in 1972 by IU professor William Oliver, Oliver Winery has grown into a Hoosier powerhouse, producing 700,000 bottles in 2008.
The winery has a timber-framed tasting room, which sits on 15 professionally landscaped acres (yeah, these guys have a full-time landscaper). They offer complimentary daily tasting of their 18 different varieties, from Cabernet Sauvignon to Pinot Grigio to my own favorite, the Merlot. (My in-laws like their fruit wines, like the Blackberry.)
Manager Bill Oliver, William’s son, works closely with vineyards in Oregon, California, Washington, and Michigan to get the high-quality grapes used to create their wine. Bill’s wife Kathleen is the general manager.
They also sell wine-related gifts and gourmet foods on site.
Indiana wine history: It was William Oliver who wrote Indiana’s Small Winery Act that allowed small state wineries to produce up to 100,000 gallons per year, set up tasting rooms, and sell wine on a retail and wholesale basis.
Monday-Saturday 10-6, Sunday 12-6
Friday-Saturday 12-4:30, Sunday 1-4:30
Every half hour
Group tours by appointment
Oliver Winery offers: