Raise a glass and toast the latest news from Indiana’s growing wine industry. The Indiana Wine Grape Council unveiled Indiana’s first signature wine on November 24 during a ceremony at the Statehouse. The honor goes to Traminette, a fragrant, floral white wine made with a hybrid grape that flourishes in Indiana’s climate and soil.
A small number of other states have adopted a signature wine, but Indiana is the first to claim Traminette. Currently, 23 of Indiana’s 43 wineries produce their own version of the wine. One Indiana winery is already familiar with Traminette. Bloomington-based Oliver Winery received the “Traminette of the Year” trophy at the prestigious 2009 Indy International Wine Competition.
I’m not a wine expert, but Jeanette Merritt with the Indiana Wine Grape Council says Traminette pairs well with turkey and other poultry, as well as with seafood, Asian cuisine and vegetarian dishes. She says it’s also the perfect “back porch wine” for kicking back and relaxing after a long day.
More than one million people visit Indiana wineries each year, so they play an important role in tourism. Wineries host special events throughout the year. The Tenth Annual Vintage Indiana Wine & Food Festival attracted nearly 10,000 visitors in 2009. Taking a drive along one of Indiana’s three wine trails - the Indiana Wine Trail, the Uplands Wine Trail and the Indy Wine Trail – is a great way to explore wineries and see different parts of the state.
Indiana’s wine industry is poised to grow even more. Seven new wineries are scheduled to open in 2010.