Non-Hoosiers, might not immediately think of Indiana as a wine region, but visitors are discovering the truth, there’s never been a better time to be a Hoosier oenophile than right now! Over 100 wineries of all shapes and sizes have popped up over the past several years and exist across the entire state. In Indiana, you’re never far from a Hoosier vintner. This new spot in Henry County provides a unique winery experience.
One of Indiana’s newest is Belgian Horse Winery, just south of Middletown in Henry County. Located on a family farm, Belgian Horse Winery offers something unique for wine enthusiasts. Operating out of a restored family farm, the Harter family turned their love of wine into a full-time operation in early 2016.
The Harter’s are the sixth generation to own the farm, whose ancestors homesteaded the property in 1836. In the ensuing generations, the family farmed a little bit of everything, but came to be known for Belgian horse breeding, ergo Belgian Horse Winery! Belgian horses are heavy draft horses, bred to pull everything from wagons to carts of local wine. The family’s efforts gained international recognition when Harry Harter won the 1943 World Championship in horse-pulling with his horses, Roc and Doc.
Today, the Harters honor their family’s heritage in everything they do! The tasting room, existing in a renovated barn on the family barn, is full of historical photos, showcasing past family exploits. The wines themselves are often named to honor either family members, or pets that played a special part in family history.
While there are many wineries in Indiana, not all of them have vineyards. The Harters first planted their vineyards about eight years ago. This add to the whole feel of the place particularly during warmer months, setting it apart from other wineries in the area. However, Jerri Harter doesn’t feel in competition with his neighboring wineries. In Indiana, Harter reiterated that the the wineries work together, supporting each other’s efforts and often recommending visitors to try everything the area has to offer. This demonstrates not only the Harter’s class, but the Hoosier spirit as well.
As for the wine, the Belgian Horse Winery offers a selection of Indiana’s favorite sweet wines as well as drier varieties and blends. The more popular wines include the cranberry Sophie, the blackberry Aunt Minnie, the peach Uncle Fred, the pineapple Charlie, and the rosé Springtime Puppy. There is a little something for all tastes at Belgian Horse.
Belgian Horse Winery also offers events throughout the year, including live music every Wednesday (rain or shine) – outside on the patio during warmer months and in the barn during winter; their third annual spring festival on May 19, 2018, which will offer tastings, live music, food trucks, and artisan vendors; to honor the 75th anniversary of Harry Harter’s World Championship win, Belgian Horse will host a ‘Championship Festival’ on October 5 and 6, 2018. The renovated historic barn also has an entire second floor event space, for those wishing to book their own occasions.
Belgian Horse Winery is a unique experience. From the excellent selection of wine, to the great service and atmosphere, this family farm winery is certainly worth the trip to Middletown!
TASTING ROOM HOURS
7200 W. County Road 625 N
Middletown, IN 47356