Indiana Wine Tour Day Trips
Believe it or not, Indiana has an emerging wine scene that is only getting better. With more than 70 wineries in the state, there is a wide variety to choose from. Some grow their own fruit, while others source from different regions. Some are producing sweet fruit wines and others are creating fantastic dry wines. With all of those options, Indiana wineries offer something for everyone.
If you have been following some of my other wine reviews, you already know that my wine preference is dry, and I primarily focus on that wine style. I am sharing with you two of my recent winery day trips in the Indianapolis area.
Day Trip 1 - Mallow Run Winery, Brown County Winery, and Chateau Thomas Winery
My husband and I were looking for an excuse to take our 1982 corvette out for a Sunday drive. We had heard good things about Mallow Run Winery, and decided to make a day out of wine tasting in southern Indiana
Stop 1 - Mallow Run
6964 W Whiteland Rd, Bargersville, IN 46106
Mallow Run Winery is located only 30 minutes south of Indianapolis. In addition to wine tastings, they have a beautiful estate and frequently host musical acts outdoors offering a perfect picnic atmosphere. The wine offering has a good selection of both dry and sweet wines as well as hard ciders.
I am finding that Chardonel is growing very well in Indiana. The nose was a little musty but the taste delivered. Flavors of honeydew and very light oak make this one a great option of a warm summer day.
A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, and Chambourcin give this wine a similar feel to an Italian Chianti - very dry with dark fruit and pepper on the nose and finish. I can envision enjoying this with a nice red sauce-based pasta meal.
Stop 2 – Brown County Winery
4520 State Road 46 East Nashville, IN 47448
Next we drove an hour south through the beautiful back country roads to Brown County Winery in Nashville, IN. They also offer a variety of sweet-to-dry wines. They do not grow any of their own fruit, but try to source grapes primarily from the Midwest.
This is a great price point for a refreshing dry white wine. Made with Cayuga grapes that gives it a clean and very light floral taste. I’m normally not a fan of floral notes; however, they are very light and well done. It is a nice everyday easy drinker.
By default, this is out of my comfort zone as it is a sweet fruit wine. However I found it to be really good and I plan to mix it with vodka for a cocktail. It’s more tart than sweet.
Stop 3 – Chateau Thomas Winery (Nashville tasting room)
225 S Van Buren St, Nashville, IN 47448
About 10 minutes from the Brown County Winery, you’ll find the cute town center of Nashville and the Chateau Thomas Tasting room. This tasting room is surrounded by small shops, boutiques, and restaurants. Their primary location is in Plainfield, IN. I have always been a big fan of Chateau Thomas and was previously a wine club member.
It is very lightly oaked with pear and nutmeg notes. I normally prefer Chardonnay done in stainless verses oak, but this wine was well-balanced, and not buttery or creamy.
2013 Tempranillo - Best wine of the day!
I am kicking myself for only buying one bottle. The nose was amazing and the flavors included chocolate and vanilla, with a hint of white pepper, and it was very well balanced. The grapes are sourced from Clarksburg, CA.
Other notables from Chateau Thomas: 2011 Cabernet Franc, Tosca, and Toroldego
While in Nashville, I suggest you have lunch, go shopping, or visit a hiking trail. With close proximity to the Hoosier National Forrest, Nashville/Brown County is a popular destination during the fall months when the leaves are changing colors. For more about things to do in Nashville/Brown County click here.
Day Trip 2 – Huber Winery
19816 Huber Rd, Borden, IN 47106
Huber Winery is located about two hours south of Indianapolis and is a great day trip from the city. Huber is not only a winery; it’s also an orchard, distillery, and restaurant. Families can enjoy a day of picking fruit and picnicking on this beautiful estate, while listing to live music in the courtyard. All of their wines are produced from estate grown fruit and they offered a wide variety of styles from dry to sweet, so there is something for everyone.
I decided to just focus on the wine, and participated in a tasting. The wine tasting room is on the second floor of the main building. The tasting room was huge, and resembles the inside of a barn; it offers plenty of space for larger groups. The tasting fee was $10 and included 8 samples. Our host, Scott, could see that we were really enjoying some of their selections and did pour us a few more wines that he thought we would enjoy.
Starlight Distiller’s Flights we also offered for $12 and included 5 samples. The selection included everything from brandy, vodka, rum and gin. All are made from Indiana grown products.
RS 0.3% - Price $13.99
Crisp and citrusy with grapefruit flavors. This is a perfect summer wine.
RS 0.0% - Price $24.99
We also tried the 2012 and the 2008, but found the 2013 to be our favorite. Medium bodied with hints of smoke, vanilla, and coffee.
RS 0.0% - Price $18.99
Medium bodied with hints of smoke, a little spice/pepper, and dark red fruit
RS 3.5% - Price $12.99
My friend loved this! While the RS is higher than I normally like at 3.5%, it didn’t taste like it was that sweet. It was soft with a bit of spice and floral notes. This wine is a perfect paring for spicy food!