Six Wineries Not to Miss in Indiana
Indiana has over 80 wineries within the state. Each year to celebrate the Hoosier wines, Vintage Indiana pops up. This all day event samples more than 200 award-wining wineries with fantastic entertainment throughout the day and noshes from some of the best food trucks in the state.
In celebration of this event that takes place on June 2 in downtown Indianapolis, we have chosen six wineries. Tickets are on sale for Vintage Indiana and can be purchased at VintageIndiana.com
Middle of Nowhere: Madison County Winery
photography: Madison County Winery
Markleville is a blip on the radar in Madison County, let alone Indiana. Madison County Winery welcomes local and nonlocal customers. Over time,, more jobs and money have been generated from the winery, as well as an increase in town visitation. It is a “farm winery,” meaning that in addition to running a wine business, it concerns itself with the traditional farm run-ins such as insects, birds, fertilization and weather, among other things. Its open arms mimic its open mind—Madison County Winery is known for its chocolate wine and dropping cinnamon sticks into apple wine. Sales manager Cathy Hensley says, “We make, and are known for, our wine slushies. We are game to try anything.”
Because Madison County Winery sits off of a country road, some of the challenges it faces are marketing and road closings. It is a lot of work to run the winery, as it is a small business; getting everything done efficiently can be hard for staff. Albeit difficult at times, Madison County Winery is excited about its future and its eccentric offers.
“The appeal of coming to our winery is that you can try our products before you buy,” says Hensley. Quantity discounts are no myth at Madison County Winery, either—join this wine family for a wine slushy and, if you’re feeling adventurous, a trip down Indiana’s Cardinal Flight Wine Trail.
Madison County Winery | 10942 S. 400 E. Markleville, IN 46056 | 765.778.140 | MadisonCountyWinery.org
Mallow Run, a Midwestern Winery
photography: Mallow Run Winery
Mallow Run Winery brings a little bit of eccentricity to the Midwest. Sarah Shadday, who works in marketing and wholesale for the winery, says, “There are no preconceived notions of how things should be done, or what it means to be a Midwestern winery. We have the freedom to create our own identity and unique niche.” This makes it that much easier to try new things and flavors. If your customers aren’t picky, you don’t need to be, either! Mallow Run Winery impacts their community in this way, but also focuses on giving back. It aims to create a relaxed, fun environment where its customers can make lasting memories.
“It's incredibly humbling and touching to hear people talk about what our little corner of the world means to them. People have gotten engaged here, had their first date here, celebrated birthdays and anniversaries here. It's about so much more than the wine,” says Shadday.
In addition to this, Mallow Run Winery holds annual fundraising events such as a run/walk, Wine at the Line and other volunteer efforts. Through charitable and everyday events, Mallow Run hopes to play a part in enhancing the Indiana wine industry.
Rhubarb wine is Mallow Run Winery’s signature. Made with 100% fresh rhubarb juice, it is tart yet sweet and unique. “It’s very nostalgic for people,” says Shadday. “Fond memories come to mind when people sip our Rhubarb Wine and it brings a smile to their face and hearts.”
Aside from holding some essence of the past, this rhubarb wine also debunks the stereotype that Indiana wineries only make sweet wines. Although Mallow Run Winery’s most popular wines are semi-sweet and sweet-fruit tasting, it strives to carry something for every palate. Therefore, it shamelessly offers some very nice dry whites and reds.
Mallow Run Winery asks customers to come as they are, drink what they love and enjoy the moment. It hopes that people notice its inviting space where they can relax, celebrate and enjoy time with loved ones. Mallow Run is here to help you savor life’s wonderful moments, both big and small.
Mallow Run Winery | 964 W. Whiteland Road Bargersville, IN 46106 | 317.422.1566 | MallowRun.com
Under the Country Moon [Winery]
photography: Michael Jack Photography
Indiana gives Country Moon Winery the chance to showcase locally grown grapes that thrive in its climate. The Midwest collectively holds a sweet and fruity palate, which Country Moon caters to with its best-selling wines. The small business is quite the destination for agritourism, as Hamilton County is expanding quickly along with the need for green space. Country Moon Winery is a peaceful venue and perfect for small gatherings like bridal showers, birthday parties and family reunions.
This winery maintains its “start small, stay small” business model and accepts help from the Indiana Winery and Vineyard Association (IWVA) and Purdue Wine Grape Team in encouraging the wine industry in Indiana. While it is a family business, as many wineries in Indiana tend to be, it broadens the spectrum of the tourist’s experience. One example of this is its signature wines, which originate from Country Moon Winery’s La Crescent vines. These vines make up the largest portion of their vineyard. Wine by the La Crescent name is very powerful and reasonably high in natural sugar. It seems as no coincidence that La Crescent also reflects Country Moon’s crescent logo, which plays part in its signature position.
Country Moon Winery faces hardship with the weather, as Indiana’s climate can fluctuate heavily. Either way, rainy days are accepted, as they are both inevitable and necessary for the winery to grow—literally and figuratively.
In nature, however, the moon is this winery’s constant reminder to slow down. Its phases pull on us as it rises about an hour later each day. When guests leave Country Moon Winery, the staff hopes to see them feeling relaxed and refreshed.
Country Moon Winery | 16222 Prairie Baptist Rd Noblesville, IN 46060 | 317.773.7942 | CountryMoonWinery.com
A Joyous Time at Easley Winery
photography by Easley Winery
There are four E’s to the Easley Winery experience: embracing, educating, enthusiasm and encouraging Easley’s tradition to live on. This family winery hopes that its customers feel welcome once they walk through the doors, and that they feel that they’ve learned a great deal about the making once they go. The Easleys are always happy to see new and returning faces.
Jack and Joan Easley started off making wine in their Indianapolis basement in the 1960s. In 1974, their venture transpired into a much larger dream come true; today, second generation owners Mark and Meredith Easley carry on Jack and Joan’s tradition. The Easley children have helped with harvest and bottling wine over the years, and have learned the commitment and dedication it takes to run a business.
“We have the best customers in the world. [They] are diverse, loyal and it is a pleasure to make wine for them,” says Meredith Easley, vice president of sales and marketing at Easley Winery. The love that the winery feels for its customers is reflected in how it educates its customers about the winemaking process.. On weekends, Easley Winery offers free tours of its grounds and always presents an at-home persona. The Easley’s are honored to have their wines play a role in any person’s life, whether it is on the beach or the dinner table.
Easley Winery’s signature wines, known as Reggae Wines, are fragrant, honeyed and inspire drinkers to live joyfully. The Easleys work tirelessly to cooperate with all obstacles they face, though Mother Nature seems to be their greatest challenge. In the summertime, Easley Winery holds an outdoor summer concert series, on which rain and wind can sometimes put a damper.
Mark and Meredith Easley serve Indiana’s wine industry in leadership roles with the Indiana Wine and Vineyard Association (IWVA) and Indiana Wine and Grape Council. They aim to contribute to their Indiana community by continuing to curate great wines and uphold a place where customers can come and unwind.
Easley Winery | 205 N. College Ave Indianapolis, IN 46202 | 317.636.4516 | EasleyWinery.com
Changing the Game at Satek Winery
photography: Satek Winery
The Midwest is not necessarily viewed as a haven for wine lovers. Jason Satek, however, is working to overcome this challenge and convince skeptics that good quality wine holds no boundaries. Gaining the consideration of potential consumers is one challenge Satek Winery faces, as well as the ferocious weather that Indiana faces sometimes. Though the weather can easily make life harder for this small winery, what is valuable in this is that it forces Satek to grow grapes and produce wines that may be less familiar or well known in the Midwest. This results not only in a greater variety of choice for consumers, but a one-of-a-kind personality for Satek Winery altogether.
Agritourism is huge for wineries in general, and Jason Satek knows it. With an evergrowing, diverse band of staff and touristy visitors, Satek winery is expanding outward and in. Though it knew from the beginning that it wouldn’t be very big.
“We decided a number of years ago that we were never going to be the biggest winery, but we would try to be the most innovative,” says Satek. When it comes to enhancing the wine industry, Jason Satek is adamant on figuring new ways to make and source wine, including “a very original barrel-infusion program” while thriving in wine traditions.
There is no “one” special wine at Satek Winery. What makes the winery so different is its across-the-board quality. While sweet wines are indefinite bestsellers, the freedom to create dry and unusual wines truly gives Satek Winery its personality.
“I hope we continue to challenge, deliciously, people’s perception of the wine world,” says Satek,
Satek Winery began in 2001 as a retirement project for Jason Satek’s father, Larry, and his stepmother Pam. After 17 years, it still operates within the initial framework on which it was founded. Although Satek knows it will never be the “biggest winery” in Indiana, it does give free tasting and the best customer service it can year-round. Jason Satek hopes that people will see how Indiana’s wine industry is growing and worthy of attention. As an Indiana winery itself, Satek Winery feels as though it is their responsibility to continue telling—and making—the state’s wine history.
Satek Winery | 6208 N. Van Guilder Rd Fremont, IN 46737 | 260.495.9463 | SatekWinery.com