South-Central Indiana Winery Reviews
Brown County Winery - This charming winery is located in Nashville, IN. When we walked in we were immediately greeted by the woman behind the counter. She told us to let her know if we would like to taste any wine. We decided to browse through their shop before doing any tasting. They had nice large assortment of wine-related items to look at. Their selection of wine racks was particularly nice...and the prices on the racks were very reasonable.
We walked up to the tasting counter and the woman gave us a wine list. The winery was not very busy when we walked in...but by this time they were pretty packed. The two people behind the counter handled all these people quite well. We tasted approximately eight different wines. We were even treated to a sample of their warm mulled wine, which was delicious. It prompted us to by some of their mulling spices.
Brown County Winery has one of the best concord wines I have ever had, a great gift shop, and a very friendly staff. The only thing that disappointed us was that they had nowhere to sit and enjoy a glass on-site. This winery is basically set up for tastings and carry-out purchases. Favorite: Vista Red.
Butler Winery - We had a very pleasurable visit to this intimate winery in Bloomington, Indiana. On arrival, we spent quite a bit of time with the winemaker while he hosted a private wine tasting. He was very friendly and let us take our time during the tasting process...which I always appreciate. They had two wines that we liked particularly well, so we ordered a bottle and a snack from their kitchen.
We sat down in their dining area near a window overlooking a lake. While we waited for our warm breadsticks to arrive, we chatted about how nice it would be to visit this winery in warmer weather. The beautiful atmosphere outdoors would have been the perfect setting to enjoy our wine outside. Our breadsticks were delicious. Butler Winery offers a small selection of salads, breadsticks, quesidillas, etc.....and they also make homemade pizzas if you are in the mood for a full meal.
The intimate, casual atmosphere of Butler Winery...along with a large selection of award-winning wines, makes it a perfect stop for a relaxing evening. Favorites: Indiana Red and Indiana White.
Carousel Winery - If we had followed our printed directions to this Bedford, Indiana winery, we never would have found it. Rand McNally had us going several miles past where we needed to be. Thank goodness there was a large billboard along the road pointing out exactly where we should go. We had mapped to the exact address...but find that many times our internet directions are wrong. Signs pointing to the wineries really help out.
When we entered the tasting room, there were only two other couples at the counter and we easily found ourselves a spot. The winery owners were on-hand, who I believe primarily run the tasting room themselves. The woman was busy with the other couples and she asked her husband to come help us. I don't think he spends a lot of time behind the counter. He asked us what wine we wanted to try. We told him we were not sure what they had to offer. He produced a tasting sheet for us and gave us a few minutes to look over it.
By this time the other couples were wrapping it up and making their final purchases. The woman then came over to us and said we had her all to ourselves. She basically guided us through a tasting of all the wines they produce. She was very friendly and seemed to know a lot about Indiana wines. As we were sampling, she spoke with us about the Indiana Uplands Wine trail, the grapes that grow in the southern part of the state, and about some of the laws that were impacting Indiana wineries. When she found out we were from Ohio, she told us that we were her typical customer. She stated that most of their visitors were not from the area and had come to Bedford for the sole purpose of visiting the winery. She went on to tell us that she wished the winery received more support from the people living there locally, since they did help bring tourism to the area. Our hostess may have had a point. Carousel Winery was our last stop...so we had a hotel booked in Bedford and would also be eating dinner there that night. Bedford is a fairly small town and I didn't notice anything beside the winery that would boost the local tourism economy.
We sampled two wines that I liked very much. First was the Red Tiger Red. It is one of the sweeter grape wines that Carousel produces...but not too sweet. It was very lightweight with a sweet, yet tangy finish. I also enjoyed the Shadow Dog Port. There is a sampling charge to try this wine...but it is worth it. Their port gives you that wonderful warming sensation without being overly heavy. I also found it to have exquisite fruit flavors. Carousel also makes a Peach wine that I was looking forward to sampling, but it was sold out. Maybe I'll get to try it if we find ourselves in the area again.
Since it was our last stop of the day and our hotel was just up the road...we decided to get a bottle of wine to share before we left. We asked for a bottle of the Red Dog Red. It was sweet enough to drink on its own...and we thought it was light enough to sip outside on a warm evening. Our hostess gave us a couple of glasses and we headed outside to find a spot. There was no one else there, so we had our choice of where to sit. There were a few picnic tables close to the tasting room, but we spotted one lone table a little off in the distance. We turned the table slightly so we could both sit in the shade. It was a very nice secluded spot for us to enjoy our wine.
You will receive personal service from the owners when you visit Carousel Winery. They also have plenty of room if you want to bring a picnic lunch with you. Although I thought their wine were kind of expensive compared to other wineries in the area...they were all very, very good. Favorites: Red Tiger Red and Shadow Dog Port.
Oliver Vineyard and Winery - WOW! This exemplary winery is located in Bloomington, Indiana. When we arrived, we were immediately taken with the gorgeous grounds...vineyard, rock sculptures, landscaping, large lake...a truly wonderful atmosphere. We walked inside and we were sort of worried because it was a very busy Saturday afternoon and there were many visitors inside.. There was a small space open at the tasting counter and we jumped at the chance to take it. As busy as they were, we were still greeted immediately by a very knowledgeable woman who set us up for a wine tasting. The way the employees handled this crowd was remarkable. Everyone at the tasting counter got plenty of personal attention and a description of each wine as it was poured.
The wines at Oliver Winery were very enjoyable. They offer a large selection that is sure to suit anyone's personal taste. After our tasting we purchased a glass and sat down at a table to take everything in. Fresh breads, crackers, cheeses and spreads can be purchased. Tours are available and depart every half-hour.
I am looking forward to a second visit to this winery. It was too cold to sit outdoors and I very much want to enjoy the beautiful lake view with a glass of wine sometime. This winery is a must see for every wine traveler. Favorite: Riesling.
Simmons Winery - Our visit to this country winery was our first experience with an Indiana winery. As we entered this winery in Columbus, Indiana, we were anxious to try our first Indiana wines. We started by browsing the gift shop, which was full of wine accessories, picnic supplies, candles and wine-themed home decor. The winemaker's mother was working the winery this particular day, and she provided a tasting for us. I was curious if I would notice any difference in the Ohio wineries and Indiana wineries. The first big difference I discovered is that Indiana law does not require a charge for tastings (in Ohio you can't give alcohol away for free). I also noticed that Indiana wineries seem to be more liberal with their tastings....wanting you to try all their wines...but this could just be my imagination.
At Simmons Winery, we started with a Riesling and tried about ten different wines. We tried to skip over the Catawba, but our hostess insisted that we would love it. She was right. This winery does an excellent Catawba wine. If you like fruit wines, Simmons has a nice selection of those also.
It was early in the day, so we would not have stayed to enjoy a glass, but I always like it to be an option. Simmons did not have a seating area...just tastings and carry-out purchases. We bought several bottles to take home and recommend a stop at Simmons Winery. It's a very pleasurable tasting experience. Favorites: Catawba and Autumn Sweet White.