Urban Vines’ Heated Igloos Offer Unique Winter Experience

Photographer: Michael Durr

Anyone living in the Midwest knows the gray skies and bare trees during winter months can be dreary and bleak. Luckily there is a nearby answer to break the monotonous seasonal boredom. Noah Herron, owner of Urban Vines Winery and Brewery has initiated a concept to lessen the midwinter blahs. The opportunity to rent an Igloo has introduced a novel and enchanting experience for small groups visiting the winery located at 303 East 161st Street in Westfield.

“We like to visit other wineries and breweries around the area,” Herron says. “We were up in Michigan last year and saw a brewery that had a few igloos and they looked really cool. You could tell they were a hit while we were there and by the activity on social media.”

Sipping a glass of wine or drinking a beer on patio-like seating in the middle of winter doesn’t sound very pleasant, but each of the three igloos situated on the grounds of the winery is heated and furnished with comfortable seating for eight. The structures are made of clear plastic which enables customers a view of wintertime stars.

The structure is made from thick PVC piping,” Herron adds. “Then they are covered with a thick plastic that acts as a greenhouse. We have turf on the ground to keep it from getting muddy. We do have heaters inside that keep them comfortable. Every time I’ve been inside, I have taken my jacket off. We always advise bringing warmer clothing just in case.”

The igloos were put up right after Thanksgiving and will be available into March. Each is designed to hold a group of two to eight people and rents for $10 an hour any day the winery is open. They have been extremely popular, especially on the weekends, but visitors can also make reservations on weekdays as well.

All food and wine must still be ordered at the bar. However, if patrons select one of the artisan pizzas such as the Wild Garden — a pie featuring red sauce, cheese blend, red pepper, red onion and spinach — it will be delivered to the igloo when its ready. Another crowd pleaser is the charcuterie boards. Options for these extensive spreads include many different choices of meats, cheeses, olives and bread. And of course, there are the wines. Black Magic at $15 is the most popular among sweet drinkers while the $18 Cabernet Sauvignon is what dry drinkers often opt for.

But don’t forget the brews cautions Herron.

The beer (sales) keep increasing as people realize we make really good beers,” he says. “Right now, we are the highest rated brewery on Untappd beer app.

“With winter most outdoor places close up and wait for spring. We’re trying to change that a bit. There is still fun to be had outside. The igloos offer a great private experience for you and your friends.”

For more information on the Igloos at Urban Vines Winery and Brewery visit Urban-Vines.com or call 317-763-0678 to make a reservation.