Wine Not? Oliver Winery is the Perfect Autumn Escape
There’s a chill in the air, the leaves are turning and the pumpkins are out. Hmmm…what to do on a beautiful fall day in Indiana? Well look no further than an hour’s drive south to Oliver Winery! You can enjoy their wine out on the vine-covered deck, inside the winery or out on the grass down by the beautiful koi-filled pond.
When you pull up to Oliver Winery, you can’t help but be impressed by its beauty. There are rows of grapevines as you drive up the long driveway to the lushly landscaped grounds. Along meandering walkways on the property, you will be captivated by the native wildflowers, waterfalls and rock structures. Everywhere you look seems to be a photo op…but maybe that’s just us!
Inside you’ll find a shop that sells 36 varieties of wines, a wonderful selection of cheese and other gourmet goodies, fruit ciders and more. You will also find two wine tasting areas. One is located in the back room where the large wine barrels are stored, while the other area is situated around a long bar when you first walk into the shop.
For $5 (and a quaint wooded token no less), you may sample eight wines. Armed with a provided wine glass and a very large wine list, we were ready to begin our tasting. Chloe, our testing guide, was full of helpful information. The wine list is broken into various sections such as “Dry White Wines,” “Semi-Dry Wines” and “Sparkling Wines.” There is a brief description of each wine on the list to entice you into sampling.
In addition, all of Oliver’s employees are well-trained and educated on the winery’s various offerings, so if the written description isn’t sufficient, don’t hesitate to call on one of the winery’s teammates. Chloe gave some wonderful suggestions to us. As neither of us are exactly wine connoisseurs, her guidance made for an enjoyable experience.
Our favorites were Gewürztraminer (or G-Wine) and Creekbend Carbenet Sauvignon 2008. The Creekbend selections are produced from Oliver’s 53-acre Creekbend Vineyard in Bloomington. Creekbend wines can only be purchased at Oliver Winery unlike other varietals that can be purchased at locations where wines are sold. We really loved the opportunity to try the various wines. The wine tasting area tends to draw a crowd, but who minds…you are surrounded by other friendly patrons, and the atmosphere is beyond charming!
After the tasting, we bought a bottle of Pinot Grigio and headed outside to the large wood deck. There are grapevines hanging over head, and the deck is surrounded with planting beds of native wildflowers. There was a five piece band out there playing light jazz which just added to the ambience of the day.
While you can purchase snacks inside, Oliver also allows you to bring your own food. We emptied our picnic basket of crackers and cheese, coupled with the smoked Gouda and grapes that we had purchased inside. As we sipped our wine and enjoyed the delicious snacks, we marveled at the beauty of Oliver Winery. Tours are also offered, but we opted to stay out on the deck and just enjoy the music and wine. The tours are free and run every half hour on the weekends.
Behind the deck is a large grassy area full of picnic benches, people picnicking on blankets and a large koi pond. It’s a heavily wooded area, so there are plenty of shady areas to sit and enjoy the day. Food for the fish can be purchased at the pond, and the children we saw loved watching the brightly colored koi come up to the pond’s surface to eat. Children are welcome at Oliver Winery, just not in the wine tasting areas. From what we could see, the children seemed to enjoy Oliver as much as the adults did!
Oliver Winery has also opened a new restaurant in downtown Bloomington. They offer wine along with light appetizers of cheese and charcuterie. You can also try one of their delicious desserts such as lemon ricotta cheesecake brulee or cherry rhubarb crumble! They are open seven days a week.
Oliver Winery is located at 8024 N. State Road 37 in Bloomington. Their tasting room hours are from 10-6 Monday through Saturday and 12-6 Sundays. You can also visit their website at www.oliverwinery.com. If you are looking for a fun day out with friends, a perfect date destination or if you are just in the mood to try some new wines, visit Oliver Winery. During the month of October when the leaves are at their most spectacular in Bloomington, you won’t be disappointed with this fun-filled day!!!