As one of the closer states to us, it's a bit surprising that we haven't tasted more Indiana wines. Part of this was a disappointing early tasting and also many of the wineries are in the southern section of the state, making it difficult to easily swing by to visit. Things are changing however; Purdue University has stepped in to help both the wine and craft beer industries, and quality is on the upswing. According to Indiana Wines, the trade group, the wine industry in Indiana nearly disappeared between Prohibition and the early 1970's. Two events helped revitalize the industry. The Small Winery Act of 1971 allowed wineries to sell directly to the public rather than through wholesalers. Also, in 1989, the General Assembly created the Indiana Wine Grape Council to support the growing industry. This helped the industry grow from 9 wineries to well more than 50 today.
As the industry has grown, wineries have banded together to promote themselves and make it easier for consumers to find them. At least 5 wine trails have organized themselves and allow people to take regional tours: Cardinal Flight, Hoosier Wine, Indiana Uplands, Indiana, and Indy.
Don't have time to drive around to visit the individual wineries? Head to Indianapolis for Vintage Indiana, an annual festival promoting Indiana wine and food. Indiana wineries offer samples of more than 200 wines along with food and live music.
I'll be working on visiting some of these wineries and also getting some bottles to taste - time to check out our neighbor again.
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