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Wineries and vineyards in Indianapolis, IN

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Wine slushies at Daniel’s Vineyard are a must for City Editor Nicole. | Photo by @gardenofarden

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The ultimate Wine Wednesday is upon us, vino connoisseurs. National Wine Day is about more than just sipping on our favorite fermented grapes from distant lands — oftentimes, those praiseworthy treasures are produced right in our own backyards (and sometimes with a little help from our grape-growing friends).

How merlot can you go, Indy? It’s no surprise that Hoosiers do their fair share of wine-drinking. But as vino connoisseurs with sophisticated palates, indulging in fine wines doesn’t always have to mean sipping on our favorite fermented grapes from distant lands — oftentimes, those praiseworthy treasures are produced right in our own backyards (and sometimes with a little help from our grape-growing friends).

Get to know Indy’s booming wine industry, from local wineries and vineyards to festivals and other places with wine on the menu. Ready? Yes way, rosé. It’s wine o’clock.

🍷 A brief history

Dating back to the late 1500s, alcohol was added to wine in a process called fortification, which helped preserve the beverage for long shipping journeys. This process produced sweet + tangy wines like port, sherry, and a Portuguese wine called Madeira. When the latter came to the U.S., it was used to celebrate a significant part in American history: the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Fast forward roughly two and a half centuries to today’s America… Indy has some serious wine fans.

🍷 Locally produced + thriving

We heard it through the grapevine — Indiana sits at No. 15 for wine production by state, producing ~1,411,540 gallons in 2022, and boasts 31 wineries. Did you know? The most popular wine in Indiana is sangria, with the most popular in the Midwest region being cabernet sauvignon + mulled wine.

When it comes to places to wine down, Hoosiers have a couple choices that are both near the city and a little farther out. Head just down the road to Peace Water Winery on Mass Avenue and kick back with a glass of our beloved Reggae Red (a four-time award winner) from Easley Winery. Or, grab your wine-obsessed friends for a short road trip and some outdoor + learning time during a wine tour and tasting at Oliver Winery, just 45 miles from the city. While you’re there, be sure to try their best-selling Blueberry Moscato.

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Blueberry Moscato won Beverage Testing Institute’s 2021 “Best Buy” award. | Photo by @jealousyjane

🍷 Wine outside the box

Who doesn’t love a little vino variation? Instead of committing to a single glass, try a wine flight with four styles of wine — including Circle City Red + Winner’s White — at Daniel’s Vineyard.

Don’t forget — summer is just around the corner. That means on a warm day, try a tasty way to cool off with a Winearita or Blueberry Lemon wine slushy from Urban Vines. Just be warned, don’t guzzle these down too fast to avoid a wine-induced brain freeze.

🍷 Festivals + other fun wine events

With such a robust wine community in Indiana, the options for celebrating and enjoying wine are endless. Mark your calendars for the Vintage Indiana Winefest on Sat., June 4 that will include ~30 local wineries + winemakers.

Looking for a sooner Riesling to toss back a glass or two? Come out for the Picnic Concert Series (every weekend starting Sat., May 28-Sat., Sept. 17) at Mallow Run Winery to get in your fine grape fix with a side of Summer Rosé.

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