February 27, 2017

Indy International Wine Comp Spectacular

“I declare the 25th Olympiad of wine open!” announced Christian Butzke, Purdue University’s professor of enology. It was a timely witticism with the Olympics in Rio getting underway at the same time as the Indy International Wine Competition. Christian was chief wine judge and a magisterial and Monty Pythonesque M.C. at last week’s Indy.As he introduced the competition - in Purdue’s … [Read more...]

Winegrowing in Kansas: Vineyard Help Needed!

This is the first blog from our new columnist Cindy Reynolds. With husband Dennis, Cindy is co-owner of  Somerset Ridge Vineyard & Winery in Kansas.The view of our 20 acres of wine grapes is lush, green and beautiful after a spring of abundant rain and sunshine. Every grapegrower we know is thanking the wine gods because of our recent experiences with less than ideal weather. But this … [Read more...]

Hinterland: A Great Winery Worth the Extra Mile

One of the best Midwest wine experiences is finding a gem of a winery in a rural area.  And being a diamond in the boonies the business model for Hinterland Vineyards and Winery in Clara City, Minnesota, about 110 miles west of the Twin Cities.“You’re coming to the Winery on a gravel road and you step into, ‘Wow, are we in California,’” said Hinterland co-owner Aftan Koenen about the … [Read more...]

New York Times Recognizes Marquette Wine

We started writing about Marquette wine during 2011, but news of this Minnesota borne grape has just now penetrated fortress Manhattan. Today, in a bit of a coup for the cold hardy wine industry, the New York Times had a positively slanted story about Marquette and hybrid wines in general.Recognizing that few Times readers have heard of Marquette, the Times reporter used a "news" angle for the … [Read more...]

Purdue Launches Vineyard Tech Company

From Inside Indiana Business comes a report of a new vineyard technology company based in Lafayette, Indiana.  The new company, VinSense, was developed by three members of the Purdue faculty.  (Note: While judging the Indy International Wine Competition in 2014, I toured the part of Purdue's campus devoted to technology and engineering.  It's like a piece of Silicon Valley in the middle of … [Read more...]

Midwest Wine Documentary Screens at International Film Festival

Move over Sideways ! Eat your grapes out Bottle Shock ! Could this be the film that brings the Midwest wine industry to the world?Wine Diamonds: Uncorking America’s Heartland, a feature-length documentary film about the challenges and opportunities of developing and making wine in the Midwest has been chosen as an Official Selection at the Julien Dubuque International Film Festival.For … [Read more...]

Indiana’s Bill Oliver Wins Lifetime Achievement Award

At the recent Eastern Winery Exposition in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Bill Oliver, president of Oliver Winery, won a Lifetime Achievement Award. Bill runs one of the leading (and biggest) wineries in our region. It's also 100% employee owned. You can read about Bill's winery in our profile: Oliver Winery's Journey to Become Midwest's Largest Winery  … [Read more...]

Big Southern Illinois WInery Wants a Casino License

Walker's Bluff, a winery, restaurant, and concert entertainment center near Carbondale, Illinois is now trying to get a casino license, according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch.  Midwest Wineries have gone to great lengths to add new revenue streams - including monster truck shows and distilleries-  but this is the first we've heard about merging  regional wine and gambling.  Walker's Bluff argues … [Read more...]

Trump Wine is for Losers

Sorry about the headline.  It was an attempt at sarcasm about Donald Trump, which is impossible.Recently, the media has raised questions about the legitimacy of Trump's Virginia Winery. (See the link to today's Daily Beast article below.)On July 21st, 2o15, I was in Charlottesville, Virginia on the start of a tour of the area's wineries.See: Virginia Shows the Potential of Midwest … [Read more...]

Simply Aronia Wine

Several years ago, my husband and I ordered some aronia wine on the Internet. The entire contents of the bottle landed in the sink. More recently, skilled winemakers are proving that aronia makes good wine.Two of the wineries are Randy Albrecht’s Wolf Creek Winery in Coleharbor, North Dakota, and Gerry Godfrey’s Mount Zion Winery in Marydel, Maryland.Albrecht’s $15.99 Aronia Berry Wine … [Read more...]