TERRE HAUTE —
By Howard W. Hewitt
Special to the Tribune-Star
Indiana winemakers believe validation and credibility come with the federal government’s designation of the Indiana Uplands as an American Viticulture Area.
Indiana Secretary of Agriculture Gina Sheets, members of Purdue University’s Wine and Grape team and representatives of Indiana’s nine Upland wineries made the announcement Tuesday at the Statehouse in Indianapolis. Butler Winery owner and winemaker Jim Butler has pursued the designation for nearly 10 years. The U.S. Department of Treasury’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau granted the designation as the Indiana Uplands.
“I think what we want to develop now is when people see the name Indiana Uplands, it conjures up something in their minds about the area and the wines,” Butler said. “We want customers to have a real familiarity they can depend on knowing that they’re going to get a good wine.”
The 4,800-square-mile Uplands AVA stretches from the Morgan-Monroe County line near Bloomington south to the Ohio River, a distance of more than 100 miles The east-west boundaries run from Jasper in Dubois County to Knobstone Ridge near Starlight, overlooking the Ohio River Valley.
“This legitimizes the area as a grape-growing region,” said Kathleen Oliver, executive vice president of Oliver Winery, one of the Midwest’s largest wineries. “I think that’s something we already knew. We have something special in our topography with well-drained soils and a climate ideal for growing grapes. This raises the level of awareness that there is something unique about our region. It’s just like Napa or Sonoma. We are now something special.”
There are more than 200 American Viticulture Areas in the United States including the Ohio River AVA shared by West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. Butler said most southern Indiana wineries have never wanted to use the AVA designation, which would have forced them to put “Ohio” on their Indiana-made wines.
But Bruce Bordelon, Purdue’s viticulture specialist, said it takes more than a designation or label to make the Uplands stand out. “Quality is always the goal whether it’s Michigan, Indiana, Ohio or Washington and California,” he said. “This is an affirmation that what we’re doing is successful and mainstream and good as any region in the world.”
Indiana has approximately 650 acres in vineyard and 63 bonded wineries. A substantial amount of Indiana wine is made from grapes grown out of state. The nine established wineries in the Uplands AVA are Best Vineyards Winery, Elizabeth; Brown County Winery, Nashville; Butler Winery, Bloomington; Carousel Winery, Bedford; French Lick Winery, West Baden Springs; Huber Winery, Starlight; Oliver Winery, Bloomington; Turtle Run Winery, Corydon; and Winzerwald Winery, Bristow. There are also a few vineyard-only properties.
The winemakers acknowledged the big step is using the AVA designation to push quality, increase tourism and sell more wine.
“The big marketing point is they’re going to be able to put Uplands AVA on their wine bottles,” said Jeanette Merritt, marketing director, Indiana Wines & Purdue Wine Grape Team. “When people go out to buy wine, they are looking for those special designations. Having the Uplands designation on the bottle and being able to promote that is going to encourage people to buy those wines.”
Butler said it’s a process that could take decades, but an important first step.
Dan Adams, winemaker and owner of one of the Uplands’ smallest wineries, Winzerwald, said everyone from Oliver to his small operation benefits. “We have to get the word out and tell people we have unique qualities like a Napa or Bordeaux,” he said. “We’ll eventually achieve the same level of recognition that other areas have achieved. Some of those areas have had years, if not hundreds of years, head start on us.”
Howard W. Hewitt is a wine writer based in Crawfordsville. He writes an every other week newspaper column for the Tribune-Star and 21 other Midwestern. Read his wine blog at www.red
Indiana Uplands wine designation could boost industry’s image
TERRE HAUTE —
- Local & Bistate
Purdue shooting leaves one person dead
A Purdue University engineering student opened fire inside a basement classroom Tuesday, killing a teaching assistant and prompting officials to put the campus on lockdown, police and the university said.
Ready to rock: ISTEP+ testing begins today in Indiana
The student body of Woodrow Wilson Middle School issued a collective battle cry on Monday as it began a week of standardized testing.
THS grad Miller among students in adjacent building when shooting occurs
Kris Miller and his roommate were in a computer lab of Purdue’s mechanical engineering building Tuesday when they received a call that a shooting had occurred next door.
Bosma moves gay marriage ban bill to friendlier committee
Republican House of Representatives Speaker Brian Bosma sent a bill that proposes a constitutional ban on gay marriage to a more conservative-leaning legislature committee Tuesday, because it lacked support on the first committee to which it was assigned.
We enter the deep freeze again
If you had to step outside to get your newspaper this morning, you might have noticed it’s painfully cold once again.
Levy redirects school funds
If the new “protected levy” legislation goes into effect later this year, it would mean “a substantial reduction” in revenue for Vigo County School Corp. bus transportation, capital projects and bus replacement funds, according to the district’s chief financial officer.
School debt levy redirects funds across Indiana
School officials and state legislators from around the state are searching for ways to keep the school buses running — and children safe on the streets — pending the loss of millions of dollars for school transportation.
More than 50 school districts in Indiana stand to lose at least 20 percent of their revenues for transportation, new buses and other big-ticket projects under a new law that requires them to first pay off their debts.
VIDEO: Sen. Donnelly updates T-S editorial board
Passage of a long overdue U.S. farm bill could be completed by the end of this month, Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., said Tuesday.
Vigo coroner tries again for salary increase
After being denied last year, Vigo County Coroner Dr. Susan Amos is again seeking to have her county salary increased to match that of several other county office holders.
‘A common spirit that binds us’
Disaster can hit at any time, whether from a tornado or fire that leaves a family homeless.
Man arrested on multiple burglary charges
A Montezuma man has been arrested in connection with residential burglaries in Parke and Vigo counties and on suspicion of illegal sale of firearms.
$1.4 million revamp of Third Street in works
Plans to spruce up Third Street through downtown are taking shape.
New principal picked for Hoosier Prairie
Hoosier Prairie Elementary has a new principal, Jennifer Russell, effective today.
UPDATE: Putnam deputy indicted
A Putnam County Sheriff’s deputy who also serves as a Greencastle city councilman has been indicted by a federal grand jury on allegations of deprivation of civil rights in his police duties, and he has been placed on administrative leave as a deputy.
UPDATE: Indictment alleges deputy committed violence against suspects
A Putnam County deputy, Terry Joe “T.J.” Smith, 37, has been arrested on a federal indictment charging him with committing violent acts against suspects.
Feds arrest Putnam County deputy on charges of violence
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A sheriff’s deputy from a rural Indiana county has been indicted on federal civil rights charges.
Vigo County Jail Log: March 10, 2014
The following individuals were booked into the Vigo County Jail by area law enforcement on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, based on jail records.
Police: Meth organization dismantled in Vigo County
Five people face criminal charges after police dismantled an alleged methamphetamine organization in Vigo County, according to an Indiana State Police news release.
Food Inspections: March 10, 2014
The Vigo County Health Department inspected the following food establishments during the week of Feb. 24 - 28:
Canvasing families: Mothers confront life with diabetic children
Four Wabash Valley mothers who sat around a circular table Thursday night couldn’t hold back tears as they talked about their children’s battles with a lifelong disease and their hopes for helping other affected families.
MAX JONES: Newspapers can be fun, too; check out Readers’ Choice
Smart and savvy newspaper readers (that’s all of you, of course) know full well that their daily consumption of news and information isn’t an exclusively high-brow pursuit.
Changed wording to SJR-9 delays debate on right to hunt, fish
A much-debated ban on same-sex marriage wasn’t the only proposed constitutional amendment to get knocked off of this November’s ballot. Gone, too, is the less contentious proposal to protect Hoosiers’ right to hunt and fish.
You’re home now: A veteran’s Midwest move that almost wasn’t
To say that Michael Curry was stressed is an understatement.
A service member who has been in the U.S. Army for more than 21 years, he had just arrived in Vigo County with his family — wife, four teen-age children, mother-in-law and two dogs — when he learned the home loan he had obtained in Texas was denied.
Valley lawmakers assess legislative session’s trials, tribulations
As state legislators head into the final week of the state legislative session, five of them from the Wabash Valley met with citizens Saturday at the Vigo County Public Library in downtown Terre Haute and engaged in conversation about the “ups and downs” of the recent session.
Families often unaware of helpful groups for kids with disabilities
One Saturday morning event in Terre Haute aimed to raise awareness about the resources available to people with disabilities.
Spotting pot, gun in home nets 2 arrests.
Two adults were arrested and two children removed from a Vigo County home on Friday after drugs and a handgun with altered serial numbers were discovered in the home, authorities said.
HUMAN RIGHTS DAY: Focus on poverty, inequality
The issues of poverty and inequality will be at the forefront of the 13th annual Terre Haute Human Rights Day on March 18 at Indiana State University.
VIDEO: Tasting their way to a cure
People appeared to be in high spirits Friday inside the historic Indiana Theatre as they gathered for an evening of wine, food and conversation while supporting efforts to find a cure for breast cancer.
Same-sex marriage: 4 couples sue state over ban
Four gay couples from southern Indiana sued the state Friday, seeking to force Indiana to recognize same-sex marriages from out of state and issue licenses to same-sex couples.
Time to check smoke alarms
Three years after a house fire on South Nine Street in Terre Haute resulted in the death of three people, a Terre Haute grandmother still wonders if the outcome of that fire would have been different if smoke detectors in the home had been working.
- More Local & Bistate Headlines
- Purdue shooting leaves one person dead