The Bloomington Convention Center in downtown Bloomington, IN, held the 3rd annual Uncork the Uplands event which showcased the Indiana Uplands Wineries. From Oliver and Butler Winery in Bloomington, to Owen Valley, Brown County, French Lick, Huber, Best Vineyards, and Turtle Run Winery. Several local chefs and countless food artisans were also in attendance, from Indy’s own Fermenti Artisans, and Smoking Goose, as well as fromager Judy Schad, co-owner of Capriole Farms in southern Indiana. In addition, there was quite a spread of hors d’oeuvres.
So much reason to celebrate at this year’s Uncork The Uplands! Early in 2013, The Indiana Uplands had at long last succeeded in obtaining it’s hard-fought (thank you Jim Butler), official designation as an American Viticultural Area, the first and only one primarily in Indiana.
PeaceTree Mountain Truffles-Makes custom truffles with cookies, coffee, jam, and lucky me, wine! These are made with Huber Winery Vino!! I had the Starlight Red. Heavenly!
An assortment of meats from Smoking Goose. Mortadella anyone?
What would a wine tasting be without a little cheese? Capriole Farms.
Truly Chocolate Cupcakes and Wine from French Lick Winery
Moving on to Desert….
Let’s have a cocktail…
The Rail’s proprietor and head bartender Colin Boilini crafting my wine cocktail.
The Owen Valley “Sour”
Bloomington native Colin Boilini, The Rail’s proprietor and head bartender was also on hand working his magic with several inventive “wine-cocktails” using wines exclusively from the Indiana Uplands and working his typical craft cocktail magic.
Amidst all this imbibing we also managed to attend a lecture by Jim Butler on the Indiana Upland’s official designation as an AVA and the painstaking time, effort and endless paperwork involved in petitioning for this designation from the government. (One of the workers retired at the end of the process, we are talking YEARS here)
The man responsible for Indiana’s AVA-Jim Butler
Indiana’s Uplands AVA- from Monroe County/Morgan County south to the Ohio River, is approximately 110 miles, The unique topography of the Uplands and a higher elevation, yield grapes that ripen under conditions with good acid, color, tannins, and distinctive fruit flavors. It may not be the largest of wine trails, but it is one that is nearest and dearest to my heart, as it includes one of my favorite places Oliver Winery, which I fell in love with it as an IU alum and always have to make a stop when heading back to B-town. As well as new favorites that include Huber Winery in southern Indiana’s Starlight. Uncork The Uplands is such a great and safe way (accomodations at The Courtyard Marriott or Hilton Garden Inn) to be able to try Indiana Upland’s amazing wines in one place.
After the wine tasting I just couldn’t pass up an offering of one last glass of wine. We headed to Oliver Winery Downtown, on the square. I have been to Oliver Winery’s main location on 37 a thousand times, maybe more, but since we were staying so close we thought this was the perfect chance to check out the downtown location.
We were back at the hotel at a somewhat reasonable time. I got up in the morning and took a rather long run on the B-Line Trail, which if you don’t know, runs alongside downtown Bloomington, just behind the Courtyard Marriott and Hilton, and eventually connects to Clear Creek Trail. It was a rather chilly morning, especially for July, and I had a great run. Once I got into the woods I saw a deer and some horses on a farm, which is kinda cool for a city girl like me. Not sure if it was the beauty of being on a gorgeous wooded trail (in nature for once), all the carbs from the night before, or just the fact that I didn’t have my Garmin on while running on an unfamiliar trail, but I inadvertently wound-up running four miles before turning around, 8 miles in total, pretty much by accident, but oddly, it felt effortless. I suppose I am ready for my next Mini-Marathon.
In addition to Indy, (and if you don’t already know, my obsession with New Orleans, which I don’t talk about too much here because this blog is all about Indy and surrounding areas), Bloomington is another one of my beloved cities. I lived in this city for years while in college and will never tire of returning and love that every time I go back there seems to be another great new place to check out.
Bloomington, much like downtown Indy, has grown so much in the past few years and I can’t wait to visit again!!