Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A Visit to Oliver Winery

During my visit to Indiana, my friend Cindy informed me one day that we were going to take a drive over to the Oliver Winery in Bloomington, IN.  I'm always up for an afternoon at a winery, so I was ready to go.  When we arrived, we noticed that there seemed to be an inordinate amount of people and cars parked everywhere.  While we were certain they did a brisk business, this seemed more than just a Saturday afternoon crowd.  And indeed it was.  They were having their Fall Festival and the place was packed.  But, no matter.  We were directed to our parking space by one of the parking attendants and set afoot to see what was going on.  And what a day.

First of all, the winery itself - the grounds and the building - are very beautifully done.  A lot of attention to detail which is very evident.  The staff is amazing.  So friendly and helpful.  And the wine selection was extraordinary.  We set out to see what this place was all about.  Below is a pictorial of our visit.

This picture is of their actual vineyards in Bloomington.  Isn't that magnificent.

As we were making our way to the wine haus, I began taking pictures.

This way to the Wine Shop!

Another shot as we made our way ever closer.  The grounds were just extraordinary.

These beautiful canna.

And ornamental flame grasses with all sorts of colorful annuals.  Just beautiful.

As I said at the beginning of this post, it was Fall Festival day.  Lots of parents out with their children enjoying the festivities.

There were pumpkins of all sizes, shapes and colors everywhere you looked.

We followed the crowd through the door.

And this is what met us.  People!  Are far as the eye could see.  People.

Some shopping.

Some chatting.

Some waiting for a table to open up outside.

But most, tasting!!  That was the big draw of the day.  It seemed everyone wanted to gather 'round the large bar in the center of the room for their turn to sample the wines.

I was eventually able to find an opening and nuzzled my way in so that I could begin my sampling. Each customer who paid for wine tasting when you entered was allowed to choose up to five selections from the list presented when you found you spot at the bar.  You will see that I immediately went for the dry reds.  I circled all three of those.  Then the Gewurztraminer, which I ended up buying a half case.  And finally, my first choice under the semi-sweet wines was the Creekbend Catawba.  But then you see I marked through that and decided to try the Creekbend Tawny 2009, a dessert wine. And what an excellent idea that was.  The Tawny is so incredibly delicious.  My house will never be without a bottle of Tawny.

I had a wonderful sommelier, Marie K.  She was very knowledgeable about each and every bottle I tried.  She was even kind enough to let me sample a couple extra vintages.

Here was my glass, waiting for the next round.  I must say they were generous with their tasting samples.

After I was done with the tasting, Cindy and I went shopping.  She is not a wine drinker.  Although she did take a liking to the Tawny.  She told me the only wine she ever enjoyed drinking was the wine my father made.  I'm sure he would be so happy to hear that.  I remember when he used to make homemade wine, although I was a wee little fellow at the time.  We will talk about my father and his wine making another time.

We found some interesting little trinkets throughout the store.  These bottle stoppers are wonderful. Most wine bottle stoppers extend too far out of the bottle and make it impossible to store the bottle in the refrigerator after it is opened.  It won't fit in the door.  It won't fit on the shelves.  These stoppers only have a small portion that extends above the bottle neck.  Now, with these, an open bottle can easily be stored in the door of the refrigerator.  Also, I tested these while I was in Indiana.  When we would have a glass of wine in the evening, I would put one of these bottle stoppers in the open bottle and lay it down on a shelf in the refrigerator.  Not one drop of wine spilled.  They are really wonderful.  Of course I had to get an Oliver Winery refrigerator door magnet.  And a set of two drip rings which are nice to slide over the bottle neck.  They catch any drips that run down the side of the bottle after you pour.  Again, a really handy thing to have for us wine drinkers.

Cindy asked, since we are red wine drinkers, if we could use a bottle of "Wine Away."  I assured that yes, in fact, we could.  So she was kind enough to make this purchase for us.

The shoppe had a small food section with all kinds of interesting choices.  I found this Truffle Aioli which sounded really good to me.

In the refrigerated section they had these little tubs of Torta which were simply irresistible.

This is the view for the side without the label.  Cream cheese, pesto and roasted red peppers and other seasonings.  Who could resist?

Very festive on a cracker.

Someone ate my cracker!!!  Oh well.  Who could blame them.  This was a delicious spread.  I might try to put this together in the kitchen.  Let's see if I have any luck.

So that was our visit to Oliver Winery.  If you are in Indianapolis or anywhere near Bloomington, you should definitely stop by.

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