The Indiana wine industry is experiencing one of the most exciting rebirths since the passage of the Small Winery Act in the early 1970's.
The Small Winery Act, written by William Oliver of Oliver Winery in Bloomington, allowed commercial wineries to sell directly to the public rather than working exclusively through distributors. Prior to the passage of the Act, wineries were required to work through distributors and were not allowed to work directly with the wine buying public. Therefore, the wine industry in Indiana did not thrive after prohibition until the 1970's.
The second incentive for the Indiana wine industry occurred in 1989. With 9 wineries in Indiana, the General Assembly created the Indiana Wine Grape Council to support the growing industry. The Council's mission is to enhance the economic development of Indiana by establishing a successful wine grape industry through winegrape research and market development. Professionals in viticulture (grape growing), enology (winemaking) and marketing located at Purdue University provide technical and educational assistance to the growers and vintners within the state.
Located throughout the state, Indiana's wineries range from small shops in quaint towns to large farms set on hundreds of acres. Award winning wines range from dry to sweet and white to red, there is something for everyone's palate!
With a growth rate averaging 15% annually in gallons sold, the Indiana wineries and grape growers are prospering from the fruits of their labor.
Indiana vintners are pleased with the growing success of the wine industry. "The continued rise in sales figures shows the increasing importance of the Indiana wineries," said Steve Thomas, owner of Thomas Family Winery in Madison, Ind. "The growth in the Indiana wine industry is a tribute to the Hoosier spirit. Not only in the wine producers, but also in the visitors who take time to learn what Indiana has to offer and enjoy Indiana wine with family at home."