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EDITOR’S NOTE: Grape Sense presents a guest column today on Vintage Indiana – a Festival of Indiana Wine. Thanks to my friend Jeanette Merritt, of the Purdue Wine Grape Team for the contribution!

It’s no secret that Indiana wineries make outstanding wine. With 80 wineries and nearly 1.5 million gallons of wine being made in the Hoosier state, there is sure to be a wine for anyone’s taste.

Merritt

Merritt

One of the easiest ways to find a winery you enjoy is to visit a festival. As the Marketing Director for the Purdue Wine Grape Team and Executive Director of the Vintage Indiana Festival, I highly recommend you make plans to be in Indianapolis on June 6, 2015 for the biggest and best celebration of Indiana wines!

Vintage Indiana was started as a way to celebrate the role of Indiana wineries and vineyards as part of agriculture and tourism. Wineries contribute millions of dollars to the states economy and have helped to revitalize small communities around the state.

Vintage Indiana brings 30 wineries from around the state to Military Park, a city block park in downtown Indianapolis. The event is a one-stop shop for wine consumers. Guests, ages 21 and over, can pay one ticket price, receive a wine glass and sample from wineries like Oliver Winery, Easley Winery, Country Heritage Winery & Vineyards, and Rettig Hill Winery, to name only a few.

General admission tickets are good from 12 p.m – 6 p.m. and cost $25 in advance at Marsh Supermarkets or online at http://www.vintageindiana.com. Or you can purchase the tickets for $35 at the gate.

Vintage Indiana also offers an Early Admission ticket. Ticket holders can get in the event one hour early, at 11am. Guests holding the early admission ticket will receive a special wine glass, a VIP wine glass lanyard and the chance to have the best seats at the music stage. Early Admission ticket holders will also be the first in line at the wine tents and have the best chance to purchase their favorite wines.

Grape Sense LogoIf you intend to sample wine, you will want to eat at some point during the day. There are great food options, ranging from turkey drums and brats from the Indiana State Poultry Association, great pizza from Bazbeaux and Brozzini’s, and some tasty Chinese and Caribbean bites from a few of the best food trucks in Indianapolis.

Vintage Indiana celebrates art and music as well. Indiana Artisans will display their wares for sale during the festival. You can buy anything from recycled wine bottles turned into things like windows and cutting boards. Or there is jewelry that will become a staple in your wardrobe. And there are painters who showcase their beautiful canvases. Bring extra money because you will want to take some of these items home!

Vintage Indiana features great music from Indiana bands that will keep your toes tapping all day long! Jennie DeVoe, Zanna-Do and Living Proof will all take the stage to provide great sounds throughout the day.

And while the music, food and art are great, it is the outstanding wine that brings people to Vintage Indiana. 10,000 guests will celebrate the Indiana wineries and the vital role they play in our agriculture and tourism industries. Wineries will offer samples of their best Chambourcin, Traminette, Vignoles, Cabernet Franc, Rhubarb and sweet Concord wines. There is a wine for those who have never tried wine before. And there are wines for those who consider themselves connoisseurs.

Indiana’s wineries and vineyards are just as much part of agriculture as corn, soybeans, hogs and cattle. Our industry may not take up as many acres as the corn and soybean fields you see dotting the countryside, but are all still farmers! And our wineries want to see you at Vintage Indiana on June 6!

Jeanette Merritt is the Marketing Director for the Purdue Wine Grape Team and Executive Director of the Vintage Indiana Wine Festival. She can be reached at jkmerritt@purdue.edu

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