Indiana has about 70 wineries. It seems like I’ve visited many of them but a quick count shows only 23! I’ve tasted wine from some of the others but only keep track of those I’ve set foot in and tasted the wine and had the full experience.
I notched my 23rd visit over the holiday weekend. I visited Ertel Cellars Winery just south of Batesville while visiting family for Thanksgiving. It’s easy to be taken by the beautiful winery and restaurant atop a small hill and the nearby vineyard. It’s one of Indiana’s prettiest winery settings.
Details about the visit are on the Indiana Winery Page linked at the top of the blog.
In short summary, the Ertel brothers do sweet wines right. I’ve written here many times I have no palate for sweet wines but try to assess them fairly. These wines were well balanced with a purity of the fruit. They are sweet – and no that’s not a redundancy. Some of Indiana’s top winemakers are trying to retain the fresh fruit taste on the palate and reduce residual sugar. But for those who like fruit and sweet, you’ll enjoy Ertel wines.
The Traminette was very nice but again quite sweet. The Chambourcin is often my benchmark for Indiana wineries and Ertel gets it right. Indiana wineries grow lots of Chambourcin but many make a truly awful wine by harvesting at the wrong time and not producing the beautiful light-bodied wine that holds up great against more established names and regions.
The Ertel $16 estate-grown Chambourcin is a nice, locally-made wine.
One of the more impressive things is a beautiful restaurant and interesting menu. I didn’t eat there but will on a future trip to Southeastern Indiana. The winery is perhaps a 10-minute drive off I-74 so a great stop if you’re driving to Cincinnati. The estate fruit is largely producing sweet wines, but if you like that flavor profile you’ll like Ertel Cellars.