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Five Fabulous Wines For Spring

“It’s been a long, cold, lonely winter” sing the Beatles in Here Comes The Sun. Well, I don’t know that it’s been a lonely one, but it’s certainly been a long and very cold one!

While we are ready to get out of hibernation mode and head outside to play, we might still need to wait just a bit longer for spring to be in full swing. Luckily for us, Oliver Winery has bottled some of spring’s most beautiful things, giving us a chance to indulge our senses until we can finally sing Here Comes The Sun!

Here’s my pick:

CHAMBOURCIN ROSÉ   (Off-Dry)


At the first sign of spring, the French break out their chilled bottles of rosé and so should you! Chambourcin Rosé is an off-dry French style rosé, offering some delightfully zingy hints of raspberry. Its brilliant hue is an invitation to bid farewell to winter and celebrate the colorful season ahead. So along with that bottle, grab a baguette, make a jambon beurre sandwich, toss some arugula with a few walnuts and olive oil, spread a blanket atop a verdant hill… and voilà! Life’s simple pleasures… à la Française!

 

 

TRAMINETTE   (Semi-Dry)


Traminette has joined the Cardinal in representing the state of Indiana. Hoosiers are proud of their state signature wine, and for good reasons. Although it can be enjoyed year round with a variety of foods, Traminette features delicately clean herbaceous and floral notes, making it a perfect choice for a crisp spring day. It also pairs surprisingly beautifully with an all cheese picnic!

 

VIGNOLES   (Semi-Dry)


A sunny wine if there ever was one. Vignoles encapsulates the golden warmth and refreshing breeze of spring through delicate flavors of peach and apricot, and a subtle hint of citrus. A must have for your relaxing afternoons lakeside and spring break adventures!

 

BEANBLOSSOM BLUSH   (Semi-Dry)


As its name suggests, BeanBlossom Blush is made for spring! Its vibrant flavors of freshly picked strawberries, accented by a soft citrusy finish, will slowly wake up your senses after this long winter! A wonderful wine to serve your guests along with a variety of appetizers out on the porch.

 

CAMELOT MEAD   (Semi-Sweet | Honey Wine)


Made with orange blossom honey, Camelot Mead captures the exquisite essence of spring! Elegantly sweet and floral, this wine will delight you with its golden glow and succulent honey flavor. Wonderful with a slice of strawberry shortcake for dessert, or as an accompaniment to goat cheese and roquefort!

 

We’d love to hear from you! What are your favorite Oliver wines for spring? Leave us a comment below, or connect with us via Twitter or Instagram – @oliverwinery and #oliverwines4spring

Happy Spring Everyone!!


Photo Credits: PicNic BasketRed BikeTraminette ClusterCardinalYellow FlowersCherry BlossomsOrange Tree

 

Noir: So good, it might not be here long

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We are excited to introduce our second ever blend from Creekbend.

Noir is 75% Corot Noir, 25% Marechal Foch, and about 85% likely we’ll drink it all ourselves in a short amount of time.

Blends come with a blank canvas where we can (A) unconventionally play with Creekbend fruit and (B) introduce a wine unhindered by expectations. And we love that. Creekbend Noir has a round, soft body with low tannins, rich violet hues and no oak influence. It’s perfect for the back porch, or picnics, or midnight full moon canoe outings.

As it goes, Noir was released at the perfect time. September is our favorite month of the year, and also our busiest. In just two weeks we’ve harvested 80 percent of our grapes from Creekbend. About 140 tons of fruit, pressed into 60,000 gallons of juice, filling so many tanks we had to make a map to keep it all straight, and giving us a just a few minutes in a work week to sit down and enjoy a glass of wine.

We have been enjoying Noir every chance we get.

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Wednesday we stopped to enjoy it with some Cypress Grove Lamb Chopper cheese and pawpaws from Bill Oliver’s back yard. A paw paw is a tropical-like fruit that happens to grow here in Indiana (Did you know we can grow everything in Indiana?). Like a glass of red wine, the paw paw is full of antioxidants. Eat a paw paw every day with a glass of Noir, and you’ll probably live forever.

Note from Bill: Noir also pairs well with smoked chicken sausage grilled over an open flame with onions and mushrooms. Which is how he enjoyed a bottle the night prior. Our winemakers, John and Dennis, also suggest pairing Noir with delicate meats, like duck or lamb.

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We found the high acids in Foch blended perfectly with the Corot, which had very low acids at harvest and brought with it a darker color and flavor intensity. Noir never touched a barrel, and lived only in stainless steel tanks before it was bottled. So the emphasis is on delicate fruit character, best preserved in stainless steel.

Noir is our second ever blend from Creekbend, giving our Chardonel/Vignoles/Vidal Blanc blend its first sibling. It has expanded our Creekbend reds portfolio, falling just before Chambourcin in tannin structure and body, and quite opposite from the rich oak flavors of our 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon. We can’t stop drinking it. So if you’d like to taste, best come soon.

First Harvest: Pinot Grigio 2013

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Harvest began today, on the most remarkably nice day of the year, with 1.58 tons of Pinot Grigio. We spent much of August testing our crops for ripeness, and today, the Pinot was just right. Sweet, sublime flavors of apple and pear, with a delicacy that will carry over to the wine we make with this grape.

By the way, Pinot Grigio is a sister grape to Pinot Noir and has light reddish brown pigmentation. Careful pressing gives the juice a surprising blondness considering the redness of the skin. The end product is a beautiful white wine with a citrus nose and lean acidity.

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On a typical year, we would have harvested the Pinot Grigio about five days ago. Two weeks of cool weather in August slowed down the ripening a bit, but we caught up significantly with warm, dry weather in the latter part of the month. Overall, mild temperatures and modest rainfall have been wonderful for the flavors and aromas of these grapes. The slightly cooler than normal temperatures in July and August allowed grapes to accumulate sugar and maintain acid levels. A very dry August also helped — heavy rainfall late in the season can cause ripened grapes to split open, exposing them to pests and rot.

Not these grapes.

We took extra precautions with the Pinot Grigio this year by covering the 0.7 acres of vines with nets. The birds were loving it too much. Of course, we understand. This is a grape that is absolutely delicious all on its own. In fact we had some of the juice ourselves for lunch.

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Way to shine, Honey Wine

Winemaker John Metzcar with an armload of Honey pride

Winemaker John Metzcar with an armload of Honey pride

We are so proud of our Honey Wines this year. Not only do they taste good — they’ve brought us gold. Gold medals, double gold medals, Best in Class honors, and even these babies. Honey Wine of the Year and Honey Wine Blend of the Year from the Indy International Wine Competition. We stand behind our Honey Wines and are so grateful they’ve been recognized this competition season. Here is a full list of Honey Wine accolades for 2013:

Camelot Mead

Honey Wine of the Year, Indy International Wine CompetitionBest of Class, Indy International Wine Competition
Double Gold, Indy International Wine Competition
Double Gold, Jerry Mead’s New World International Wine Competition
Silver, Consumer Wine Awards

Black Cherry Honey Wine

Best of Class, International Eastern Wine Competition
Gold, International Eastern Wine Competition
Gold, Consumer Wine Awards
Strawberry Honey Wine

Honey Wine Blend of the Year, Indy International Wine Competition
Best of Class, Indy International Wine Competition
Gold, Indy International Wine Competition
Double Gold, Jerry Mead’s New World International Wine Competition
Silver, International Eastern Wine Competition

Peach Honey Wine

Gold, Jerry Mead’s New World International Wine Competition
Gold, Mid-American Wine CompetitionSilver, Consumer Wine Awards

Mango Honey Wine

Double Gold, Jerry Mead’s New World International Wine Competition
Gold, Indy International Wine Competition
Silver, Consumer Wine Awards

A short history of our Crabapple

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The Crabapple tree is in full bloom! We are so happy to replace Indiana snow with falling Crabapple blossoms outside our windows. Spring is erupting here at the winery. Take a look!

Perhaps you have taken your own photos in front of the Crabapple tree at our main entrance. Bill Oliver planted this tree in 1983, adjacent to the block building that was the original winery. That, and cutting barrels in half and planting Marigolds in them, was the first small step toward establishing the beautiful gardens we have today. We now have a team of talented landscapers — led by Marian Keith, who took today’s photos — to keep our grounds beautiful all year. Because who doesn’t want to enjoy a glass or bottle of wine, surrounded by blossoming trees and colorful floral arrangements?

Come enjoy spring with us!

Happy Anniversary!

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Do you remember when we first met?

You walked in, thirsty and curious. We offered all your new favorite things: a wine flight, a plate of gourmet cheeses and local meats, a slice of Chocolate Port Pecan Pie, mood lighting.

You told your friends. You took a photo of your Tomato Basil Jam. You came back, and here we are, marking our six month anniversary on the square in Bloomington.

Celebrate with us this Wednesday, April 24 through Sunday, April 28 at Oliver Winery Downtown. We’ll have a new wine flight, new cocktails, all our newest wine releases, and a chance to win FREE DESSERT for the next six months!

Thank you for making our downtown adventure such a success. Cheers!

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Drew Kincius, Downtown Manager

 

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