Indiana’s wine industry received a big boost yesterday. The Indiana Uplands became the state’s first all-inclusive American Viticultural Area (AVA).
Jim Butler, owner of Butler Winery says this is big. “We are essentially establishing a viticultural area where we are now on par with Napa and Sonoma Valley,” he says. “We hope to eventually gain that same type of recognition.”
So what sets the Indiana Uplands apart? Butler tells Brownfield it is the unglaciated portion of the state. “The soils are different – we don’t have any glacial till and we have wind-blown clay soils that came off the Great Plains,” he says. “We also have a temperature difference that’s a higher plateau so we have cooler temperatures. There’s cool area that comes down from the north.”
Jeanette Merritt, Marketing Director for the Indiana Wines & Purdue Wine Grape Team says the AVA designation is good for agritourism and good for Indiana’s wine industry. “People want to see those grapes growing in the state and they want to see the vineyards and see the grapes as they are being harvested,” she says. “It’s also going to encourage new growth in the industry. We’re going to see more vineyards establish and more wineries establish in this Uplands AVA so they can say they are part of this bigger picture that people want to visit.”
There are approximately 200 AVAs nationwide and Indiana Uplands is the first for the state of Indiana.
Butler says it took over 9 years to receive the designation.