Owner(s): Don and Debby Stutz
Winemaker: Don Stutz
Open to Public
Fri 4 to 8, Sat-Sun 1 to 8
4152 N Dearborn Rd, Lawrenceburg, IN 47025
phone: (513) 519-8745
At the Barn Winery Profile
Written by Brian—Nov 28, 2018
It is a story common among small, boutique winemakers. Don Stutz had been making wine for personal consumption and decided to try his hand at commercial production. Don and his wife Debby then began planting grapes in 2015. The nineteenth-century barn, built by Don’s great grandfather, was subsequently renovated and pressed into service as a tasting room.
Today At the Barn Winery has just two acres under vine devoted to cold-hardy varieties like Niagara, Catawba, Frontenac, Seyval Blanc, Golden Muscat, Noiret and the list goes on. At least eleven different grapes grow in the small estate vineyard. This is supplemented with Traminette from Kentucky and some California juice to make just over 1000 cases of wine annually.
The small-batch At the Barn wines have medaled in competitions that include the Indie International and Finger Lakes. The Concord is Don’s personal favorite, but the Peach Chardonnay is his top seller.
I tasted only a couple of the wines, but both were very well crafted. The blackberry wine was done in a dry style, but the vibrant berry notes jumped out making this a perfect summer sipper or picnic wine. The Spaghetti Red was a very nice blend of Sangiovese and Merlot that displayed rich fruit and smooth tannins. It was an approachable wine ideal even for consumers just beginning to appreciate red wine.
At the Barn Winery has a loyal local following, but they also get a lot of traffic off of Interstate 74. Indeed, they are just minutes from the interstate, so there are no excuses for not stopping in. After you have paid them a visit, please let me know your thoughts.
Chateau Pomije Winery Profile
Written by Brian—Nov 19, 2018
The signage on the property indicates that Chateau Pomije Winery is an event center as well as a winery. The vines appear untended. The rest of the property is maintained, but the venue has a slightly unused look. I asked at nearby wineries and there was a general belief that the tasting room is no longer open or is preparing to close shop.
There are no posted hours and the website instructs potential visitors to call ahead. If you are in the area and interested in stopping by Chateau Pomije Winery, you should definitely contact them in advance.
No Available Video
No available resources
Owner(s): Tom Ertel
Winemaker: Brian Ahaus
Open to Public
Wed-Thu 11 to 8, Fri-Sat 11 to 10, Sun 10 to 8
3794 E County Rd 1100 N, Batesville, IN 47006
phone: (812) 933-1500
Ertel Cellars Winery Profile
Written by Brian—Jan 4, 2019
Located just 30 minutes from Cincinnati in Southeast Indiana, Ertel Cellars Winery has been producing wines from both estate and sourced fruit since 2006. Local grapes includes cold-hearty varietals like Chambourcin, Traminette, Vidal Blanc and Vignoles. Winemaker Brian Ahaus joined the team with some 15 years of local experience and it shows in the wine.
I tasted several of the wines made from estate grapes during my visit. All were solid and well crafted. The Chamboucin, in particular, is worthy of note. This dry-style wine demonstrated ripe fruit, complexity and and medium finish. Among the whites, the Traminette was another standout with its typical floral notes, bright fruit and perfect balance.
Aside from its wine, Ertel Cellars is also known for its food program. I stopped in late on a Sunday morning to find a very lively crowd of dinners and it appears that reservations are necessary.
Ertel Cellars Winery is located among a cluster of other very good Indiana wineries and is easily accessible from Interstate 74. So if you are in the area and exploring the local wines, definitely stop in. After you do, let me know what you think.
Owner(s): Doug Holtcamp
Winemaker: Doug Holtcamp and Jeff McCann
Open to Public
Wed-Sun 12 to 5
10868 Woliung Rd, Sunman, IN 47041
phone: (513) 602-5580
Holtkamp Winery Profile
Written by Brian—Nov 25, 2018
Indiana wineries were something of an unknown. I had long intended to spend time exploring the Hoosier State, but I had no plan of attack and I no recommendations. So I just looked for a cluster that could easily be visited in a single day and and made the drive. Maybe it was dumb luck, but I just happened to stumble across some real gems.
One of my stops was at Holtkamp Winery, which is about 30 minutes northwest of Cincinnati. A banner displayed on the side of the tasting room announced that this was the “2018 Indiana Farm Winery of the Year.” As I was walking around the side of the building, I encountered owner/winemaker Doug Holtkamp. After introductions, he led me to the tasting bar where I tasted the offerings and engaged in a lengthy conversation about the winery.
Like so many winemakers, Holtkamp started out as a hobbyist and made wine from kits. He always aspired to more and contemplated purchasing another local winery. Instead, he brought on Jeff McCann as a full time winemaker/vineyard manager. The two began planting vines in 2013.
The six acres of estate fruit consist of cold-hardy grapes like Noiret, Vidal Blanc, Cayuga, Seyval Blanc, Traminette and Steuben. There are long-term plans to produce more than the current 6000 cases. This will involve planting additional acreage and sourcing more fruit. Holtkamp imagines a future where his wines will be a common feature in stores throughout the region. Based on the quality of what I sampled, his vision will very likely become reality.
I was not interested in wines made from sourced fruit, so my introduction to the Holtkamp lineup consisted entirely of whites. This included single varietal Traminette and Chardonnay along with a couple of blends. All were balanced wines that featured bright fruit and perfect levels of acidity. Of the four I tasted, the real standout was a blend of Seyval Blanc and Cayuga. Its light floral notes were complemented by red grapefruit mid palate and bright acidity in the finish. All the wines were worthy of note, but this blend just out of the park.
Holtkamp Winery is still something of a newcomer and still a work in progress, but the wines are fabulous and we will certainly be hearing more about this winery in the future. The tasting room is only minutes from Interstate 74, so there is little excuse for not stopping by and this is one producer you need to check out. Let’s show them some love and after you visit, please let me know what you think.