8024 North Indiana 37
Bloomington Indiana 47404United States
Midwest Living Recommends
Taste the good life at one of Indiana's best known wineries.
The options at Oliver Winery north of Bloomington are simply dizzying, and that's without popping a single cork. An imposing collection of the region's signature limestone blocks (which make a great landmark) are visible from the road and in good weather, there are picnic tables on the wooded hillside leading down to the pond. The main tasting room is packed with art, wine supplies, chocolate and mementos, and a small tasting building right next door welcomes with the same great wines plus a crackling fire on the hearth. There's even a twenty-minute complimentary tour of the winery. But nothing should distract from bellying up to the bar for six to eight generous samples of Oliver's award-winning wines ($4.67). Connoisseurs create their own tasting experience from an expansive wine list; beginners often rely on helpful servers for guidance, moving for instance from a light, elegant Pinot Grigio 2010 to a bit fruitier, oak-aged Creekbend Chardonel 2010 to a new bottling of Indiana's bright, floral signature wine, a Creekbend Traminette 2011. ("Creekbend" labels are from grapes grown at Oliver's nearby vineyard.) The sipping is excellent, but nothing beats enjoying a bottle at home. (Bottle prices range from $7.50 for Oliver's popular Soft Red to $70 for the 2007 Creekbend Cabernet Sauvignon apparently a very good year, but this one isn't available for tasting.)