Fall Fun in Indiana

Here are our top picks for orchards and wineries

Experience the bounty of the year’s harvest by visiting one of Indiana’s many wineries, orchards and farm markets.

The state’s wine industry began more than 190 years ago when Swiss settlers planted the nation’s first successful commercial vineyard in Vevay, in southern Indiana. Today, Indiana has some 29 wineries doing business throughout the state, offering tours of their operations and tastings of their products. Wine lovers overlook a lake at Oliver Winery, Indiana’s oldest and largest winery, in Bloomington. Wilson Wines in Modoc offers music events and poetry readings. At Chateau Pomije in Guilford, the winery and a restaurant occupy a renovated 1891 barn on 100 acres of southeastern Indiana’s rolling hills.

And what would fall be without the apples, pumpkins, flowers and other homemade and home-grown products offered by Indiana’s roadside markets and u-pick farms? From Engelbrecht Orchards in Evansville to Orchard Hill Farms in Kendallville, more than 150 locations around the state welcome you to pick your own apples or pumpkins, watch apple cider being made, and take the kids on a hayride.

Huber Orchard and Winery in Starlight, for example, offers a petting zoo, fresh-baked pies and breads, wine tastings and interesting gifts and antiques. Visitors to the family-run farm also can watch cheese being made, buy freshly made apple cider or apple butter, and cut their own Christmas tree in the winter.

WINERIES

Wilson Wines. Wilson Wines is located 30 minutes from Richmond, Muncie and New Castle. Enjoy a variety of white and red wines from the family vineyard, along with several fruit wines. John and Jim Wilson, co-owners, are especially proud of their Elderberry and Applespice wine. Take a drive through the country to Wilson Wines for a tour of the vineyard, free wine tasting, and perhaps a game of checkers or cards with the Wilson family. Hours are Saturday and Sunday: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m. Private tasting can be scheduled by appointment. Contact information: 10137 S. Indian Trail Rd, Modoc, IN   47358 (765) 533-6616 johnwilson@iquest.net

Ferrin’s Fruit Winery. Just 20 minutes north of downtown Indianapolis, Ferrin’s Fruit Winery is a fun place to visit. Ferrin’s offers a broad selection of wines, from dry to sweet. Visitors can enjoy free tasting, gift shop, winery tour and the "Speak Easy," a room to relax with friends. Special events include catered dinners with mystery wine tasting, bingo nights and euchre parties. The Speak Easy can be reserved for private parties. Seating for 36 is a quaint size for a family function. Call the winery for details. Contact information: 89 1st Avenue S.W., Carmel, Indiana   46032 (317) 566-WINE FAX: (317) 566-9901 dmaferrin@prodigy.net, www.ferrinsfruitwinery.com

Chateau Thomas Winery. Just 10 minutes west of the Indianapolis Airport, Chateau Thomas Winery specializes in vinifera wines. Visitors can browse through the charming neo-Mediterranean gift shop and enjoy free wine tasting of 18 premium vinifera wines. Wine lover merchandise and gourmet foods complement your winery experience. Indiana and gourmet cheeses. Gift baskets available year around. Corporate and personalized private labeling available. Call to schedule a cellar tour. Banquet and conference facilities available for two to 200 persons. Open Monday through Thursday: 11a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday: 11a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday: Noon to 7p.m. www.chateauthomas.com

Easley Winery. Easley’s 14 wines and American champagne are sold at the winery located in downtown Indianapolis just off I-70 and I-65 and also at Central Indiana groceries and wine shops. The winery also has an extensive selection of supplies for home vintners and brewers. Banquet facilities include a Steinway baby grand piano for guests use. Groups tours available with appointment. Call for details. Free wine tasting

Chateau Pomije. Just 40 minutes from Cincinnati, Chateau Pomije’s 50-acre vineyard cascades over Southeastern Indiana’s rolling hills. The winery and restaurant occupy a renovated 1891 barn featuring a 7,000 stone fireplace located in the main dining room. Diners can overlook the vineyards or a three-acre lake through expansive windows. Dinner reservations are suggested and call about special wine events. Small fee for sampling a half-dozen wines. Banquet facilities for up to 250 guests. 25060 Jacob Rd.; Guilford, Indiana  47022 (812) 623-3332 (800) 791-WINE.

 

ORCHARDS

In central Indiana, here are our top picks for orchards to visit:

Jacobs’ Family Orchard. 4676 N. Co. Rd. 75 West, New Castle, Henry County Phone: 765-836-4681 877-309-3111. Open: Monday-Saturday: 8 a.m.- 6 p.m., Sunday noon - 6p.m. Features: Apples, beans, caramel apples, cider, cider slush, homemade donuts Jacobs@kiva.net

Apple Works. CR 250 West, Trafalger, Indiana 46181 Johnson/ Brown County (317) 878-9317 Open: April 20th through Dec. 23rd 7 days a week, closing only for Thanksgiving and open until 2pm on Christmas Eve. Our summer hours are 9-7 and our fall hours are 9-6. You can also find us here in the winter on weekends from 9-5. Features: apples, fresh baked breads pies and dumplings, our special cider and cider slushes, summer produce, jack o’ lanterns in the fall, tractor drawn wagon rides, our Scottish Highland Festival, beautiful flowers from our greenhouse, our learning center and petting zoo for children, homemade fudge, ice cream, gourmet pickles and preserves, as well as primitive furnishings and decorations. www. apple-works.com

Huber Orchard and Winery. (812) 923-9813. Take Greenville-Paoli exit off Interstate 64. Follow U.S. 150 west 4 miles to Navilleton Road. Turn right and follow signs for 6 miles. You-pick apples and pumpkins. Market apples, fall squashes, apple butter, apple cider, baked goods, mums and more. Petting zoo and park with more than 150 animals.

Joe Huber Family Farm Orchard and Restaurant. (812) 923-5255. Take Greenville-Paoli exit off Interstate 64 onto U.S. 150, turn right at the second caution light. Turn left on Scottsville Road and follow signs. Festival every October weekend, with live music, a chuckwagon and apple-butter making. You-pick apples, pumpkins, market apples, apple cider, honey and gift shop.

Stumler Orchard and Restaurant, (812) 923-3832. Take Greenville-Paoli exit (119) off Interstate 64. Follow U.S. 150 west to second stoplight. Turn right onto Navilleton Road and follow signs. Lots of market apples. You-pick and market pumpkins. Apple butter, cider. They’re making apple butter every Sunday through October. Restaurant, gift shop and petting zoo.

Sutton’s Orchard, (812) 752-6634. Take Ind. 56 west from Scottsburg 1 mile. Turn right on Boatman Road. Go 1 mile and turn left on Little York Road. Look for sign. You-pick and market apples, plus apple butter, sorghum and more.

Beasley’s Orchard and Gardens. 2304 E. Main St., Danville, Hendricks County. 317-745-4876 Open: Monday-Saturday. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday Noon-6 p.m. www.beasleysorchard.com Chandler’s Farm. P.O. Box 224, Stilesville, Hendricks County. 317-539-6255 Open: Monday-Saturday. 8 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday 1p.m.-6 p.m. Features: Antique apples, apple butter, apple cider

Coffing Brothers Orchard. 3400 South Coffing Brothers Road, Covington. (765) 793-3450

Davis Orchards. 5202 South Co. Rd. 150 East, Clayton, Hendricks county
Phone: 317-539-4859 Open: 8a.m.- 6p.m. Features: Apples (10 varieties), cider

Dougherty Orchards. 1117 Dougherty Road, Cambridge City. (765) 478-5198 or (765) 478-5022 Open: July-December. Features: Apples, apple cider (pasteurized), pears, plums, peaches, sweet corn Farlows Orchard. 6850 West 250 South, Russiaville (765) 883-7028

Four K’s Orchard. 8905 Bragg Road, Fountain City (765) 847-5374

Grabow Orchard. 6397 South State Road 13, Pendleton (765) 534-3225

Gregorys Orchards. State Road 42, Mooresville (317) 831-3976

Kehrein Orchards Apple House. 1827 East US Highway 40, Clayton
Phone: (317) 539-2000

Longrove Orchard and Cattle Farm. 11525 East 100 South, Greentown
(765) 628-7873

Orchard Valley Farms. 11418 Water Birch Drive, Indianapolis (317) 894-1582

Rusty Acres Orchard. 6480 South Kidd Road, Connersville (765) 825-6106

Skiles Orchard and Farm Market. 9796 North County Road 580 West, Rossville (765) 379-2339

Tuttle Orchards. 5717 N. 300 West, Greenfield, Hancock County 317-326-2278 Veerkamp Orchard. 3858 West County Road 500 South, Greensburg (812) 663-7390

Wes Davis Orchard. 1077 North State Road 39, Danville (317) 745-6314

Wind Ridge Orchard and Nursery. 9075 South 750 West, Pendleton (765) 778-3880

Sources: AppleJournal.com, EnjoyIndiana.com