Attention Indianapolis residents, are you on the lookout for a beautiful, relaxing estate winery close by? Look no further than Madison Vineyards, located five miles north of the Ohio River in Madison, Indiana. The Indiana winery boasts 37 awe-inspiring acres and offers free wine tastings and weekend vineyard and winery tours. In addition to tours, which most wineries typically offer, Madison Vineyards boasts a host of special Indianapolis events throughout the seasons, including Indianapolis music events, hog roasts, festivals, champagne brunches, and barrel tasting tours.
Vineyard owners Sandy and Steve Palmer have always had a passion for making wine. The fun-loving Palmers, who love to travel and taste wine wherever they go, started their Indiana business long before Madison Vineyards officially opened its doors.
Sandy credits the couple’s successful operation with a small wine kit she gave her husband, Steve, for their very first Christmas together. Sandy can recall returning home from work to the smell of fermenting juice in her kitchen, and fruit flies buzzing in the door. Needless to say, Steve took great joy in the simple gift, and spent countless hours learning how to ferment perfect, sweet wine for himself and his wife to enjoy.
Eventually, Steve and Sandy bought some land in 1974 in Washington County and tried their hand at owning and operating their first vineyard. As their family grew, they opted to put the business on the back burner for a while, and re-entered the rapidly growing wine industry in 1994. This was the year they purchased Madison Vineyards, a former cattle farm.
From there, the dream developed roots and continued to flourish and grow, from an initial five acres to the sprawling 37 patrons love to explore today. Now Sandy’s favorite place to steal a moment of downtime at the vineyard is on the enormous deck overlooking the grounds, toasting the evening sunset. As Sandy’s sister says, the quiet, magical Madison Vineyards is “good for the soul.”Now Circle City residents can not only enjoy the Vineyards themselves, but they can actually stay on the property overnight as part of a relaxing get-away. In 2005, the bed and breakfast portion of Madison Vineyards opened its doors, with four large guestrooms and private baths. The charming inn also features a large library and full breakfasts every morning. It’s a perfect place to spend a few nights with loved ones, watching stars dot the night sky in the evening, and gazing over the vineyards in the afternoon.
There are many different wineries in the Hoosier state, but Madison Vineyards is one of the most active, holding many special events throughout the year that continue to draw crowds. One of the most popular is “wine-lover’s weekend,” a two-night stay sure to pamper and please with wine and appetizers, fresh flowers in the guestrooms, and a four-course dinner on Saturday, February 14th. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, this memorable weekend is a favorite among patrons.
Another popular event Madison Vineyards participates in yearly is the Vintage Indiana Wine and Food Festival, held in beautiful Military Park in downtown Indianapolis. Indy residents flock to this one-day Indianapolis festival featuring over 25 different wineries, and have the opportunity to taste the area’s finest wines, including those from Madison Vineyards.
Quaint, charming Madison Vineyards has come a long way from its roots as an experiment in Steve and Sandy Palmer’s basement. Steve proposed a toast the first year the couple planted, and it continues today to express the gratitude they feel to their patrons: “To friends, to family, and to the good Earth!” So next time you’re looking for a relaxing, refreshing way to spend a day off, head on over to Madison Vineyards and experience the beauty the sprawling acres have to offer.
1456 E 400 N
Madison, IN 47250
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