Indiana Wine

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The Indiana wine industry began in the 1790s when Jean-Jacques Dufour, winemaker for the Marquis de Lafayette, met Senator Henry Clay in Lexington, Kentucky. Dufour received backing from various statesmen, including Clay, and bought 600 acres on the Ohio River to plant grapes. Some of these territories were located in Indiana, most notably Vevay. While the European grapes didn’t fare well in their new environment, the local Cape (Catawba) variety was hardy and strong. “Vevay Wine” began to perform well in local markets, and other commercial vineyard sites were planted. At one point in the late 19th century, the banks of the Ohio River were known as  the “Rhineland of America.” However, a combination of economic problems, the Civil War, plus vine rot and diseases lay waste to most of the vineyards. The Prohibition sealed their fate. Things turned around in 1971 when the Small Winery Act allowed winemakers to sell directly to the public. In 1989, the Indiana Read more »

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