Indiana is not known for producing many varietals of high-quality wine making grapes, but Catawba is one of the few that can flourish in the climate. Oliver Winery grows Catawba grapes at their Creekbend Vineyard in Bloomington, IN.
Though my personal tastes have recently shifted from enjoying sweet, fruity wines to dry, fruity wines, this wine has remained one of my personal favorites. They make both the still Catawba as well as a sparkling (which I have yet to try).
Not only can Catawba grow in the midwest climate and make a pretty decent wine, it also played a significant role in the history of American wine culture. It has been planted (and harvested for wine making) near the Ohio River and in the Ohio Valley for nearly 2 centuries. Catawba is so incredible it even inspired Longfellow to write a rhyme about it.
Oliver’s Creekbend Catawba lives up to the Old Catawba name. It is semi-sweet; slightly dry but exceptionally fruity. It makes for a great summer picnic wine. It would pair really well with sweet BBQ.