Indiana Wine and Food Festival Returns Saturday

Indiana’s capital city has thrown two of the world’s largest parties this year, the Super Bowl and the just completed Indy 500. Hoosier agriculture will have a hand in a third party in Indianapolis this Saturday with the 13th Vintage Indiana in Military Park.

Jeanette Merritt is marketing specialist at the Indiana Wine Grape Council and she says 10,000 wine enthusiasts enjoy the festival of wine, food, and fun each year.

“We attract quite a crowd from across the Midwest. We have friends in Ohio and Missouri and Illinois and Michigan who travel to this event and make a weekend out of it, and visit with many of our wineries while they’re here.”

The Indiana grape industry is of course part of the event, but other commodities within the state are also represented.

“We understand that grape production is a very value added part of what our agricultural spectrum looks like in this state, so when we look at those we want to include as well we bring in the Indiana State Poultry Association. They do some educational events and teach people how to cook with turkey. They also serve turkey at the festival so you can walk around with one of those giant turkey legs. We bring in the American Dairy Association of Indiana as well to educate people about dairy and dairy consumption.”

None of those famous Indiana dairy milkshakes at Vintage, but they will provide delicious cheeses to go with your wine.

For the $22 advance ticket, $25 at the gate, those 21 and over can sample wines from 26 Indiana wineries.

“Those 26 wineries equal about 85 to 90 percent of our production in the state, so we have some significantly sized wineries that will bring a little bit of everything,” Merritt said. “We have wineries that make hard ciders now, so they’re fermenting apples and making cider products, so you’ll get to taste some of our great hard ciders. We have wineries that are making distilled products like grappa and brandy that will be at Vintage Indiana, so you can try some of those as well.”

Casey James photo by James Minchin

There is entertainment throughout the day with a special headliner on stage at 5 pm.

“Casey James is a former American Idol top 3 finalist from season 9. His hit single right now is Let’s Don’t Call it a Night.”

The event begins at 11 am and entertainment starts noon with Mike Milligan and Steam Shovel followed by Jennie DeVoe.

Vintage Indiana also has special pricing for kids and designated drivers.[audio:|titles=Vintage Indiana this weekend]

Indiana’s Family of Farmers will share information about today’s agriculture with the wide array of consumers who visit the annual wine festival.

“We as dairy farmers are proud to be represented at Vintage Indiana this year,” said Sarah Wagler, a dairy farmer from Morgantown, Ind. “We think this is a great opportunity to inform Hoosiers about the positive impact agriculture has on our state.  Not to mention that everyone loves cheese with their wine!”

Along with giving away free cheese and wine glass tags, Indiana’s Family of Farmers will have a booth space featuring the fun and educational Wheel of Agriculture. Vintage attendees can spin the interactive wheel, answer a question about farming and win prizes that include grill brushes, cheese boards and other fun items. Vintage attendees can also have their photos taken with farming mascots like Porkchop the Pig, Bennie the Bean, Buttercup the Dairy Cow and Hannah the Hen.

There is also a social media contest with the mascots. While you are at Vintage Indiana, upload a picture of you with a mascot to Twitter with the hashtag #IFOFmascot.  One lucky winner will win a special prize.

For more information about Indiana’s Family of Farmers, visit

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