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For Wine Lovers

New wine tasting event planned
at Madison’s riverfront in April

Six Indiana wineries plan to participate

By Jenny Eggenspiller
Contributing Writer

(April 2012) – Don Rowland started growing grapes in 1990, and for the first few years, didn’t have much luck. That’s when he decided to contact Purdue University, where he later enrolled in courses to learn their method for successful grape growing. “The grapes I have now have been growing since around 1995, and I’ve continued to add to them every year,” Rowland said. He owns and operates Rowland Winery, a 100 percent family-run business in Dillsboro, Ind.

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The winery opened in July 2011 and currently sells wines wholesale to liquor stores and retail at wine festivals. Rowland Winery will begin construction on a tasting room this spring and anticipate it to be open to the public by the fall of this year.
“We attend as many wine festivals as we can,” Rowland said.
They have participated in wine festivals across Indiana, including the Swiss Wine Festival in Vevay. That’s where Rowland met Pat Carr, who has coordinated the wine pavilion at the Vevay festival for seven years. Rowland’s chance meeting with Carr resulted in a business contact that will bring his wines to Madison, Ind., in late April.
During her years with the Swiss Wine Festival, Carr saw a 70 percent growth in sales at the wine pavilion she ran there. One night Carr and her sisters, who also participated in the festival, were chatting about its growth and an idea for a new business was born. Things may have ended there, but with a visit to Madison and a trip to the riverfront, the sisters’ ideas began to take shape.
On April 21, “A Taste of Spring” will make its debut on Madison’s riverfront. “We envisioned something that would be very elegant and classy, and Madison is a classy town,” Carr said. The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Vaughn Drive, just east of the riverfront gazebo. Cost for admittance to the event is $20 per person, which includes a commemorative wine glass.
Tastings are included, but full glasses and bottles will also be available for purchase. The event will feature wine tastings from six Indiana wineries, including Rowland’s, along with a cheese booth and live entertainment by Josh Powers. Tickets are currently available at the Lanier-Madison Visitors Center but may also be purchased at the gate the day of the event.
This will be “Partners in Wine,” the name of Carr and her sisters’ business. It will be their first wine tasting event, but they expect to branch out and hold similar wine events across southern Indiana.
“Our goal is to eventually hold three or four a year,” Carr said. They anticipate nearly 1,000 people to attend the inaugural event in Madison.
Although no local wineries will be participating in the event, it will feature all Hoosier wineries. “We invited all the local wineries, but none of them chose to participate,” Carr said. “We really hope they change their minds next year.”
In addition to Rowland Wineries, the event will showcase Huber Winery from Starlight, Indian Creek Winery from Georgetown, Carousel Winery from Mitchell, and Chateau Pomije from Guilford.
“This is an event for all wine lovers, locals and tourists alike,” Carr said.
VisitMadison Inc. Executive Director Linda Lytle said, “We’re always happy to have a new event in Madison, and with Madison’s rich history with wine, this event is a perfect fit. Anytime an event brings new people to town we know they will be back again and again.”

• For more information on this event, call Pat Carr at (513) 582-9326.

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