The staff at Daniel’s Vineyard is excited to bring enjoyment to the dog days of summer. The McCordsville winery is now open to the public daily from noon to 6 p.m. Although its products have been accessible to the area through neighborhood visits via a trolley-like wine truck as well as curbside pickup, strong community support was a factor in reopening the facility.
“The community has driven the family to open the winery as a local gathering space,” says Jessica Pontius, general manager at the facility. “We are requiring masks inside the tasting room and suggesting outdoor seating. Our staff will wear masks, and we have increased our cleaning standards and protocols.”
In 2010, owners Daniel and Kimberly Cook were inspired to transform a tract of land they had owned for several years into a winery. The idea was conceived during a family trip to the Tuscan foothills in Italy, where they became enchanted by the area’s vineyards. Upon returning home, they sought out the advice of Purdue University staff members for best practices to grow grapes in Indiana soil.
All five of the Cooks’ children, plus many friends and neighbors, were involved in the initial planting of 14,000 grapevines. After three years of careful cultivation, enough grapes were harvested to produce the vineyard’s first wines. Today, the facility is in full production and offers more than 15 high-quality wines. Each year’s experience leads to the development of new offerings.
“Our first release, launched at the start of summer, was Watermelon Rosé,” Pontius says of this season’s offerings. “This deliciously effervescent beverage was built for summer consumption. We added watermelon to a dry rosé wine and made it fizzy. We launched a Tangerine Blanc in July as well.”
Cellar Club participants, along with their guests, enjoy members-only tasting room nights every Wednesday, along with other exclusive events and benefits. Twice per year, they are offered additional handpicked wines produced at the winery. Some of the vineyard’s premier wines are reserved for Cellar Club members.
“Our July Cellar Club release included our first pétillant natural wine,” Pontius says. “It is the oldest method of creating natural, fizzy wine. A 2019 riesling was bottled without any additions and just one ingredient – grapes. It was then left to finish fermenting with native yeast, creating a fun, young fizzy wine with bright acidity, and notes of Meyer lemon, grapefruit and fresh pineapple.”
The vineyard’s traveling wine truck began visiting local neighborhoods and communities in April. This wine-on-wheels concept lifted spirits during coronavirus-related business shutdowns. It proved to be tremendously popular and will continue throughout the summer and fall.
“The winery will be hosting live acoustic music Friday through Sunday every week,” Pontius adds. “In the future, we hope to add comedy nights, wine and workout classes, and more. We are excited to see everyone at the vineyard this summer.”
Daniel’s Vineyard is located at 9061 N 700 W. in McCordsville. For more info, call 317-248-5222 and visit danielsvineyard.com. To book the wine truck or to be included on the list of neighborhoods the vehicle visits, email firstname.lastname@example.org.