Although Spencer Farm Winery recently celebrated its first anniversary, several years of planning and cultivating were necessary before it opened in October of 2019. Located on East 161st Street, the winery is an extension of a family farm known for berry picking, pumpkin patches and a farm market. As the newest facet of Spencer Farm, the winery carries on a multigenerational vision.
“The farm started as a dream of mine 40 years ago,” says Kyle Spencer, owner of Spencer Farm. “39 years ago my wife and I planted our first 10 acres of strawberries on rented ground from a neighbor who believed in me, and was kind enough to help me get started farming.”
The addition of a winery primarily originated from Kyle’s son Mark. The younger Spencer has an interest in viniculture and a passion for wine. Adding a tasting room to the already scenic and relaxing atmosphere of the property seemed like the perfect fit.
The winery is family friendly. It provides a reason to take a trip out of the city and enjoy strolling around the grounds. Board games are onsite for visitors to use, and grape juice is available for those who are under the age of 21.
The tasting room, which is open year-round, is located inside a homestead built in 1883. The structure, with its wraparound porch, was renovated to accommodate the needs of the winery. Large windows allow visitors to view the farm and the surrounding countryside. The walls are decorated with vintage photos and signage, such as the farm’s signature U-pick strawberry image.
“We have several wines that are popular, and they range from very sweet to dry,” Mark says. “Sweet-wine fans seem to enjoy the Peach & Honey, Traminette and Blueberry, while dry-wine fans gravitate towards Syrah, Vidal Blanc, Pinot Grigio and Noiret. We try to keep varieties consistent, but that is dependent on the grape harvests.”
The staff at the facility produces a diverse range of wines. The selection includes varieties appropriate for appetizers all the way to dessert courses. In keeping with Spencer Farm’s well-known cultivation of fruit, the winery has developed some unique wines made from fruits other than grapes. Besides their unique blueberry wine, two other fruity varieties will be introduced soon. Patrons can expect to enjoy a blackberry-based wine by the end of this year, and a strawberry selection is in the works for 2021. These semi-sweet options pair well with fruit-forward dishes, or as ingredients in a celebratory punch.
Wine tasting can be experienced in the farmhouse, on the porch and at tables on the grounds. Flights are $5 plus tax, for five pours of your choice of wines. Wine can also be ordered at $6 per glass. When patrons discover their favorites, they can purchase bottles for an average of around $20.
While wine tasting, visitors can enjoy charcuterie boards that showcase cured meats from Turchetti’s Salumeria in the Fountain Square district of Indianapolis, as well as Amish cheeses, preserves and mustard. Unique crackers and bread are included in the food offerings. All products served at the winery are available for purchase in varying retail sizes at the Spencer Farm Market.
“The winery features live music on Friday and Saturday nights during November and December, and there will likely be additional events added to the calendar as we navigate through this unique year,” Mark says.
The Spencer family has always valued a strong sanitary approach to the workings of the farm and the market. During this time of COVID-19 safeguards, they are going above and beyond what is required. Any contact surfaces, including doorknobs, tabletops and chair backs, are frequently disinfected. In addition, the staff uses aerial disinfectants within their buildings to ensure visitors can safely visit all structures. There are also plenty of outdoor tables that can be used if weather permits.
“I have to say that I truly love what I do,” Kyle says. “I have been blessed with a wonderful family who has been very understanding through the good and bad. It has also been a pleasure to be part of a wonderful community that has supported us through the years. When we first started in 1982, families would visit the farm. Now we are serving the children and grandchildren from those same families. No amount of money can equal the feeling you receive from that. It has truly been a blessing to be part of the community we live in, and raised our family in.”
Spencer Farm Winery is located at 7015 East 161st Street in Noblesville. For more info, call 317-219-5563 or visit SpencerFarmWinery.com.
Writer / Julie YatesPhotographer / Ron Wise
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My husband and I reLly enjoy the Honey &Peach wine, and sitting in or out just enjoying the wine and ambiance of the place!