Oliver Winery began in the 1960s as a hobby for IU law professor William Oliver. His hobby eventually became so fruitful that he turned into a business; in 1972 Oliver Winery opened to the public. It’s been a destination in Indiana and Bloomington ever since.
Our friendship with Oliver Winery goes way back. According to Bill Oliver, “The first time I remember helping one another out was many moons ago when you had a refrigerant failure and needed help. Caleb came out and traded beer for propylene glycol. We both came away feeling great about the trade.” Over the years, Oliver has provided barrels for our burgeoning sour ale program. Since then, our sour program has grown every year.
This year we took our friendship further and collaborated with Oliver to create two unique sour beers – Vinosynth Red and Vinosynth White. Oliver mentions;”Over the years we sold you guys barrels, and now grapes for the sours. Damn fine product you’ve made with that.”
We couldn’t agree more and look forward to next years’ batch!
Vinosynth Red is a blend of 50% Sour Reserve and 50% Malefactor Flanders-style Red Ale aged on Catawba grapes. Catawba is a native North American variety, known for making jams and jellies, and distinctly juicy, fruity, exotic wines. Malefactor was blended with Sour Reserve to develop more body, mild bourbon barrel character, and a layered acidity to complement the Catawba’s innate sweet, fruity notes. This bottle took Gold and Best in Show 2014 Indiana State Fair.
The first version of Vinosynth White is 100% Sour Reserve aged on locally grown Vidal Blanc grapes. Vidal Blanc is a French varietal with hints of tropical fruit flavor, commonly utilized to develop ice wines. Our Sour Reserve lends itself wonderfully to enveloping the acidity of the grape with notes of lactic acid, and allows the polite pineapple and grapefruit character of Vidal Blanc to shine on the palate. The next release of Vinosynth White will be aged on Traminette, which is the state grape of Indiana.
The relationship we have with Oliver is one of the reasons we love Bloomington and the midwest. This region is full of innovators, creators, and makers that are dedicated to their craft and work hard to create something truly unique. We push each other, collaborate, celebrate and support each others’ endeavors. Oliver says,”This town is the perfect size for me. All the good things you’d expect in a city without the hassle. It IS the quintessential college town and I love the little window into the lives of college students that we all experience. And it’s just a cool town with a wonderful music scene, restaurants, college sports, art, etc. It’s nearly perfect for my two favorite activities – bicycling and hot air ballooning.”
When it comes to drinking, the Oliver crew are primarily wine drinkers – go figure. “I’m mostly a wine drinker – Pinot Noir has been a habit of mine for years. I’m very excited about a Oliver Pinot Noir to be released in January – if the wine ever makes it to market with all the “sampling” of it by staff.” – Bill Oliver
We look forward to many more years of friendship with this group. Cheers!
Make sure you pay Oliver Winery a visit when in Bloomington!
8024 N. State Rd. 37
OLIVER Downtown Wine Bar
105 N. College Ave