Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The United Grapes of America - Indiana - Oliver Winery Camelot Mead

Prior to Prohibition, Indiana was the 10th largest wine producer in the states, largely due to the vibrant wine industry centered around Vevay. A century earlier, John James Dufour, a Swiss immigrant, had planted a  a hybrid labrusca grape, Cape, in the vicinity of present day town of Vevay.  The grape flourished and soon after “Vevay" wine was sold to the remainder of the country.  After Prohibition, the decimated Hoosier wine industry was resurrected with the help of the world's oldest fermented beverage: Mead.  Remnants of this libation has been found in Chinese pottery vessels dated 7,000 BC and later in diverse areas as Egypt and northern Europe. A truly global beverage.

The United Grapes of America The United Grapes of America
In the early 1960's Indiana University law professor William Oliver started making wine in his basement. He established a vineyard northwest of Bloomington and with abundant harvest explored opening a commercial venture. He assisted in steering the 1971 Indiana Small Winery Act through the Indiana State Legislature and opened Oliver Winery to the public the following year.  Ever since, their best seller has been the Camelot Mead, a lighter bodied mead, but off-dry with a considerable honey finish. This is an excellent Mead - one that I can consume by the full glass; not just small doses as a dessert wine. It is lighter then most, with no syrupy texture and is made from my favorite honey - Orange Blossom. And at $9 - well worth the price from the Grateful Red in Arlington Virginia. Cheers. 

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