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August 7, 2012

Tale Tuesday: Prof. Oliver and his vines

In the '60s, a southern Indiana teacher started harvesting more grapes than his basement hobby winery could handle. With piles of prime fruit ready for juicing, he dreamed of opening his own small winery, but Hoosier legislation only allowed for big commercial production. So William Oliver went back to his day job...in the law department at Indiana University. With his legal prowess, this hobby vintner helped pass the Indiana Small Winery Act in 1971. The next year he opened Oliver Winery to the public.

Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, the southern Indiana winery has grown from Prof. Oliver's basement into the impressive tasting room and winemaking facility nestled between landscaped gardens and wooded streams. With production exceeding 270,000 cases sent to 14 states, this family winery is now in the hands of the second generation. Prof. Oliver's son Bill and his wife Kathleen are planning to open a new downtown Bloomington location on the courthouse square later this fall.

Inside the tasting room, folks can collect some bites to nibble between sips whether bagging goods to go or taking advantage of the winery's beautiful grounds and gardens perfect for a picnic. Look for Smoking Goose's Capocollo, Stagberry, Delaware Fireball, and more now on the shelves at Oliver Winery.

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