WEST LAFAYETTE – As Purdue’s 150th anniversary celebration nears its culmination, the university has teamed up with three award-winning Indiana wineries to produce specially labeled wines that will be served at select campus events.
The labels feature the words “Hail Purdue” and “150 Years of Giant Leaps,” which has been the theme of Purdue’s sesquicentennial celebration to underscore the university’s land-grant mission and commitment to solving global challenges. Brian Farkas, head of the Department of Food Science, said working with the Purdue-labeled wines is a tasty tribute to strides made by the state’s wine industry and its close relationship with the Purdue Wine Grape Team.
“This highlights the kinds of partnerships Purdue builds to help advance key industries and the quality of life,” Farkas said. “These wines are a celebration of the ‘Giant Leaps’ that have been taken in the state’s wine industry thanks, in part, to the work of our Wine Grape Team. And to help illustrate that, we’ve labeled three great Indiana wines.”
The three wines that will be featured on campus with Purdue anniversary labels are Huber’s Orchard & Winery’s 2018 Seyval Blanc, Oliver Winery’s 2018 Chambourcin Rosé, and Easley Winery’s 2018 Traminette. All three wineries are previous medal recipients in the INDY International Wine Competition, which has been organized since 1992 by the Purdue Wine Grape Team and is the nation’s largest independently run wine competition.
“We chose these wineries because they’ve been making wines well for years,” said Jill Blume, enology specialist and member of the Purdue Wine Grape Team. “These are three wines that illustrate some of the diversity in our state’s wine production.”
Blume said the wines were selected in order to offer both a drier style of white and red wines, along with a slightly sweet white wine. In addition, the Purdue Wine Grape Team has been working with all three grape varieties for several years, and Traminette is the state’s signature wine grape variety.
“It was important for us to see Indiana wines honored because that’s why we are here,” she said. “The bottles with the Purdue labels are beautiful, and the wines are great. I feel like these wineries are ever grateful and ever true to Purdue, and they have always been great supporters of the Purdue Wine Grape Team, so we wanted to honor them in that sense.”
While wines with the Purdue anniversary labels are only for campus use and will not be for sale, wine fans can still get a taste of the three selected wines by purchasing the non-Purdue labeled varieties through the wineries’ websites or at select retail outlets. Below is information about the wineries, descriptions of each wine and a link where the wines can be purchased.
- Huber Winery 2018 Seyval Blanc. Huber’s Orchard & Winery, located in Starlight, began farming in 1843 and is home to Indiana’s first distillery. Its 2018 Seyval Blanc is made from Huber Winery estate-grown grapes. The wine is described as “crisp, dry and complex. The structure is balanced with fine tannins and acidity. The flavor reveals notes of minerals up front with a lingering finish of herbs and green apples.” The aroma is of “apple and honey, accompanied by herbal nuances.” The wine can be purchased at this site.
- Oliver Winery 2018 Chambourcin Rosé. Oliver Winery, located in Bloomington, opened in 1972 and is the state’s oldest winery. In 2018 Wine Business Monthly ranked it among the top 50 largest U.S. wineries, and it is the nation’s only 100% employee-owned winery. The wine is made from grapes grown at Oliver’s Creekbend Vineyard and is described as a “refreshing off-dry rosé” with “fruit-forward flavors of strawberry and raspberry.” The wine can be purchased at this site.
- Easley Winery 2018 Traminette. Easley Winery, located in Indianapolis, is Indiana’s oldest family-owned winery. As Indiana’s signature wine grape, Traminette has assisted in generating an estimated $94 million in Indiana tourism spending since 2011. The Easley wine has “fresh tropical fruit and floral nuances and a hint of honeysuckle” with a layered aroma of tropical fruits, such as pineapple, guava and kiwi. The wine is available at a variety of locations, and more information is available here.
The Purdue Wine Grape Team is a collaboration between the Purdue departments of Food Science and Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, and the Indiana Wine Grape Council. It serves the wine industry by providing expertise on viticulture (grape growing), enology (wine making), and marketing. Indiana’s wine industry contributes more than $600 million annually to the state’s economy.