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Spirits flow at inaugural festival

Spirits flow at inaugural festival
Spirits flow at inaugural festival
Southern Indiana Uncorked visitors taste a variety of wines bottled by Windy Knoll Winery in Vincennes. The festival was held Saturday at the Harrison County Fairgrounds in Corydon. Besides having a good selection of wines, visitors also found the servers at this booth to be enjoyable. (Photo by Jo Ann Spieth-Saylor)

Spirits and laughter filled the Merchants Building of the Harrison County Fairgrounds in Corydon Saturday as approximately 1,500 people visited the first Southern Indiana Uncorked festival.
‘Things went really well,’ said Nathan Blank, the main organizer of the event that benefited the Old Capitol Business Association.
‘It exceeded my expectations, but not by much,’ said Blank, who owns Cellar on the Square in Corydon, a shop that specializes in wine- and beer-related items.
One thousand souvenir glasses were ordered for the festival, which began at 11 a.m. Before it ended at 7 p.m., those small sampling glasses were long gone and late-comers received, instead, a plastic ‘back-up’ glass. In addition to the sampling glass, those who forked over the $10 admission fee received 25 tickets that could be exchanged for 25 samples of wine or ales from the many vendors who participated in the festival.
Theresa Lehmann of Louisville attended the event with her husband and two other couples from the other side of the Ohio River. She said she attends many wine festivals and praised Southern Indiana for having some of the best wines she’s tried. She had just sampled Max’s Small Batch Red #20 from Turtle Run Winery.
Her friend, Sharon Myers, was partial to a Cherry Red produced by Winzerwald Winery, which is located in Bristow.
‘It’s bright and bubbly,’ she said, adding she could change her mind about her favorite of the day, ‘but I don’t think so.’
Turtle Run, just outside of Lanesville, got the nod from Carol Davis for its sweet ros’.
The three women’s other halves also had their picks. Joe Myers chose Rufus Red 2006, produced by Jim and Laura Pfeiffer, owners of Turtle Run.
‘I tried a few whites, but they’re not my favorite,’ he said.
He also had used a ticket at Upland Brewing Co., based in Bloomington. ‘I think it was an ale,’ Myers said.
Partial to a ‘sweeter’ wine, Dave Davis liked the Arbor Red being served by Buck Creek Winery, located southeast of Indianapolis.
Carol Davis said Saturday was not their first visit to Corydon.
‘We used to ride the ‘Santa’ train,’ she said. ‘We will definitely come back.’
Several of the wineries are fairly new in the business. Wilbur Best of Best Vineyards Winery near Elizabeth has been in the business just a couple of years, while Vinetree Farm Winery at Hardinsburg has operated a vineyard for 10 years but has only been in the winery business for half that time.
Also housed in the Merchants Building were vendors who were selling items such as home d’cor, glassware, art work, clothing and Tupperware. Magdalena’s Caf’ on the Square had samples of its coffees and offered cheese cubes. The Land Conservation Committee had an informational booth, as did the Harrison County Convention & Visitors Bureau.
A makeshift stage was set up outside the Merchants Building where musical acts performed throughout the day. Those included the harmonies of Freshly Brewed, acoustic guitar by Gary Wood, and Joe and Dave. No, not the two men from Louisville, as they were quick to point out, but rather musicians Joe Kellum and Dave Cleek who hail from Harrison County.
Not all the visitors to the festival were from out of town.
Becky Johnson of Corydon, a fairly newcomer to the legal drinking age, was on her way back to the Windy Knoll Winery booth to purchase a bottle of wine to take home.
Not only did she take a liking to one of that vendor’s varieties, she also said the workers at that booth were the most fun.
Marilyn Barton and her husband, Larry Osborne, also of Corydon, had staked out a table and chairs under the awning just outside the Merchants Building. It was less noisy outdoors and they could hear the entertainers from their vantage point.
‘I love it,’ said Barton of the festival. She was wearing a T-shirt that was imprinted with ‘got wine?’
‘I think it’s great,’ she said. ‘I hope it will take off.
Osborne joked that he was contemplating going home to take a nap then return to use the rest of his tickets.
The couple who have lived here since October ‘ he’s from Jeffersonville and she’s from Kansas; they moved here from Louisville ‘ praised Corydon as a wonderful community.
‘I hope (Southern Indiana Uncorked) will grow,’ Osborne said.
Blank anticipates a larger crowd at next year’s festival, which will be held Saturday, May 23.
‘The booth vendors were pretty happy,’ he said, adding that there are some logistical things he hopes to improve on for the second Southern Indiana Uncorked.
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