New winery to incorporate lodging into experience

Photos provided
Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann, center, was on hand to help with the ground breaking ceremony on June 8.

From Local Sources

A winery unlike any other in southern Indiana is set to open near Patoka Lake in the spring of 2016.  

Patoka Lake Winery (PLW), which broke ground at 2900 N. Dillard Rd., Birdseye, on Monday, June 8 will be the first of its kind, offering unique customer lodging inside the winery. 

Wine lovers will be able to enjoy the tasting room, tour the production facility and then retreat to one of the three suites located inside the winery. 

In addition to those suites, the PLW will also offer a second unique lodging option — the silo-suite. 

The winery plans to have a pair of two-story silo-suites that are actually upscale lodging in the form of large grain silos attached to the winery. 

In addition to the lodging options, the PLW also has plans to add an event center to serve customers needing a facility for large group events.  The event center will seat more than 300 people.  

The winery facility will be built with a rustic barn theme and include reclaimed barn beams inside the tasting room.

With these offerings, the winery hopes to provide a complete destination experience unlike any other in southern Indiana.

Patoka Lake Marina, the winery’s sister company, is also known for creating firsts in Indiana.

The marina is the first and only marina in Indiana to offer floating cabins, as well as wine cruises promoting Indiana wineries.  The marina has been conducting wine cruises in partnership with Indiana wineries since 2010. With more than half of Indiana’s 73 wineries calling southern Indiana home, the marina says the wine cruises and wine tours have grown tremendously, attracting many visitors from near and far. 

“We are elated that Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann, State Executive Director of Tourism Mark Newman, State Representative Lloyd Arnold, and Senator Mark Messmer participated in the ground breaking, and are as excited about Patoka Lake Winery as we are,” said winery business partner and vice president of operations Heather Setser in a press release.

Ellesperman spoke at the ground breaking, saying “Indiana was the home of the first commercial winery in the United States and moving to become known around the world for our wine production growth and unique flavors." 

“The winery will compliment our other businesses and we truly appreciate the public support of the winery ground breaking," added PLW vice president and head winemaker Stephen Bartels.

Bartels added that he was grateful that other wineries have been supportive and helpful, giving specific thanks to Jim Pfieffer of Turtle Run Winery in Corydon.

According to the release, the winery expects to begin wine production in August and hopes to have some suites available for lodging by the Christmas season. 

A grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony to commemorate the completion of the facilities, as well as the beginning of wine sales, is expected in May of 2016. 

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