FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) -- Whether they prefer red wine or white, folks travel to Northeast Indiana from across state lines to enjoy our wineries.
Many are excited for warm summer nights, laying out on blankets, enjoying live music.
When Brenda and Alan Lockhart retired, they needed something to fill their time.
“My husband started making wine at home,” Brenda Lockhart said.
It’s progressed from a passion project into a full-time job.
The Hartland Winery owners are celebrating their five-year anniversary next month.
Starting on May 22 they’ll have live music every other Saturday.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 soiled their plans for 2020.
“Last year we practically had to cancel everything,” she said.
Making this year’s celebration even sweeter.
“We typically have people come out and they bring lawn chairs, pop up tents, and they sit around because we have eight acres, so they sit around the grounds and listen to music and drink wine,” Lockhart said.
Customers travel from as far as Michigan and Ohio to enjoy the vineyard.
“Up until about 10 or 11 years ago, there was only one. So we’ve actually grown quite a bit,” she said.
Ashlee Baumgartner with Country Heritage Winery & Vineyard says they've played a large part in that growth.
The winery will have live music every Friday and Saturday on its new expanded outdoor patio.
“We’re now approaching our ten-year anniversary next week, so we’ve noticed many more wineries are becoming more popular. Wines have increased exponentially in Indiana,” Baumgartner said.
What sets wines in Northeast Indiana apart?
“There are certain wines that do very well in our soils. We’re the largest vineyard in the state with over 101 acres so there are certain wines that I’d highly recommend that you're not going to hear about in other places,” she said.
Their 101 acres of land lends itself to social distancing.
“We have a huge outdoor area, so if you wanna spread out, you can bring your own blanket or chair and make your own space, so you can feel comfortable and not worry about being really close to someone else,” Baumgartner said.
She’s hopeful for the summer.
“With more vaccines coming, the plans can happen for July, August, September,” Baumgartner added.