Having trekked along the Chocolate Lover's Weekend trail myself (see review here), I can easily recommend it. Novice wine drinkers can learn their likes and dislikes at a nominal cost, learn about the camaraderie that enhances the trail experience and indulge in chocolate served in numerous forms. Experienced wine enthusiasts and novices alike can taste the recently crowned 2012 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition's Riesling gold winner at Easley Winery (click here for details), sip honey mead wine at New Day Meadery (see review here), and visit newcomer Cedar Creek Winery.
I generally recommend trail followers to end their Saturday evening trail activities at Mallow Run Winery (if possible) for music and singing by the fireplace. I also encourage to begin your journey at the winery farthest from home. In my case that is Simmons Winery, and by being there at opening time, allows me to not use valuable driving time during the noon-6 p.m. trail hours.
Buck Creek Winery and Chateau Thomas Winery (Plainfield) are on opposite sides of Indianapolis. With the opening of Chateau Thomas in Fishers, however, the north side is now an option to ease the driving time.
Who: Seven wineries (see list and links below) within driving range of each other.
What: Indy Wine Trail's Chocolate Lover's Weekend. Participants receive wine tastings, chocolate desserts, and a commemorative glass. And, upon completion of all seven wineries, a six-bottle tote.
When: Saturday, February 11and Sunday, February 12; Hours: Noon-6 pm each day.
Tickets: On sale at any of the seven Indy Wine Trail wineries. Advance tickets-$25. Day of event tickets-$30. Designated Driver tickets-$12. Tickets are good for the entire weekend.
Chocolate Lover's Weekend Wineries and Links
Buck Creek Winery-Acton; Buck Creek Winery
Cedar Creek Winery-Martinsville; Cedar Creek Winery
Chateau Thomas Winery, Fishers and Plainfield; Chateau Thomas Winery
Easley Winery-Indianapolis/downtown; Easley Winery
Mallow Run Winery-Bargersville; Mallow Run Winery
New Day Meadery-Indianapolis/Fountain Square; New Day Meadery
Simmons Winery-Columbus; Simmons Winery
Other Important links:
Image of Mallow Run by Izzy Evans/Feb.2010
Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated columnist, travel writer, performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her as Indy’s Arts & Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC, and follow her on Twitter @GottaGo and Facebook. Gotta Go is published in M magazine and the following newspapers: South Sider Voice, Indiana Weekender, New Palestine Reporter, Pendleton Times Reporter and Fortville-McCordsville Reporter.