Checking out wineries is one of my favorite things to do. Whenever we plan a trip anywhere, the first place I search for is any winery located around the area where we are traveling. Give me wine country views, a chilled glass of something sweet and fruity, and I'm one happy gal.

Naturally, my love of wine also makes for great gift ideas for my friends and family. For Christmas one year, my best friends bought me a gift card to Oliver Winery in Bloomington, Indiana. Insert a pandemic shutdown on top of the normal craziness of life, and I was finally able to use that gift card two years later.

A couple of weekends ago, my boyfriend and I ventured up to Bloomington for a camping trip near Monroe Lake and to visit Oliver Winery. With the increasing gas prices, we were happy to get out of town while still staying close enough to home that our fuel costs weren't bankrupting us.

When we first pulled up to the winery, we were immediately greeted with vineyard views that stretched up the road to the main building. The building itself was rustic with beautiful landscaping. I particularly enjoyed all of the greenery and stone sculptures. There were even a couple of ponds and a running fountain.

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Melissa Nelson
Melissa Nelson
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Melissa Nelson
Melissa Nelson
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Once inside, I was taken aback by the size of the building. With high ceilings framed by wooden beams and tons of windows to allow lots of natural light, this was definitely one of the prettiest wineries I had ever set foot in.

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Melissa Nelson
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We had reserved tasting scheduled and found a large sign with a staff member waiting to greet us. After giving him the name on our reservation, the friendly staff person led us outside to the patio area where we were seated at a table that was already set up. We elected to add the snack platter of dried fruit and cheeses to our reservation which was waiting along with empty glasses and the wine list.

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Melissa Nelson
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Melissa Nelson
Melissa Nelson
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While waiting for the tasting to begin, I couldn't help but take in the sights. We were seated under a dark-stained pergola with string lights and surrounded by more greenery. The wine selection was set up on a table constructed out of two barrels and a piece of wood. In that kind of atmosphere, I was more than ready for a glass of wine!

Melissa Nelson
Melissa Nelson
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After a brief informative introduction of the wines and a tutorial on the 5 S's (See, Swirl, Sniff, Sip, and Savor) of wine tasting, members of the staff circulated around the patio to offer tastings from the menu offered. There was a selection of 5 dry wines and 5 sweet wines to choose from. Although I typically stick to sweeter wines, the woman serving us gave such a persuasive description of one of her favorite dry reds that I was convinced to give it a try.

Melissa Nelson
Melissa Nelson
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My favorite of the wines that I tasted was definitely the Lavender Cucumber Chill. Although this is not a wine I would normally try, the description won me over and boy am I glad I stepped out of my comfort zone. It was light, crisp, and refreshing. Definitely the perfect wine for a summer's day. My boyfriend's favorite was their seasonal Peach Cider which I was able to sneak a taste of. If the idea of peach pie in a cup is your thing, this wine was the closest thing to having a fresh slice straight from the oven!

As an avid drinker of Oliver wines, the blueberry Moscato has been my favorite for a while so I chose to try something new rather than one I knew I already loved. Their cherry Moscato and sweet Rose are other personal faves. You better believe I didn't leave without purchasing multiple bottles!

Chance Albin
Chance Albin
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After the hour-long tasting, we decided to explore the grounds. Behind the main building was a patio area and a beautiful pond surrounded by chairs and benches. We strolled around the pond and even met a curious turtle who greeted us from the water.

Melissa Nelson
Melissa Nelson
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Melissa Nelson
Melissa Nelson
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Oliver Winery is probably one of my favorite wineries that I have visited in the tristate. Not only do they offer the reserved tastings that we did, but they also offer reserved tours and picnic packages that allow you to enjoy a pre-packed picnic with a glass of wine while enjoying the amazing views that this place has to offer.

It was totally worth the two-hour drive and I will definitely be visiting again!

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