This piece is part of a series of articles submitted to The Local Tourist through a cooperation with a 400-level travel writing class at Purdue University.
By Kelly Burns
All good wines are meant to be tasted – which is something Whyte Horse Winery understands. Get your glasses ready because they have over 50 different rotated flavors of wines to try.
But Whyte Horse also knows that not everyone is a true wine connoisseur. That’s why they also believe good wines can be fun and have flavors like blue …. Spice.
Plus, any of their wines can be ordered as wine slushies.
My friends and I had all just turned 21 and were looking for a different place to try a new drink and relax on a Saturday afternoon. We were sold on trying Whyte Horse Winery after seeing a picture of their exclusive caramel apple wine slushie.
This local favorite for wine tasting, located in Monticello, Indiana, has been open since 2006.
Whyte Horse Wwnery is owned by the mother-daughter duo of Beth Thomas-Adair and Amanda Crain, who purchased the winery in 2016. They had developed an interest in wine making through a prior experience with a small vineyard on their family golf course in nearby Logansport.
Along with their husbands, Lester Adair and Adam Crain, they also own the Whyte Horse Farm and Vineyard, which is where the grapes for their wines are grown.
This winery reflects a very cozy setup. It is a cute little white house with several indoor and outdoor spaces where you can sit with your wine tasting party. According to Brittany, the winery manager, the tasting room was originally a farmhouse from 1886 and has been updated over the years.
The former owners of this business, the Pampel family, originally started Whyte Horse Winery in 2006 after buying a piece of farm property as a destination spot for themselves to enjoy.
The previous owner had offered the Pampels a special extra when they bought the land: a white horse named Molly. The Pampels became very attached to her.
Eventually, they were spending so much time at the farm, they decided to try their hand at planting grapes and cultivating a vineyard because of its location right in the heart of Indiana wine country.
This is how the idea for the winery and the name, Whyte Horse Winery, came to be.
I could tell from my conversations with the staff that the whole team working there has a strong passion for what they do, and that it was very important to them that all visitors have a wonderful experience.
They were all extremely polite and attentive, and readily shared recommendations related to the wines and the menu.
One great thing about this winery is that on a beautiful day, there is lots of space to roam around outside with your drink. My friends and I got an outdoor table with our fall flavored wine slushies and sat in the sun on one of the last warm days in September.
It was a great way to spend an autumn afternoon before the cooler weather sets in.
There is no time limit at this winery, so you are welcome to spend the whole day if you’re inclined to do so. My friends and I definitely took advantage of this and spent the day relaxing outside.
Honestly, before coming here, I was not a big wine drinker, although I had tried a very limited selection of wines prior to my visit.
If you like wine, this place has wines that appeal to all tastes. All are preservative free. If, like me, you’re not a big wine fan, then they’ve got you covered with their delicious slushies.
They were so good that I guarantee I will be recommending them to my friends back at Purdue University who haven’t visited yet.
My personal favorite was the toasted s’mores slushie that is offered only during the fall season. My friends tried different flavors such as the blue cotton candy wine slushie and the lemonade flavored wine slushie.
All of the wine slushies have such pretty vibrant colors and are topped with tasty candy or whipped cream. If you have a sweet tooth, these are definitely for you.
Their bottled wine selection includes a combination of dry, semi-dry, and sweet wines for under $20. My server explained to me the difference is that the dry wines have lower residual sugar levels, while the sweet ones contain between 5-15% sugar levels.
They even have holiday flavors, including their sweet Apple Pie bottled wine for fall, as well as their sweet Kris Kringle flavored wine for the holiday season.
They also offer a limited food menu, such as their homemade brick oven pizza. The ingredients for the pizzas are supplied by local farmers.
If you enjoy the atmosphere there and plan to visit again, look into joining their Whyte Horse Wine Club. Not only is the membership free, but you also receive discounts on your drinks, and personal invitations to exclusive events at the winery throughout the year.
Whyte Horse also hosts other special events that are open to the public without a membership, such as their annual car show, and “Wine after Work” sessions, which offer live music and a special tasting bar.
Visiting Whyte Horse Winery
Whyte Horse Winery is located at 1510 S. Airport Road in Monticello. It’s about thirty miles slightly northeast of Purdue and West Lafayette, Indiana.
Map of Whyte Horse Winery
Other things to do in Monticello, Indiana
Although Monticello is a small town of only 5,000, there are still several fun activities to visit before or after you go to the winery.
I recommend a visit to the farmer’s market in downtown Monticello to pick up some fresh fruit and vegetables grown by the local farmers. The market is open on Thursdays from June through October.
If you visit Monticello during the summer months, bring your swimsuit because after a morning at the vineyard, you can head over to the Indiana Beach Amusement & Waterpark.
The resort sits on beautiful Lake Shafer, and contains 43 attractions including five roller coasters and four water rides.