Rain or shine, Wildcat Creek Winery is the place to go for a glass of wine or afternoon out with friends. The family-run winery proves perfect for a quick stop on your way through Lafayette or long day off. A few minutes off Interstate 65 in Lafayette, this hidden gem is currently celebrating its 10th anniversary. Its advertisements mentioning a “friendly and welcoming Hoosier farmhouse appeal” couldn’t be more true as you are instantly greeted and invited in to sample wine with names like “Prophet’s Rock” or “Aunt Millie’s” (named after owner Kathy Black’s own grandmother). History Ten years ago, the owners, Kathy and Rick Black, retired and opened the winery out of their beautiful 1900s home. Every day, with the exception of Christmas, New Year’s, and Thanksgiving, they offer tastings, winery tours, and a beautiful area to relax and enjoy a glass of award-winning wine. Over the years, the owners have seen and facilitated numerous occasions including marriage proposals, bachelorette parties, and seasonal wine releases. As a growing attraction for locals and tourists, Wildcat Creek Winery uses its influence to support the community in everything they do. They utilize Midwestern grapes and juices and support the area by selling locally produced goods in its gift shop, located inside with the tasting room. They also partner with nearby organizations such as Lafayette Transitional Housing for fundraisers and giving back to the area. Wine Because it is such a small operation it is easy to imagine a quaint family run farm, but the quality of the wine is as spectacular as the location. They’ve won many awards (including 2012 Indiana Wine of the Year) and accolades from all over. With a list of 13 wine varieties, it may be hard to pick, but they are well known for their semi-sweet Steuben and semi-dry Chambourcin. Tours and Tastings Fortunately, for us non-wine experts, they are happy to explain and show how the wine is made and walk you through its history and quality. If you’re lucky, they’ll even recommend a few of their personal favorites out of the dozen or so varietals they create with a food pairing. Inside features an extensive gift shop and tasting room where they hold wine tastings and sell their wine along with local products. Each tasting is done with one of Wildcat Creek Winery’s trained employees, who are able to make recommendations and add snack pairings with the wines you chose. Upon request, tours of the area explore the tasting area, outdoor gardens, winemaking, and bottling areas, as you learn how each area contributes to the winemaking process and makes the winery great. After a brief half hour tour to get a better understanding of what Wildcat Creek Winery is, guests relax at tables lining the backyard with a glass of Wildcat Creek wine. While we might not think of Indiana as a top spot for wineries, Wildcat Creek proves us wrong with a warm atmosphere, beautiful location, and delicious wines. A visit to Wildcat Creek is more than a stop of the interstate with wine tastings, gift shop, sitting areas, and tours. For more information about this or other events in our area, visit HomeofPurdue.com This blog was written by Purdue University Student, Margaret Cooper.