Exploring the Tippecanoe Vineyards: Beyond the Vine Wine Tour

Immerse yourself in the charming ambiance of Indiana's wineries, where you can taste the labor of love that goes into each and every bottle of wine produced. Recently, I had the pleasure of embarking on the Beyond the Vine Wine Tour, a delightful journey that took me to three exceptional wineries in Tippecanoe County.  Join me as I recount my unforgettable experience with Beyond the Vine and share the unique qualities of each stop.

First stop: Beyond the Vine Wine Tour Bus!  Our journey started out at the Double Tree Hotel in Lafayette, where we boarded the Beyond the Vine bus.  Jill greeted us with a cheerful hello and welcomed us onto the bus, which is decked out with cute wine decor and featured air conditioning and outlets. The wonderful Jill is the mastermind behind Beyond the Vine and was our guide throughout our whole wine journey.  She started the day by going over our itinerary: first stopping at Whyte Horse Winery, then at Carpenter Creek Cellars, and finally at Hooker Corner Winery.  Then she offered up the aux cord so we could blast our music of choice as we made our way to our first winery!


Whyte Horse Winery:

Our wine tour began at Whyte Horse Winery, located just outside of Monticello. The winery's rustic yet elegant ambiance set the perfect tone for the first stop. 

Whyte Horse Winery boasts an impressive selection of handcrafted wines, ranging from robust reds to crisp whites and delightful fruit wines. The knowledgeable staff guided us through a tasting, sharing insights into the winemaking process and the distinct characteristics of each wine. We each selected tasting flights to try, and I opted for the sweet flight.  This featured their Moscato, Chautauqua Red, Catawba Rose, and Cotton Candy wine.  The Catawba Rose stood out as my personal favorite because of the cranberry and cotton candy notes, while others thoroughly enjoyed the Traminette!  

You absolutely cannot leave Whyte Horse Winery without sampling one of their wine slushies.  A plethora of flavors are available, in glasses, flights, or to-go pouches.  Our group opted for to-go pouches to enjoy on the bus ride, and we selected the s’more, toasted marshmallow, and blue raspberry flavors.  These were a huge hit with the group, and a must-try when stopping in to Whyte Horse Winery.

Carpenter Creek Cellars:

Our journey continued to Carpenter Creek Cellars, a family-owned winery housed in a quintessential red barn, tucked away in the countryside of Remington.

Upon arrival, we were greeted by the winery's passionate owners, who eagerly shared their love for winemaking, and the adorable winery pup, Port. As we explored the tasting room’s offerings, we savored an array of superb wines that embodied the essence of the region. From the delicate Chardonnays to the earthy Pinot Noirs, each sip told a story, capturing the harmony between craftsmanship and nature.  Here, I sampled the Bourbon Barrel aged Zinfandel, Gunny Red, Peachy Keen, and the Traminette.  Carpenter Creek’s award-winning Traminette was a standout favorite in our group, which we sipped on while getting a tour of the wine-making process, learning about the science of winemaking from fermentation to the barrels the wine is kept in.  Our tour was guided by Randy Rottle, Winemaker at Carpenter Creek, whose passion for wine was evident with every word he spoke.   We left this winery positively charmed by the ambiance and wine.    

Hooker Corner Winery:

Our final destination on the Beyond the Vine Wine Tour led us to Hooker Corner Winery, a family-operated establishment situated in Pine Village. Named after a now-extinct town in Indiana,  Hooker Corner Winery has embraced its namesake with a distinctive and captivating theme, showcasing a playful atmosphere that pays homage to its inspiration.

At Hooker Corner, we each selected a flight of wines from their wine list.  I sampled the “Dark Secrets” Blueberry Blackberry wine, “Fraulin” a floral white Gewurztraminer, “Guilty Pleasures” Sangria, and the “Little Black Book” Pinot Noir.  The “Fraulin” was my favorite, a dry white with unique notes of lychee, rosewater, and grapefruit.   We peeked out onto the outdoor porch, which looked like the perfect place to enjoy a summer’s day, and enjoyed our flights before getting back onto the bus and heading back to Lafayette.

The Beyond the Vine Wine Tour exceeded all expectations, showcasing a wine region brimming with authenticity and a commitment to crafting exquisite wines. Whyte Horse Winery, Carpenter Creek Cellars, and Hooker Corner Winery showcased the region's rich offerings, with each location providing a unique experience and a diverse range of wines.

Whether you're a wine connoisseur or simply looking to explore new horizons, Tippecanoe County's vineyards are waiting to be discovered. I cannot recommend Beyond the Vine more highly as an experience for your next girls' trip or family get-together!

Cheers to Beyond the Vine!