Fruit Hills Winery and Orchard, in the scenic hills of Bristol in northern Indiana, is the result of hard work—and big dreams—of owners David and Michele Muir. This farm winery opened in 2010, capping off a journey that started in 2009 on a family trip to Mt. Dora, Florida, for a wedding. During the Muir’s time in Mt. Dora, a stop in a boutique winery gave David and Michele the idea. David had just lost his job of 15 years and had already been doing small batch grape and fruit wines for family.
That idea stuck with them and upon returning back to Indiana, with the help and encouragement of their son, Nathan, and daughter-in-law, Brittany, the dream became a reality. The Judson Fruit Farm has been in David’s family since 1852 where it began producing fruit around 1898. “We are working to build this business so that for generations to come, our hard work pays off. It
truly is a family business,” says David. “I even spent this morning in the cellar with my three-year-old grandson, Oliver. He helped me get the yeast ready to put in one of our latest batches of wine. He’s still young but can stir a bucket with a spoon. I’ll likely remember this morning longer than he will.”
When you visit the winery you’ll be greeted warmly, and their attractive and inviting tasting room gives you the opportunity to sample all of their different wines. You may also step outside onto the large deck, or front porch, and enjoy the view while having a glass of wine. In the warmer months, you’ll find live entertainment each weekend.
With around three acres of vineyards, they focus primarily on newer cold-hardy varieties such as Marquette and Frontenac Gris. But they grow other varieties as well, including Vignole and Traminette, which has been designated as Indiana’s signature grape. They also produce wines with grapes and juice purchased in areas with different growing conditions than Indiana. Their fruit wines are extremely popular, including their signature apple wine which has cherry juice added to it to give an extra measure of complexity and flavor.
The Muirs appreciate the opportunity to live out their dream and say they “are thankful for all of the friends and family who have helped make our dreams come true.”
Visit them on your next trip to Elkhart County.
For more information visit fruithillswinery.com.