Winzerwald Winery’s Mai Wein (May Wine) is a traditional German semi-sweet wine with a delicious smokey ending with a hint of strawberry. This wine is named after the German tradition of creating a special white wine flavored with Sweet Woodruff on the first of May to welcome the spring season.

Last week my husband and I took a three day wine trip across Indiana and Kentucky. Our first stop was Winzerwald Winery, which is located in Bristow, Indiana, on highway 64 between Evansville and Louisville. We both commented on how easy it was to find – great signage from the highway to the winery. Plus, it’s only 5 minutes from the highway. Winzerwald Winery is part of the Indiana Uplands Wine Trail, which is made up of 9 Indiana wineries.

Once you arrive to the winery, you are greeted with a fantastic view of the surrounding rolling hills:

View of rolling hills from an Indiana winery
Winzerwald Winery, which in German means “vintner of the forest,” just celebrated their 10th anniversary. Winzerwald is owned by Dan and Donna Adams, who both have certificates from Purdue University in both viticulture and enology. They embrace their German heritage and promote themselves as the “friendly little German-style Winery at the Top of the Hill.” You’ll notice on the wine label and on the bookshelf below this winery has a very cute German Nutcracker theme.

Nutcrackers at Winzerwald Winery

You’ll also notice the Christmas themed interior – the weekend we were there it was their “Christmas in July” weekend when they release their wines in special Christmas tree bottles made in Germany. They started releasing the bottles in July, due to the high demand for the bottles around the holidays.

The Varietal:
Owner Donna Adams, told me that their “Mai Wein blend varies, but is usually a blend of one or two white hybrid grapes.” The one we tasted was actually 100% Vidal Blanc. Normally Vidal Blanc has tones of pineapple or grapefruit, but the owners also added a hint of strawberry juice that give it a very delicious ending. Vidal Blanc is well suited to cold climates (hello Midwestern winters!) and in Canada is often used for Ice Wine.

The Pour:
As you can see in the top photo, this wine is very clear and a pale yellow.

The Sniff:
Both my husband and I immediately smelled woody smells, which is from the herb Sweet Woodruff that they owners grow and add to the wine. The smell reminded me of playing in the woods as a kid in Mastodon State Park. I loved that on the Winzerwald Winery picnic tables had pots of the Sweet Woodruff growing, along with a biography of the German herb. “In Germany, woodruff was used to flavor new wine, a tradition dating from the thirteenth century. This herb is native to Europe, Asia and North Africa and now grown in the USA. It is found wild in the woods and shady area where the ground is moist, loamy soil and makes a good ground cover.”

Sweet Woodruff herb used for May wine or Mai Wein

The Taste:
Crisp, semi-sweet with a woody, smokey ending and a hint of strawberry. It leaves your mouth dry and wanting more. Perfect for those really hot days we’ve been having in the Midwest. This is also another good example of a good compromise wine for my sweet loving wine husband and myself, who normally prefers rich dry wine.

Wine Varietal: Vidal Blanc grape
Producer: Winzerwald Winery
Price: $13.85
Produced and Bottled: Bristow, IN
Alcohol: 11.5%
Glass used: generic glass wine glass

Overall a great visit and love that it so close to the highway, making it very easy to make a quick stop on your way west or east. They also sell the perfect mulled red wine (normally served warm), called Glühwein, with flavors of cinnamon and cloves, and is packaged in a Christmas tree shaped bottle. I’m looking to review this one in December around our bonfire.

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