Wine making has a rich history in southern Indiana. And in this area, you’ll find two favorites that delight locals and visitors alike with their unique flavors and charming settings.
Monkey Hollow Winery and Distillery, located in St. Meinrad, is nestled amongst rolling hills and features a tasting room and outdoor seating where guests can enjoy beautiful views overlooking seven acres of grapes. They offer a variety of award-winning wines as well as a selection of flavored whiskeys produced in their onsite distillery.
Pepper’s Ridge Winery is located on a quiet country road near Rockport and offers a peaceful, relaxed setting to visitors. Specializing in fruit wines, the winery supports other area businesses by purchasing most of the fruit locally. (Their incredibly popular Lakeview Peach wine is even named after Lakeview Orchard, the local orchard that supplies the peaches!)
Both wineries are part of the Hoosier Wine Trail and offer complimentary tastings. That’s why they’re the perfect addition to your itinerary when you visit Santa Claus, Indiana, and sites throughout Lincoln’s Indiana Boyhood Home!
‘Wine’ Down a Busy Day
There are a LOT of things to see and do in this area. So, you want to plan an itinerary that gives you the opportunity to wind down — or “wine” down — at the end of a busy day. To help with your planning, we’ve put together this handy two-day summer “wine-tinerary”:
Day 1 – Kick off your day with a relaxing trail ride at Santa’s Stables, then head over to Santa’s Lodge for an exhilarating spin on their zipline. By now you’ve probably worked up an appetite, so grab lunch at Frosty’s Fun Center (and let the kiddos enjoy some arcade fun).
Keep the fun going at Santa Claus Museum & Village where you can get a pic of the whole gang in front of the 22-foot tall Santa Statue and then write a letter to Santa Claus. Make sure you allow time to pop over to the Santa Claus Christmas Store to check out the festive décor, pick up a personalized ornament to commemorate your visit, and meet Santa himself!
Running low on energy? Take a short drive to Saint Meinrad Archabbey and get reenergized with a leisurely walk around the beautiful grounds. Then it’s finally time to wrap up your day at Monkey Hollow Winery and Distillery. If you’re visiting on a Saturday, you can enjoy dinner from their summer grill menu! (Be sure to call ahead or check their Facebook page to see if they’re serving dinner.)
Day 2 – It’s important to stay active while you’re on vacation, so pack some granola bars and head to Lincoln State Park for a brisk hike. Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial is just across the road (and some of the trails cross over), so after your hike, check out the Living Historical Farm and visit the gravesite of Nancy Hanks Lincoln, mother of Abraham Lincoln. Weather not cooperating? Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial has a Visitors Center to explore while you wait out the rain.
Now, it’s off to Rockport for lunch at Darlena’s Lincolnland Restaurant. Once you’ve eaten your fill of that delicious home-cooking, spend the rest of the afternoon at Lincoln Pioneer Village & Museum, taking in the 13 Lincoln-era replica cabins and discovering fascinating artifacts inside the museum.
You’ve had a big day, so it’s time to head over to Pepper’s Ridge Winery to kick back and relax with a toast to a successful trip!
But wait…your trip doesn’t have to be over yet! Have dinner at one of the area’s amazing restaurants. Or grab some takeout, and head off to catch a flick at Holiday Drive-In, one of only a few drive-in theaters left in the country.
Cheers to the Perfect Vacation
The best vacations include a blend of on-the-go fun and kick-up-your-feet relaxation. And with this two-day wine-tinerary, you’re sure to have a postcard-perfect time!
Put the finishing touch on this itinerary with a place to stay that fits your needs. Choose from a wide variety of accommodations, including cottages, cabins, hotels, vacation rentals, and even camping.