Friday, November 09, 2007

One fine afternoon at the Huber Orchard & Winery.

Earlier today I joined Mrs. Curmudgeon and Jenny, her English cousin, for a visit to the tasting room at Huber's Orchard and Winery in Starlight, a short drive up the Knobs from New Albany. There we enjoyed tasting flights that included wines, infusions and distilled spirits, and it was a marvelous time.

Roughly half way through, and just before developing a surprising (for me) affinity for the distillery's Grappa, I started chatting with winemaker Ted Huber, and before leaving, we'd hatched a plot to stage a grand cooperative Huber wine and spirits/NABC beer dinner or tasting of an as yet undefined variety some time in March 2008.

Now that sounds like fun. I'll keep you posted.

Meanwhile, here's the story from the Huber web site:

Huber’s Orchard & Winery began farming back in 1843 when our ancestors settled in Starlight, IN from Baden-Baden, Germany . Growing primarily fruit, our farm began to diversify in 1978 when we opened the doors of our winery.

Today, we have over 550 acres of farmland on which we grow many fruits, vegetables, Christmas trees, pumpkins, and grapes. We have a children's farm park, farm market, cheese shoppe, ice cream factory, winery, gift shoppe, banquet facility, Indiana’s first distillery – The Starlight Distillery, and proudly participate as one of the seven wineries on Indiana’s first wine trail – The Indiana Uplands Wine Trail.

Diversification was an important strategy for us and helped to keep business consistent throughout the year so that we became less seasonal. Certainly, diversification has allowed us to keep seven generations of Huber’s busy and working on the farm.

An important thing to remember about diversification is it does not happen over night but over time. Patience, passion, and planning are vital to the success of diversified farms. A challenge with diversification is quality – ensuring that your pace of growth and diversification maintains the quality your business strives for.

The most enjoyable part about being in our business is the focus on families, tradition, and heritage. Knowing families that we touch each day and the countless memories that are made through an experience at Huber’s Orchard & Winery!

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