Buck Creek Winery grows 13 varieties of grapes on four and a half acres of land in southeastern Indianapolis. They will offer free wine samples at Vintage Indiana on June 1.
Buck Creek Winery grows 13 varieties of grapes on four and a half acres of land in southeastern Indianapolis. They will offer free wine samples at Vintage Indiana on June 1.

INDIANAPOLIS — Buds are breaking on the grapevines at Buck Creek Winery vineyards in central Indiana, and Jeff Durm couldn’t be happier.

Durm, owner and winemaker at Buck Creek Winery, is excited for growth. The spring of 2012 brought late frosts that damaged primary buds on many vines throughout the state.

Durm said the buds are doing well this year, and he looks forward to caring for his vineyard throughout the summer.

“Only about half of the wineries in the state have their own vineyards,” he said “We’re one of them. It just adds that extra layer of work. I was not a farmer, but all my relatives are. And we just do things from the ground up. The entire process is something we want to be a part of.”

Durm plants 13 varieties of grapes on four and a half acres of land. The grapes grown there produce 23 percent of the wine sold in the store.

“We get about 2,500 gallons a year out of the vineyard,” Durm said. “We ultimately need 12,000 gallons a year. We buy about 50 percent of the fruit that we get from Indiana. We also supplement by buying grapes and juice from California, New York, some ice wine juice from Canada.”

The vineyard was planted 23 years ago. Originally, Durm sold grapes and made wine for the family.

It wasn’t until he retired eight years ago that the winery was established. Durm said the growth of the winery has been steady since opening.

Buck Creek Winery has participated in Vintage Indiana, a wine and food festival in Indianapolis, every year since it has been around.

“I think the neatest thing about Vintage is there’s so many wineries there,” Durm said. “It gives people a lot of opportunities to try all the different wineries.”

His advice to Vintage Indiana lovers is to watch their wine intake while taking part in the festivities.

“People need to be careful, to be selective and enjoy themselves, but don’t try too many wines at each tent or you’ll never get to the other ones,” he suggested. “It’s a great event. We enjoy being there.”

Wine lovers looking to enjoy wine after Vintage Indiana can stop by Buck Creek Winery for a free wine tasting. The tasting room is open every day of the week, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

“We have 32 wines on our shelves,” Durm said. “What you’ll find is if we get you in the right sweetness level, you’ll like most of the things that you try.”

Throughout the summer, Buck Creek Winery offers free music outside of the winery. Guests often bring lawn chairs and sip on wine while listening to the concerts. The winery sells pizza from New Bethel Ordinary during the performances.

In the future, Durm hopes to see the winery grow a little, but not get too big. Plans are in the works to expand the building so that it can serve as a wedding and reception venue down the road.

For more information about the winery, visit www.buckcreekwinery.com.