It was largely Rick Black’s strong will that made Wildcat Creek Winery and its wines possible.
Working 30 years as a financial manufacturing manager, Rick always wanted to own his own business. He found the business of winemaking piqued his interest while visiting a number of southern Indiana wineries while vacationing with his wife, Kathy.
The interesting character of each winery, the array of wines, and differences in finishes between each winemaker’s versions of the same varieties, challenged the couple’s creative juices.
But before he could cork his first bottle of wine, Rick needed to learn the art of winemaking and write the state’s first zoning ordinance for wineries.
“We immediately began to pursue an education in wine, wineries and the wine industry,” Rick says.
In 2001, he started making wines in his Tippecanoe County garage, getting the fruit and juice of many Midwestern varietals from nearby Purdue University. Rick also worked with the Tippecanoe County Area Plan Commission to fashion the state’s first winery zoning amendment in 2004.
Wildcat Creek Winery opened Dec. 13, 2008. Its tasting room and gift shop is housed in a farmhouse built in 1900.
“We devote a great deal of time and effort, including numerous bench trials, finishing our wines to a level we feel is the best they can possibly be,” Rick says. “Each of our wines is handcrafted with the same great care and loving attention.”
They use Midwestern grape varietals and name many of the wines to reflect their pride in Indiana, including Prophet’s Rock Red, Peters Mill White, Lafayette Red, White, and Blush, and Aunt Minnie’s Cherry Tree.
“We try to maintain a high level of excellence in all we do at Wildcat Creek Winery,” he adds. “Indiana Artisan recognizes that level of excellence.”
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