Category Archives: Events Here

Hamilton County Bicentennial 2023

The city of Noblesville is marked by many signs signifying its beginnings in 1823. As time has a way of passing by, it doesn’t seem long that we have arrived at 200 years from the date we have grown accustomed to seeing on those familiar signs. But 200 years is a long time and especially the last 200 years has contained the most dramatic changes known to mankind.

As the anniversary year approached, the Hamilton County Bicentennial Commission was formed with members from each city and town. Through the year, 45 events were planned allowing each community to celebrate in their own way. A traveling exhibit was created and scheduled to be displayed in over 25 different locations. We volunteered the winery to host the exhibit from May 27th through June 2nd. This inspired us to extend our normal Saturday hours and be open everyday through that week. It also inspired us to gather up some of our own nostalgic items and turn the tasting room into a small museum for those few days. We enjoyed many visitors during that time but in case you missed it, we have captured much of it here in photos and videos.

1) The traveling exhibit 2) The Noble-opoly game 3) Logo corner

The Traveling Exhibit is a 16-foot by 8-foot mural which fit nicely along our west wall. Filled with lots of interesting facts, the reader could enjoy a glass of wine while they took in the information. We created a perpetual game of Noble-opoly using a game board designed in the 1970s featuring prominent Noblesville businesses from that time. Adjacent to the game table was a display of our own collection of logo-bearing items from Hamilton County businesses and churches.

Other displays feature themes relative to the winery such as changes in agriculture and trends in food and beverages. Did you know in 1930 that farmers were 21% of the population and 1 farmer could feed 10 people? Those 10 people could easily be the farmer’s household. Today the modern farmers in Indiana are 2% of the state’s population and each one can feed 128 people. This reflects how improvements in technology have increased crop production and efficiency. It also demonstrates how workers moved from the farms to the factories (like Firestone) to create a wide variety of goods in a growing economy. We created 4 sets of work clothes to illustrate this story, the first accompanied by a photo of Brian’s great-grandparents. The last outfit represents us here in the vineyard as Hamilton County struggles to hang on to public green space.

1) Great-Grandpa’s scythe and saw 2) Milk can, milk bottle crates, butter churn and Starbucks 3) Work clothes through the years

“Tooling Through Time” was a theme which explored the progression of materials used in creating common tools. For example, sugar was sold in a fabric bag and then stored in a wooden bucket, but later in a metal canister and most currently a plastic Tupperware container.

Similarly, fuel types progressed through time from man-power to oil, gas, electricity and battery-power to accomplish the same task. This applied to tools used inside and outside the home. Even fabric types reflect moves in technology as we went from linen (flax) and cotton to micro-knits, permanent-press, and sun-guard UPFs.

Exploring “Food and Beverage Trends” seemed appropriate so we started with a look at the first processed beverage – milk, and discovered that milk sales per capita have continued to fall since 1970 in spite of aggressive marketing by the American Dairy Association. (Got Milk?) Even the coffee shop latte surge wasn’t enough to increase the over consumption of fresh milk. Today Americans consume 3 times the milk equivalent in the form of cheese, yogurt and butter compared to cooking use and beverages. The frequency of milk use is beat out by bottled water, coffee, tea, soda, and even alcohol in that order.

It was fun to research the origins of some beloved brands, discovering Dr. Pepper to have preceded Coca-Cola by 1 year. The pretzel is arguably the oldest concocted snack food for eating between meals, dating back to Middle Age Europe. The first pretzel factory opened in America in 1861. Automated food processing made snacks a large part of our culture. Soft drinks started as pharmaceutical products or, what we would now call, “energy drinks.”

1885 Dr. Pepper
1886 Coca-Cola
1917 Moon Pie
1924 Nehi Orange
1932 Fritos
1937 Big Red Soda
1942 Charles Chips
1985 Fritos BBQ

In the list above, I differentiated “Fritos” from “Fritos BBQ” because we were fortunate to meet the man who developed the BBQ version. During our Bicentennial week, a visitor entered the tasting room and almost immediately asked, “Are those BBQ Fritos?” I said, “Yes, but that is all I have,” since I bought only a small bag and didn’t find regular at the store the day I shopped. He said, “I made those!” and proceeded to tell us about his job in Plano, Texas where he developed new products for Frito-Lay. “Fritos BBQ” was his first project in 1985. He’ll never forget it and neither will we! Thanks, Mark, for sharing your story with us!

To continue the discussion of fabric evolution, these ladies’ garments feature elements of animal origin such as suede leather, wool, and horse-hair hems. A new chintz fabric was glazed with egg white for a shiny stiff appearance. Fibers include straw, silk and cotton. The art for our “Sunbonnet” wine label took a position near its namesake. Tea sandwiches were on the menu that week for a Victorian experience. I could not resist the opportunity to display a few quilts but kept it to a minimum.

The cobalt blue bottles we use for wine always catch comments. Our historical exhibit wouldn’t be complete without a nod to the element, cobalt, that creates the signature blue in compounds used for tinting glass and pottery.

Our bottles found places to be at home within the nostalgia. “Wapahani White” nestled near the photo of Potter’s Bridge and “Squirrel Stampede,” of course, has its place as a featured theme of the Bicentennial. If you haven’t heard the story of the Great Squirrel Stampede of 1822, come visit for a guided tasting and get your commemorative bottle!

Thanks for taking this little trip with me down memory lane.

So Many Buckets!

Photos (left and center) courtesy of Connie Miller

A few weeks before we “opened the gates” I strolled through the unpruned vines. I saw so much nice fruit and sincerely hoped someone would come get the Sabbath harvest, free for the picking. My fears were quickly dispelled when shortly after 9 a.m. on opening day, September 8th, a caravan of cars arrived. People carried grapes out in buckets, baskets, bags – by the wagon load! A delightfully heavy crowd would persist for 5 days until most of the fruit was gone…and then I sadly pulled the Marketplace ad. Yet our website had promoted the event running through the 19th so we continued to welcome vineyard visitors and they continued to come through the following weekend. Generally buckets were less full, some finding only handfuls. But determined pickers amazed us by filling 5 gallon buckets right up to the end!

One bucket, two buckets,
Red buckets, blue
Old buckets, new buckets,

Many buckets…few

Photo courtesy of Bayette George

For many visitors, this was their first experience picking grapes. Several families were repeats from the 2014 Sabbath! Some came alone and enjoyed the peace and quiet. Some came as mother/daughter teams. One group signed in with 13 members! Bayette George, an accomplished photographer and filmmaker, shared photos he took of his family’s adventure. When I first saw the photo above, I was concerned about the large pair of clippers being used. Then I realized how serious and focused these two were, carefully wearing their gloves and I fell in love with the intense look on their faces. Their father had captured the precious moment I hope all our visitors experience – a connection with the land and its Creator.

As people depart, the patio’s overflowing clematis provides a nice backdrop for a farewell photo. These images (and a few more on Facebook) represent only a fraction of the crowd. I feel truly blessed to have chatted with as many as possible. Some left behind various gifts of their own which we will savor and treasure. I am already looking forward to Sabbath 2028 when we can do it all again!

“Opening the Gates” 2021

“Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and [collect] in the fruit thereof; But in the seventh year shall be a Sabbath of rest unto the land, a Sabbath for the Lord: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard. That which groweth of its own accord of thy harvest thou shalt not reap, neither [enclose] the grapes of thy vine undressed: for it is a year of rest unto the land.” – LEVITICUS 25:3-5

Our vineyard…
does not actually have a gate, but the concept of “opening the gates” means that the community is welcome to come in and get grapes, free for the picking. Our first Sabbath year was 7 years ago in 2014. At that time, we had 6 previous years of commercial harvesting so we decided to follow the Old Testament principle of allowing the land to rest on the 7th year. An additional detail forbids enclosing the vineyard which would normally keep out trespassers or animals while grapes were ripe and desirable. So the full objective of the Sabbath is to let the land rest (the owners, workers and animals too) but also to provide the community with an opportunity for free food. In 2014 we announced our plans on Craig’s List and, wow – we had an overwhelming response! (Check out the Vineyard Journal, archive link 2014)

Here we are 7 years later and able to do it again. The Lord’s promise to create an abundance in 6 years proves true that we can happily forego this year as a commercial harvest. Please come join us during this time of community as we “open the gates” again.

Pick a Pumpkin, Pick a Color

…then pick a glass of wine to sip while painting!

Ceramic painting takes both planning and faith since the raw glaze is often quite a different color than the finished product. We are so thankful for the beautiful fall evening we had for hosting the Kiln Creations event. It was a pleasure to see some old friends and meet some new ones. We look forward to a similar event in the spring.

A “Sip and Paint” Class

Photo by Kiln Creations, Noblesville, Indiana

September 30th 2020, 6:30-8:00 p.m.

Join us here on a pleasant autumn evening for a fun, outdoor and socially-distanced event. As part of their “Sip and Paint” series, we welcome Kiln Creations as they present a class titled “Sip and Pumpkin.”
The $40 class fee includes:

  • One medium ceramic pumpkin
  • One small ceramic pumpkin
  • All of the paint and instructions to make these beautiful masterpieces
  • Your first glass of wine or a Pick 4 Sampler

We will paint together, then your pumpkins will be taken to the ceramic shop for a short dip in a hot kiln. You will be notified when they are ready for pick up at Kiln Creations, 60 N 9th St in downtown Noblesville. For tickets follow the link below and clip on the “Sip and Pumpkin” event.

There are no refunds for this event. Should you need to cancel, Kiln Creations will send you a gift certificate to redeem in their store.

Social-Distancing in the Vineyard

SATURDAY, AUGUST 29th 2020, 1-7 pm
SUNDAY, AUGUST 30th 2020, 1-7 pm

We love to have visitors take a tour through the vineyard any time of the year. But late August is the most colorful and rewarding. Although the winery has suspended tastings for most of the summer, we encourage folks to take advantage of the opportunity to visit the grapes at their peak. Some guests enjoy a guided tour with details about each variety growing here and how they are featured in our wines. Others prefer a private romantic stroll. The vineyard also provides the perfect place for a family conversation about where grapes come from and what wine is.

Concords are still ripening while the Swenson Reds and Prairie Stars are ready for harvest.
LaCrescent vines enjoyed a leafy year after the late freeze. The Norton block seems to have most of its primary shoots carrying fruit with only minimal freeze damage.

Our Wines Take Flight

Introducing the “Pick 4 Sampler”

To help meet the challenges of 2020, we are changing the format of our wine tasting. The new individual packages include a flight of 4 wine selections totally 6 ounces and a shot of crackers. The “Pick 4 Sampler” sells for $5.00 and creates several advantages including faster service and ensured sanitation. The disadvantage is we will miss the opportunity to chat with visitors about each wine as our previous presentations afforded. Please feel free to ask questions or request a tour through the vineyard where we can again drone on about the vines.

Coronavirus Response – Day 62

It’s time to start thinking about opening up!

A robin laid her eggs just off the patio in the low boughs of a juniper tree. With our frequent trips to the vineyard this spring, she is likely regretting her decision. As much as we try to cut a wide path around, she almost always jumps off the nest with much squawking.

This little nest inspires us in many ways. Despite the virus lock-down, the elements of spring have continued full-steam ahead. Soon these baby birds will have to awaken to the world and face the challenges it holds.

Our Facebook page featured the photo above with the same caption. We needed to finalize our decisions on how to re-open the winery after two months of having no public hours. The end of April, the governor revealed that his plan would unfold in 5 phases. The Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission (ATC) also advised the wineries that we fell in the 4th of the 5 phases as “Bars, Nightclubs…Tourism.” We were okay with that, but there were still some decisions to be made.

The release for phase 4 is June 14th and then at 50% capacity. Focusing on Saturday hours still, that puts our first possible day to serve wine on June 20th. That’s a long time from now. So we are sensing it is prudent to institute the curbside delivery used by other wineries during the stay-at-home order. May 16th will be our first day to operate in this fashion. I was hoping that the robin’s nest would again serve as our graphics for the announcement, but the week has gone on with no change. Resorting to some bad photo enhancement, the following image accompanied today’s posted schedule for curbside pickup, outdoor tasting, and finally party hosting.

We’re open but it’s not pretty!

We’re gonna party like it’s 1969!

Make tracks to the Moon…

Saturday, July 20th, 2019 1:00 pm – 9:00 pm

We are celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the first man to land and walk on the moon. It was a victory for the United States, but more importantly, a unifying, exhilarating, humbling experience for all mankind. Come experience and help recreate some of that excitement during this fun and educational event for the whole family.

The day’s activities include:

Goofy Games and Silly Prizes all day
Photo Opportunities with Space Suits, Flag Planting and the Big Blue Rock
Videos and Stories
Retro Snacks

4:00 pm – Moon Walk Contest – Demonstrate your best moon walk either Neil Armstrong style or Michael Jackson style.

5:00 pm – Walking Taco Bar – Build you own Walking Taco from Red Burrito. $3 each or 2/$5 while supplies last.

6:00 pm – Team Trivia – Create your own team for this intense competition of Space Travel & 60’s Trivia with some fairly decent prizes! No entry fee.

We hope to see you here!  

Brian and Rebecca Harger
Country Moon Winery
16222 Prairie Baptist Road
Noblesville IN 46060317-773-7942

The fine print: All prizes will be on display during the activity. Decision of the judges is final. No outside alcohol is allowed. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Rosé All Day

June 8th, 2019 – National Rosé Day

This is the day to “Drink Pink.” We will be serving up tall glasses of “Chia Pink Sangria” made with our own Patchwork Pink wine. Carry out some Patchwork bottles for later at a 50% discount – one-case limit, one day only. Normal Saturday hours: 1-7pm