Grateful Goat Vineyard & Winery
Grateful Goat Vineyard & Winery
1404 W. Palmyra Lake Road
Contact: John Fouts
Grateful Goat Vineyard & Winery is a VIP, a vision in progress. Some people call projects works in progress, but a work in progress has a finite ending. Grateful Goat Vineyard & Winery started with a couple with a vision, and has come into existence after much hard work, dedication, and love. In 2001, John R. Fouts took a trip to Southern Illinois to visit the Shawnee Wine Trail. While there, he visited two wineries, Pomona Winery, and Von Jakob Winery. Both wineries are unique, and wonderful places to visit. At the time, Pomona Winery, a winery focusing on making Apple Wine, was selling wine out of their garage. This fascinated John who had been known to enjoy a few drinks every now and then, and he at that time began to wonder how one might go about making his or her own “beverages”. John started drinking wine and learning as much as he could. John graduated from Purdue University in 2003, and moved back to Louisville, KY.
In December of 2002, John met his future wife, Lindsay C. Vaught. Lindsay graduated from Indiana University Southeast. It did not take Lindsay and John long to realize that they were made for each other. After a fairly short courtship, John and Lindsay set a date to get married on August 21, 2004. While John and Lindsay were shopping around to find out how much it would cost to have food catered at their wedding, they also looked into what it would cost to have alcohol at the wedding. After coming out of sticker shock, John told Lindsay that he was going to make wine for the event. In early 2004, John started his first batch of wine from a kit.
Lindsay and John made all of the wine that was served at their wedding, aside from the Champagne that was served with the cake. Don’t worry, they also had a keg for those of you out there that are beer drinkers!
On their honeymoon, John and Lindsay traveled to the heart of wine country, Napa Valley and Sonoma County in California. Also while on their honeymoon, they visited Yosemite National Park, and San Francisco. It was a very busy week! John and Lindsay enjoyed learning about the 200+ soil types that exist in Napa Valley that help to make the area an excellent grape growing region, they enjoyed their trip on the wine train, and they enjoyed the overall ambience and romance that filled the air in the Golden State, and Northern California in general.
After they returned from the honeymoon, one of the things that John and Lindsay really started enjoying doing more and more was traveling to different wineries in different areas of the country, and drinking different kinds of wines. John and Lindsay have been to wineries in California, Colorado, Arkansas, Florida, Tennessee, North Carolina, West Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, and Missouri. They asked lots of questions of the vineyard owners and winemakers, and enjoyed themselves in the romantic atmosphere that naturally surrounds vineyard and winery operations. The more questions that they asked, the more they felt like this was something that they not only wanted to do, but actually needed to do in their lives. Something on the bucket list! (Start a vineyard & winery business).
While they were traveling and doing industry research as some might say, they were also both pursuing MBA degrees from Indiana University Southeast. Lindsay received her MBA in August of 2005, and John received his in December 2006. The education that John and Lindsay received prepared them well for starting and running a business.
Since the first batch of wine in 2004, John and Lindsay have been continuously making wine, and continuously learning. As they learned more about wine making, they started entering competitions. The wines they made fared very well in the competitions they entered. John and Lindsay have received Gold Medals at the Kentucky State Fair, Silver and Bronze medals at the Indy International Wine Competition, and a Double Gold medal for a 4-way tie for Best of Show at a Cellar Masters competition in California. The learning never ends, and there is always room for improvement. John and Lindsay focus on making premium wines at affordable pricing. They also strive to keep the atmosphere very laid back at the winery. In the Summer, John can often be found working out in the vineyard while Lindsay is working in the tasting room. It is also not uncommon to find the couple wearing tie-dye shirts. John and Lindsay want to make the wine experience less intimidating. The couple enjoys meeting new people, and they enjoy making new friends.
In 2007, John and Lindsay took the first major step toward making the vision of operating a commercial vineyard and winery a reality. They moved from a 0.25 acre piece of land in Jeffersonville, Indiana to just north of Palmyra, Indiana (Washington County) to a 14 acre piece of property (now the home of Grateful Goat Vineyard & Winery). The land they purchased was used as a small horse farm prior to them buying it. Lindsay and John planted one full acre of Vidal Blanc in April of 2008. In 2009, the couple started getting plans together for an opening in 2010. John and Lindsay have been working diligently over the course of the past several years on preparing to open Grateful Goat Vineyard & Winery.
Along the way John and Lindsay managed to acquire two Nigerian Dwarf goats to proudly represent the winery. They love the goats, and plan to soon acquire more. The grateful goats are named (Seabiscuit – yes like the horse) and (Chewy – not after Chewbacca…he is named Chewy because he likes to chew on everything). Nigerian Dwarf goats have a gentle demeanor and are very affectionate. Kids that come out to the winery enjoy petting them, and adults too. One of the things that make Grateful Goat winery unique is that visitors can enjoy the goats up close and personal. Guests may sit outside and sip on some wine while watching the playful antics of goats frolicking in the goat yard. Many people have commented on how observing these rambunctious ruminants helped them to decompress and get some relief from stress.
In 2010, John and Lindsay planted an additional half acre of Steuben vines to add to the existing vineyard. John loves working in the grapes and with the wine, and if he could, he would work full time at the vineyard and in the winery.
Grateful Goat Vineyard & Winery officially opened its doors on October 16, 2010. Presently, Grateful Goat Vineyard & Winery is one of the smallest wineries in the state, and has big plans for future growth. The seed has been planted. It is amazing to watch a dream come into existence. The dream has not come easily, but nothing worth anything in life does. In addition to the wine, John and Lindsay carry a selection of local products, and specialty food items. Goat milk soap, grilling sauces, bread mixes, and specialty grapeseed oils are some items that can be found in the gift shop. John and Lindsay also collect quartz crystals from Mt. Ida, Arkansas, and have a selection of crystals from their private collection available for sale.
Grateful Goat Vineyard & Winery is an excellent place to visit with friends, with family, or if you are simply needing to take a step away from the busy pace of life.
John and Lindsay look forward to meeting you!
Winemaker: John Fouts
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