Tom Demaree’s wines earn medals at International Wine Competition


Local winemaker Tom Demaree and his Ridge Winery earned three silver medals recently at the Indy International Wine Competition held at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. There were a total of 3,685 wines entered into the competition.

The Ridge Winery earned silver medals from the panel of judges for its Blackberry wine, Country Red wine, and Country Rose´ wine.

Wines were entered in both commercial and amateur divisions, and wines from 16 different countries entered the judging. A total of 80 judges spent their time analyzing all different types of wines.

Of Indiana’s 29 wineries, 26 of them entered wines into the competition,

“You never know how wines are going to be judged,” Tom Demaree said. “I took one wine that I thought, ‘this one is a winner,’ and it didn’t win anything. I’m still real happy with how things turned out.”

In the commercial division, there were 3,015 wines entered. Of those, 78 earned Concordance Gold Medals; 235 earned Gold Medals; 890 earned Silver Medals; and 978 earned Bronze Medals — so Tom Demaree’s wines stood up well against some difficult competition.

Tom Demaree and his wife Mary Jane are also featured in a new book about Hoosier wines called, “Indiana Wine: A History”. The book was written by James and John Butler, who own and operate the Butler Winery in Bloomington, Indiana.

While doing research for the book, the Butlers naturally came to Switzerland County — where the country’s first commercial winery was operated. While here they toured the county with Tom and Mary Jane Demaree, gaining knowledge about the important role that this county played in the development of the wine industry nationally and in Indiana.

The book is now in print, and the writers thanked the Demarees; Tom and Donna Weaver; the Switzerland County Historical Society; and the Switzerland County Public Library in their acknowledgments.

For those wanting a copy of the book, they are available at The Ridge Winery Tasting Room on State Road 156 east of Vevay.