Friday, September 3, 2010

Rand House Wine and Cider Tasting


Submitted 9/1/10
Contact: Leslie Martin Conwell, American History Events Coordinator,

The Thomas Family Winery of Madison, Indiana will be hosting a Wine and Cider Tasting at the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association’s National Championship Shoot on September 11th, 2010 at the Rand House Museum on the grounds of the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association in Friendship, Indiana.  Steve and Elizabeth Thomas will offer tastes of their hand-crafted wines and ciders from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 pm, and wine and cider will be available for purchase at the Tasting.
Steve is a third generation winemaker.  He and his wife, Elizabeth, a tourism professional with a background in the Arts, teamed up to rehabilitate a historic structure in Madison and turn it into an old world winery and gathering place.  The family’s winemaking heritage reaches back to the 1930’s, when Steve’s grandfather, Gale Thomas, made hard cider.  Steve worked at his father’s winery in Indianapolis for 11 years before he and Elizabeth chose Madison to start their own business and raise their family.
Specializing in traditional European-style wines, the Thomas family draws on time-honored approaches to their wines.  This also includes being at the forefront of the renaissance of a great American product- Gale’s Hard Cider, named for Steve’s grandfather.
The link between the Thomas Family Winery and the National Muzzleloading Rifle Association is a direct result of Steve’s love for the sport of muzzleloading. He began his affection for muzzleloading and historical interpretation when he moved to Wyoming in the mid-70’s, in the heart of the fur trade country.  This love of muzzleloading and history has continued through current times, with Steve and Elizabeth belonging to several historical reenacting groups, and they extend their love of history to their business world.
The Thomas Family Winery makes wines that are accurate reproductions of early wines, especially the Sack, an 18th century common Sherry, and the Cider.  Many of the items at the tasting will carry traditional labeling, the styles used during their appropriate time period.
For more information on the Thomas Family Winery, visit
The museum exhibits will be open at the Rand House Museum during the Thomas Family Wine and Cider Tasting September 11th.  Admission to the Wine and Cider Tasting is free with paid parking. For more information about the NMLRA’s National Championship Shoot, or the Wine and Cider Tasting at the Rand House Museum, contact Leslie Martin Conwell, NMLRA American History Events Coordinator, at, or 765.563.6792.