Byler Lane Winery opens in rural Auburn

June 24th, 2016

News Coverage:

June 23, 2016

Byler Lane Winery opens in rural Auburn

Mariah Miller | Indiana Economic Digest


Owners of a new winery south of Auburn, Byler Lane Winery, describe its niche as creating an inviting, comfortable and relaxed setting for their customers to feel right at home.

“We want you to come in and say, ‘Boy, I had a hard day, and I’d like to have a glass of wine,’” said Larry Lane, an owner and wine maker for Byler Lane Winery. “It’s just so peaceful out here, and when you’re out front and the sun is setting behind the building, it’s beautiful.”

“It’s kind of a vacation in the middle of nowhere,” said Eldon Byler, another of the owners of the winery.

Lane added, “And we’re fun people.”

Byler Lane Winery, 5858 C. R. 35, offically opened its doors May 27 after two years of building and planning.

“It was one of those deals where we were sitting around a campfire talking about it, and then one day it was like, ‘OK, let’s do it,’” said Lane.

The five owners of the winery are Larry Lane, Cara Lane, JR Byler, Rachel Byler and Eldon Byler. Larry and Cara Lane are the wine experts and producers, with Rachel and Eldon Byler heading up the business end of the winery.

“It wasn’t really a full-fledged, ‘Let’s do a winery.’ It kind of started with: ‘Let’s plant some grapes and see what happens,’” said Eldon Byler. “From the time the idea hit, about two months later, we had grapes in the ground. From then on, it was a roller-coaster ride.”

Two years later, to the date, the place opened, serving an array of wines including riesling, merlot, vignoles and more with a best-selling barn wood blush wine.

“People are always coming in saying, ‘This is exactly what I looked for in this kind of wine.’ So it’s really exciting,” said an additional wine maker, Tyler Daniels.

And they all have a story, including the wine named “Hootie Hoo.”

“JR and I were neighbors, and if one of us was outside, we’d holler ‘Hootie Hoo’ and wave,” said Lane. “So when we started, this we knew we had to have a wine called Hootie Hoo.”

Daniels said, “It’s always interesting when a wine isn’t just a wine. It has a story behind it, and people really like hearing about it rather than just going to the supermarket. It just adds to the whole experience of tasting wine.”

The group built the winery from the ground up, with JR Byler acting as the construction leader. The building was erected using wood and other miscellaneous scraps from four separate barns to reclaim and repurpose the wood.

“Every finish you see in here besides the chairs, the stone on the fireplace and the front door was harvested within 10 miles of here,” said Eldon Byler. “We took down four barns that were pretty much gone, and we wanted to salvage the material.”

Future plans include expanding the patio area outside and incorporating a fire pit to add to the cozy atmosphere.

“It’s been amazing what we’ve been through to make this all happen,” said Eldon Byler. “People in the community have supported us from the beginning.”

Rachel Byler added, “It’s been busy and more than we ever expected, but in a very good way.”

Categories New Businesses