Running Vines Winery recently opened a new location this past spring just on the edge of Downtown Valparaiso and the Valparaiso University campus. You can now get all your favorite Running Vines wines, along with their new collection of ciders at Aftermath Cidery and Winery at 454 S. Greenwich Street.
Aftermath is a perfect location to try out everything Running Vines has to offer in one place. Compared to most places, Aftermath has a very refreshing and bright atmosphere. During my visit I had the pleasure of enjoying a live acoustic performance in the dining area.
Aftermath is generally open from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm. As someone who has dabbled in both the early and late night life of Valparaiso, the winery and cidery is a perfect destination for an after dinner or lunch tasting experience to end the day, or a place to start off your night before you head out into the nightlife scene.
The staff is extremely informative about all the wines and ciders, and is very friendly. For a place where you’d normally bring a friend or even an entire group, I would feel completely comfortable heading out alone to enjoy a tasting or even a glass. This is the kind of place where you will always find a friend, whether it’s the person next to you at the tasting bar or one of the cheerful and chatty staff members.
During my experience with Aftermath, the woman who served my tastings provided a comfortable, no pressure, relaxing experience. I could have, and did, stay all night until closing. She was a whole lot of fun too, laughing along with my friend and I the entire night.
One of my favorite parts of trying out different wineries and breweries, is learning about where I should go next. The staff and even the guests were more than willing to share their experience at other places in the area. I left that night with several great local recommendations that I will definitely have to try next.
My first experience with Aftermath was also my first experience tasting their collection of wines. Running Vines offers a great selection of white, red and seasonal wines.
As someone who is also passionate about running and wine, like the owner herself, Nicki Caylor, my favorite is the Race Collection, which is a collection of blended sweet wines named after different distance races. The wines start off with the Sprint, which is a sweet white, then the Half, a concord red, the Marathon, a sweet dark blush, and finally the Triathlon, a sweet blush with tropical fruit hints.
As a lover of all wines, dry, sweet, red, blush, white and any others, my favorite was the Marathon. It was a very pleasant combination of sweet and dry, with neither overwhelming the other. I’ve never run a marathon before so I better get on top of that if it’s my favorite wine! I could pop a bottle of Running Vines at the finish line.
The ciders at Aftermath are also just as fantastic. They are all named after a natural disaster of sorts, hence the name Aftermath, like the aftermath of a storm.
There are three ciders made similar to three types of apples. The Avalanche is a semi-dry granny smith apple cider, the Cyclone is a semi-sweet mcintosh apple cider and the Twister is a sweet red delicious cider. My favorite was the Twister because it really mimics the sweet and crisp taste of a red delicious, which is my favorite apple. It wasn’t tart at all.
Aftermath also offers really incredible seasonal hard ciders like the Lightning, which is a lemon/strawberry cider, the Tsunami, which is a pineapple, and the Hurricane which is a cranberry.
For a special treat, you can ask for the Perfect Storm, which is a combination of both the Hurricane and the Tsunami, cranberry and pineapple. It creates this beautiful light pink color. The sweet pineapple cuts the harshness of the cranberry in half, leaving a sweet tropical cranberry taste that I can’t quite describe. It is truly the Perfect Storm.
The Winery and Cidery also offers small plates of snacks if you decide to stay for the long haul of two tastings like I did. I have been to my fair share of wineries and the Aftermath is the first place I have been that has offered such a variety of snacks. Most places will offer crackers and sometimes cheese.
The Aftermath not only has a cheese and cracker plate but also has a veggie plate, a hummus plate and an Antipasto plate, which has Italian meats, cheeses, olives, crackers and grapes. All of which are perfect additions to any wine or cider tasting or something delicious to snack on afterwards.
I myself definitely wouldn’t say no to a night with my favorite glass of Running Vines wine or cider and a big plate of cheese.