Inside the Thomas Family Winery


Built approximately in the mid-1850’s and known as the Garlinghouse Livery Stable and Blacksmith Shop, the 3-story building was constructed in one of the oldest sections of Madison
known as “Old Town” – a place where some of the earlier settlers lived prior to 1815.

The owner, George B. Garlinghouse, was a patentee of farm equipment including a mowing machine, hay, rake and loader, a stump puller, road scraper, grader and ditcher and notably the
Pitman coupling used in the Champion Mowing and Reaping machines.

This building continued to house transportation businesses long after horses were gone. Operating from its walls were automobile garages, bus stations, boat dealerships- until Steve and Elizabeth Thomas purchased it, and started The Thomas Family Winery in 1995.

Steve , a third generation winemaker, has heritage from Central and Southeastern Indiana. He and his wife, Elizabeth, a tourism professional with a background in the Arts, teamed up to reha-
bilitate this historic structure and turn it into an old world winery and gathering place.

The winemaking heritage reaches back to the 1930’s, when 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 Thomases draw 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 Gale Thomas, Steve’s grandfather.

Themes have turned from transportation to socialization at 208 East Second Street these days. Walking into the Thomas Family Winery is like entering a cheerful Old World public house, where
friends, visitors and neighbors come to relax. The tasting room offers hearth-baked breads, fine cheeses and salamis to compliment the wines and ciders. The Winery is open 7 days a week, except for major holidays.

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