Visitors to one of Kentucky’s oldest and most popular wineries are in for a surprise when they walk through the door of the vineyard tasting room. As you arrive, the vineyard still welcomes you as you drive up the hill to the parking area, the walk to the tasting room is the same, but then you notice the changes.
The new décor reflects a fresh, new look for the winery. Wine lovers will also want to look for a new wine release, with a new name and label – Dragonfly. While the vineyard is only open on special days, watch for those days. The visit is worth it!
The Winery of CM at Fayette Mall is open Monday through Saturday, from 11 AM to 9 PM and on Sundays, from 1 to 6 PM. Wine gifts, specialty foods, and of course, wine is available there for visitors. Come in, taste, or buy a glass and relax for a while. A visit to the Winery is an excellent break in a day of shopping!
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The Norton grape, also called Cynthiana, is one of the most widely grown grapes in Kentucky. One of the reasons for its popularity is its heartiness; Norton is able to withstand temperatures as low as 20 degrees. The grape, a hybrid of a vitis labrusca and a vitis vinifera, was developed by Dr. Daniel Norborne Norton, at his vineyard in Virginia. The oldest “American” grape, it was available as a varietal in 1830. Norton was quickly recognized as the American grape that could produce a wine to compare with big European red wines. The Wild Vine: A Forgotten Grape and the Untold Story of American Wine, written by Todd Kliman, is a good read for those interested in the Norton grape.
In mid-summer, the Norton grape gives no hint of the deeply dark wine that is to come. Like with most grapes, the grapes begin green and later develop their color.
By harvest time, the grapes have ripened to the lush colors we lovers of the grape and the wine have come to expect. The deep, dark, almost inky color of the grapes give Norton wines that that deep garnet color.
A number of Kentucky wineries produce Norton wines, some as their selected reserves. For lovers of the big, bold red wines, this one is a favorite with its aromas of spice, and flavors of cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Whether you discover a Norton or a Cynthiana, give it a try. The wines the grape produces are memorable.by admin with 3 Comments
Wine lovers in Northern Kentucky are in luck. Brianza wines are available for tasting and purchase at Vom Fass at Crestview Towne Center and you’ll find some olive oils and balsamic vinegar selections from Vom Foss at the winery in southern Boone County.
Brianza Gardens and Winery have been welcoming wine lovers for over two years. They are open six days a week and host many special events. Their wines range from the dry full bodied Cabernet Sauvignon to the lighter Sweet Bottom White. There’s something for all tastes and they are all well made by winemaker, Tony Parnigoni.
For those who have not discovered Vom Fass, the shop is located in Crestview Towne Center on the corner just across from Dillards. They offer an interesting selection of oils and vinegars, as well as wines and spirits. Tastings are offered of all of their offerings. Shoppers can enjoy tasting limoncello, brandies, wines, olive oils, and balsamic vinegars all at the same place. Check out their website to learn about the shop and their special events.
Look in my links to check out both websites. You’ll be glad you did!by admin with No Comments
Just a few short years ago, Verona wine would bring thoughts of Italy and centuries of grapevines and vino; but believe it or not Verona, Kentucky has become a wine destination. In mid-June wine lovers spent the afternoon touring the offerings of one vineyard and three wineries located just minutes from each other in southern Boone County. The county is something of a dichotomy with Florence Mall and all of the stores located on Mall Road and Houston Road, and the southern part of the county being mostly rolling farm land with cattle, and fields of hay and tobacco. In recent years, vineyards started popping up on some of those southern Boone County farms. Wine lovers seem to be pleased.
The oldest of these vineyards is Verona Vineyards, started in 2011. Dan and Peggy Montgomery have developed quite a following both at the winery and vineyards at the Verona farm and the tasting room at Rabbit Hash.
Brianza Gardens and Winery was opened in 2015 and in a short time developed loyal fans who enjoy the wine, the events, and the gorgeous setting. Tony Parnigoni, the owner and winemaker, offers a wide variety of wines to appeal the all wine lovers.
Schoolyard winery opened their doors in 2016. The winery occupies the building, built in 1914, that once held the town’s school. Gary Younts, winemaker and veteran developed his love for wine in Germany and now greets visitors that want to try his wine and tour the old school building.
The grapes at Verona Landing Vineyards, grown by Greg Palmer, are sold to Verona Vineyards. The vineyard is not open to the public usually but welcomed visitors for this event. Wine lovers were able to taste the wines made from their grapes, tour the vineyard, and see the planes that are the reason for the name.
Wine lovers and visitors were able to learn about the grapes and enjoy a beautiful day with wine and music at these southern Boone County destinations.by admin with 2 Comments
Cheers to all wine lovers! May 25, 2017 is National Wine Day. You probably remember that we celebrated February 18, this year as National Drink Wine Day. Now, happily, tomorrow is another special day for all of us wine lovers.
Dionysus and Bacchus, Greek and Roman gods of grapes and wines, would be proud to discover that modern wine lovers are still enjoying the drink of the gods. While most wine lovers enjoy wine one any old day, why waste a chance to pour a glass (or more) in celebration with your favorite drinking partner?
Happy National Wine Day! Here’s to you, may you always have good friends, good wine, and good days, Salute!
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Kentucky’s annual Wine and Vine Festival was a resounding success. Wine lovers came from many miles away to enjoy a day of tasting some of the state’s best wines. With music playing, wineries pouring, and vendors offering some unique shopping, visitors wandered around enjoying themselves from 10 to 7. It was a perfect day for an outdoor festival!
Purple Toad, Horseshoe Bend, Chrisman Mill, Prodigy, Springhill, Talon, Hamon Haven, Wildside, Elk Creek, Rising Sons, First Vineyard, Equus Run, Cave Hill, and McIntyre’s hosted booths and shared their wines with the visiting wine lovers. Those interested in some shopping could buy olive oils from Stuarto’s, Tupperware, hand made jewelry, Larry Mac’s Beer Cheese, Good Ole Boys Leather items, Mary Jo’s Country Crafts, and many other specialities. I bought a gorgeous hand crafted clock made of wine corks.
If you love wine, you missed a great opportunity to enjoy a taste of what Kentucky has to offer. But, you’re in luck, the Kentucky Wine and Vine is an annual event. Watch for next year’s date. Maybe we’ll see you there.
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May is a good time for wine lovers. Not only are the vines at the vineyards more welcoming with their spring growth, wineries are hosting more events, and wine festivals are scheduled.
On May 20 and 21, from Noon to Six, wine lovers around the northern part of the state will have the chance to visit one of the most interesting of the state’s wine festivals. Jane’s Saddlebag, known for its restaurant, petting zoo, and unique atmosphere, is hosting the annual Jane’s Wine Festival and Art/Craft Show. Wineries, music, arts and crafts vendors, and more food options are waiting for visitors this year. Local wineries as well as from other parts of the state will be pouring tastes and selling wine.
Sponsored by local businesses, this event each year has raised money for local causes and will again be donating a portion of their proceeds to the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. You can go, have fun, and support this year’s charity.
Jane’s Saddlebag is located just past Big Bone Lick Park, in Boone County. Check my links for their website. Tickets are available for a presale if you’re interested. Mark your calendar, plan to visit, taste wine, relax, and enjoy the day.
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Founded in 1798, Nicholasville is the county seat of Jessamine County, Kentucky. The city is also home of the state’s official wine festival of 2017, the Kentucky Wine and Vine Fest. It was at First Vineyard in Jessamine County that the country’s first commercial wine production got its start. The County today boasts of two of the state’s 72 licensed wineries, Chrisman Mill Vineyard and Winery and First Vineyard. On the second Saturday in May (the 13th), wine lovers can enjoy this historic city and sample many of Kentucky’s finest wines.
The Wine and Vine Fest kicks off on Thursday with a Farm to Table dinner, followed on Friday by a docent led Equine and Wine Tour of Taylor Made Farms, First Vineyard, and with a gourmet lunch served at Chrisman Mill Vineyard and Winery. The peak of the wine weekend is the festival itself held Saturday in downtown Nicholasville.
The following Kentucky wineries are scheduled to attend: Cave Hill Vineyard & Winery-Eubanks, Chrisman Mill Vineyards and First Vineyard-Nicholasville, Elk Creek Vineyards-Owenton, Equus Run Vineyards-Midway, Grimes Mill and Talon Wineries-Lexington, Hamon Haven Winery-Winchester, McIntyre’s Winery-Bardstown, Purple Toad Winery-Paducah, Prodigy Vineyards and Winery-Frankfort, Rising Sons Winery-Lawrenceburg, Wildside Winery-Versailles, and Springhill Vineyards-Bloomfield. The wineries will be pouring tastes from their fine wines and offering them for sale.
Wine lovers can do more than taste wines. Other activities include an art walk, and arts and crafts show, Kentucky Proud products, a Run for the Merlot, cooking demonstrations, wine tasting and wine pairings workshops.
The wineries will be pouring from 10 to 7, on Saturday, May 13. Other events may start earlier. Check out the festival’s website to get the full schedule.
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In 2007 vines were planted to reestablish the vineyards at the site of the first commercial vineyard in the United States, near Nicholasville, Kentucky. First Vineyard Winery soon followed. Today, wine lovers can visit the winery that one can imagine resembles what one might have found in 1799. But of course, the current winery contains all the modern conveniences.
According to Kentucky wine history, Jean Jacques Dufour, sold stocks to the directors and the Society for Promoting and Cultivation of the Vine in Lexington, Kentucky, and established the first commercial vineyard in First Vineyard, Kentucky, in November 1798. The vineyard was located in Jessamine County, overlooking the Kentucky River. The vineyard produced wine that was enjoyed by the directors in Lexington. After a killing freeze in 1809, Dufour and his family relocated to Vevay, Indiana, where he developed Second Vineyard.
First Vineyard welcomes visitors from 1 to 7, Fridays through Sunday. They offer a variety of wines for all tastes. From a unique dry white, Cabernet Doré, to a Kenkoolas, a peachy wine slushy, visitors can choose a drink and enjoy a relaxing afternoon on the porch of the tasting room imagining themselves in the same spot in the early 1800s sipping a new Kentucky wine.
They also have lodging at the Sugar Creek Resort. Check my link to their website.by admin with No Comments
Wine lovers in the Bluegrass had a new winery to visit in 2014. Just off I 64, near Winchester, Hamon Haven Winery opened its doors. Visitors are welcomed into a lovely, cozy tasting room from Monday to Saturday, on a flexible schedule. It’s best to call ahead. They have some nice wine gifts as well as a great selection of Kentucky wine.
Native grapes, such as, Catawba, Concord, and Niagara, can be found side by side with Chardonnay and Merlot. A unique wine offered at Hamon Haven is a Zinthiana. Yes, the spelling is correct. A grape breeding program to combine Vinifera grapes with the native Norton resulted in this hybrid. Zinthiana is a red hybrid, more hardy for the cold temperatures in Kentucky than a Zinfandel, the grape produces a high quality, robust, red wine with jammy flavors. The grape has become available to vineyards and I think you’ll be seeing more of this hybrid in Kentucky.
We visited Hamon Haven Winery during the McConnell Springs barrel tasting and certainly enjoyed meeting the winemaker and trying this new wine.
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