Warm weather is here and it’s the perfect time to spend a day strolling through the booths at a wine festival. Jane’s Saddlebag, in Boone County, near Big Bone Lick, is having a wine festival featuring Kentucky wines and crafts, on May 30, from 11 AM to 8 PM. Admission is $15.00, and includes a commemorative glass, 6 tasting tickets, and free parking. Tickets can be purchased at the event or bought from Jane’s website (see my link) early at a discount. In case of a rain day on May 30, the festival will be on Sunday, May 31.
Wineries from around the state will be meeting wine lovers and sharing tastes of their various wines. Some of those who will be at the festival are local, such as: Verona Vineyards, Rose Hill Winery, Atwood Hill Winery, StoneBrook Vineyard and Winery, Elk Creek Vineyards and Winery, and Redman’s Farm Winery. Others, such as, Lovers Leap Vineyard and Winery, Forest Edge Winery, Horseshoe Bend Vineyard and Winery, and Wight-Meyer Vineyard and Winery, will be traveling from Central Kentucky. There will be music provided by local musical groups throughout the day, as well as vendors with crafts and wine related items, and food choices.
I will be there signing A Wine Lover’s Odyssey Across Kentucky. I’d love to meet you and talk about one of my favorite topics – Kentucky wine. Also, you can ask me about the new book I’m working on right now.
Hope to see you there!
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Verona has become a wine lovers destination. No, not the Verona that usually comes to mind, but Verona, Kentucky. For the last few years, wine lovers have been finding their way to Verona Vineyards; now they have another winery to visit less than three miles away. Brianza Gardens and Winery opened their doors to visitors on April 25, 2015. While their address is officially Crittenden, they are just two and a half miles from the Walton exit off of I-75, on Salem Creek Road.
Tony Parnigoni, with a family heritage that traces its roots to an Italian region called Brianza, left the corporate world to fulfill a dream of owning a winery. Four and a half years ago, he purchased a farm in Boone County and began planting his vineyard of over 1900 vines. He, his 3 children, and friends tend the vineyard. Tony is honing his craft as a winemaker with Jim Wight, one of Kentucky’s finest winemakers, as his mentor and consultant.
Last Saturday was such a beautiful day, we decided to visit one of Kentucky’s newest wineries. Brianza Gardens and Winery was a pleasant surprise and good news to this wine lover. New wineries often have this unfinished look to them and their wines are not at their best. This is definitely not true of Brianza. As you arrive at the drive and follow the signs to the parking lot behind the tasting room, you find yourself hoping the wine is good because the place is beautiful. You won’t be disappointed. The tasting room is lovely. I was especially impressed by the unique tasting table that made use of three barrels with an oak top.
As for the wine, most wine lovers will be delighted with the choices and with the quality of the wine. His dry whites, such as Vignoles and Chardonnay are both excellent. The Chardonnay is aged in stainless steel giving it a delightful taste of the grape itself. Tony’s current selection of reds are from grapes purchased from Lovers Leap Vineyard and Winery and are very good, but coming in September he will be offering an estate Noiret. We had the opportunity to try that as well and it will be exceptional. As his grapevines continue to develop, more offerings will be estate varietals as well.
The tasting room is currently open only on Saturdays, 10 to 6, or by appointment. Tony has also created an event venue, with a reception room and a special room created for brides. There is a cottage on the grounds that can be rented as a B & B. In the tasting room, local cheeses and a locally made bread can be purchased for an impromptu picnic. Visitors can wander around the grounds and garden. Look for the website in my Links.
I definitely recommend that wine lovers make plans for a visit to Brianza Gardens and Winery. You will be glad you did.
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Last weekend, we enjoyed a leisurely afternoon visiting wineries in Verona. This was our first trip this spring to Verona Vineyards. There are some changes since our last visit. A new covered seating area outside, and a lovely special wine room are two of the nice additions.
As usual, the atmosphere is inviting, the service friendly, and the wine is excellent. Dan and Peggy Montgomery offer a wide variety of wines for wine lovers. New this year is a Malbec, as well as two red blends. Cabernet Franc and Dornfelder are back and just as popular.
Verona Vineyards is a perfect place to enjoy an afternoon relaxing with a bottle of wine. Check out their link from this site.by admin with No Comments
Though April has been rainy and cold, May is almost here and the weather looks promising. Just the right time to start thinking about visiting wineries.
Mark your calendars — one of Kentucky’s best wine festivals will be May 30, 2015, from 11 AM to 8 PM, at Jane’s Saddlebag in Union, in Boone County.
Watch for more about the festival. I will be writing about the details.by admin with No Comments
Wineries sometimes offer barrel shares of new wines. This means that you purchase a case of the wine while it is still in the barrel. During the aging process, buyers are invited to taste the wine to experience the changes that the wine makes in the barrel. Last year, as a gift for my husband, I purchased a blended red wine from Forest Edge Winery. Butch Meyer, the winemaker, created a blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 7% Petite Verdot, and 6% Petite Syrah. The wine is called Mes Amis Vin 13. We went over the weekend to bottle the wine. The blend is delicious; a smooth, full-bodied wine with deep red berry flavors.
Forest Edge hosted a breakfast followed by the bottling process. We invited close friends as our guests for the day. My husband bottled his case of wine. It is interesting to have the opportunity to bottle your own wine. This event was an especially enjoyable experience. Forest Edge is offering another barrel share for next year with a vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon.
Forest Edge is one of Kentucky’s finest wineries. It is located in Shepherdsville, just about a mile off I-75, at Exit 112, near Bernheim Forest. Wine lovers will find a lot to like, from their reds to one of the best dry Rieslings I’ve ever had. I certainly recommend Forest Edge Winery.by admin with No Comments
For Kentucky wine lovers looking for a day trip, I recommend French Lick Winery. The winery is located in West Baden, Indiana. Visitors will find it difficult to know if they are in West Baden or French Lick as the towns are side by side. French Lick and West Baden are home to the French Lick Springs Hotel, the West Baden Springs Hotel, and the French Lick Casino. There are also many golf courses, a water park, and a multitude of other activities. But for wine lovers, you can’t beat the French Lick Winery and Vintage Café.
The winery is located in an old factory building so the outside is not as impressive as some wineries you might visit, but don’t be misled. When visitors walk through the doors, they will be impressed by the wine tasting bar, the dining area, the glass front winery, and the gift shop. Wine lovers will find themselves impressed, not to mention happy.
Visitors can start at the tasting bar with a wide variety of wines. Our favorite is the Norton, but their Pinot Gris, Leon Millot, and Traminette are excellent as well. After your tasting, you’ll want to choose a wine and get a table for lunch or dinner. The vintage café offers a full menu of Italian foods. I recommend anything on the menu, but when I’m there, I can’t pass on the pizza. Their pizza is maybe the best I’ve ever tasted. They have marvelous appetizers also. My favorites are the stuffed mushrooms and the All Natural Pan Bigio (a fantastic artisan Italian bread).
After your dining experience, I recommend the gift shop. This gift shop offers the widest variety of wine related gifts of any winery around. Shoppers will love it.
Whether you visit for the day or choose to stay overnight, French Lick and West Baden, Indiana is a great place to go.
March was both a busy and a distracting month for this wine lover. Between illness, weather, classes, and basketball, I’ve been remiss in keeping up. So let’s talk about some wine.
My husband and I have had the opportunity to enjoy some great wines, with visits to French Lick Winery in Indiana, Chrisman Mill Winery, and Forest Edge Winery in Kentucky. We’ve also been using Kentucky wines to salute the Kentucky Wildcats victories.
This month I’ve been trying a lot of different recipes for the cooking with wine book. Denise Nelson and I have spent some time cooking together. The two of us have some great new ideas for some special dishes. In the next few months, I will be letting you know about the progress.
I’m really looking forward to spring and the opportunity to get out and about to visit wineries and try new wines.
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Earlier this winter, we were all watching the news from the Northeast and being grateful that Kentucky’s weather was mild in comparison. But this past week, Kentucky has had its own round of snow and cold. The region has reached colder temperatures and more snow than has been seen in years. Even those who love snow are saying enough. For someone like me that doesn’t like winter at all, it has been more than enough. There is one way I can think of to enjoy a cold winter evening. Build a fire in the fireplace and open a bottle of a Kentucky red wine. Just in time for the weather, we got a few bottles of really great wines from the Commonwealth.
The 2012 vintage of Norton Reserve from Chrisman Mill Vineyard and Winery was released in December. While this wine is always a favorite, the new vintage is an exceptional one. This full-bodied wine has the spicy flavors of a fine Norton, but has achieved a mellow finish that sets it apart.
Lovers Leap Vineyards and Winery’s Cabernet Franc has aged to even better than when it was first released. At the time, the wine was excellent and demonstrated the quality of wine that Kentucky could produce. Now after nearly two years, the wine has the subtle flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg with a finish of milk chocolate. After my first sip, my first thoughts were the flavors of spicy hot chocolate.
The spice and dark fruit flavors of the Lemberger from Prodigy Vineyard and Winery is always a special choice. With its soft tannins, the wine is smooth and offers red wine lovers a medium bodied taste of pepper and light leathery aromas.
A glass of a fine Kentucky red wine, a blazing fire, and a special someone can chase the winter blues and offer a remedy for cabin fever. Just think spring is just about a month away.by admin with No Comments
It’s not too late, check your favorite winery’s website. Many have special events planned, such as Brunch at Chrisman Mill, Valentine Dinners at Atwood Hill, Elk Creek, and Prodigy. There are too many to name them all.
Whether you’re going out or staying in, get that bottle of Kentucky wine and have a good time. Hope you and your special someone have an enjoyable, romantic day on Saturday.by admin with No Comments
If you’re looking for a romantic way to celebrate Valentine’s Day, wine lovers need to look no further than the nearest Kentucky winery. Most wineries plan special events for visitors that include special tastings, dessert pairings, or dinners. Check out the website of your favorite winery for their scheduled event; some will need reservations so don’t delay.
For those who would rather stay in, get a bottle of the Kentucky wine you love best to share with that special someone. A few of my choices are Norton Reserve from Chrisman Mill Vineyard and Winery, Cabernet Franc from Lovers Leap Vineyard and Winery, Malbec from Grimes Mill Winery, and Lemberger from Prodigy Vineyard and Winery, but there are many others to choose from. Kentucky wineries have a variety of good wines.
However you choose to celebrate, have a romantic time with the one you love.by admin with No Comments