One of the nicest things about getting my book out to the wineries is getting to revisit the wineries and talk to the owners and winemakers. One of the most enjoyable of those visits was with Eddie O’Daniel at Springhill Winery. Eddie was one of the pioneers in the Kentucky wine industry and is one of the most interesting individuals to sit down and talk to.
When Eddie began planting grapes, he had to experiment with what would grow well because experts in other states didn’t know what would grow well in Kentucky. He had made wine in amateur competitions in the 1980’s. The Kentucky legislation in 1990 allowed him to finally open Springhill Winery in March of 1990. Springhill Winery continues to draw visitors who enjoy the wine, the visit, and hearing the stories from Eddie of the early days of Kentucky wine.
Visitors to the winery notice immediately the lovely antebellum Victorian plantation manor that sits next to the winery. The winery sits on the grounds of Springhill Plantation, formerly known as Anoatop, a plantation built in the late 1850s that has a Civil War history. The house is open as a bed and breakfast, with six suites that mix modern amenities with a historical setting.
Springhill Winery and Plantation B&B is open to the public every day but Mondays and is located just off the Bluegrass Parkway. I recommend going for a visit.
We were pleased to finally get back to Lovers Leap Vineyards and Winery for a visit. The winery is certainly flourishing under the new ownership. The thirty-three acre vineyard looks better than I have seen it look in years. We enjoyed tastes of many wines, both those that have been around for a while, like Cynthiana, as well as a new white called Trifecta. Brian and Carla Sivinski were excellent hosts and made our visit memorable.
If you are visiting the Lawrenceburg area, I recommend a visit. Their wines are available in many stores also, I suggest giving them a try.
Also known as Pinot Gris, this white vinifera grape is widely grown and produces a highly popular wine. The name comes from the French. Pinot is derived from a word which means pine cone, which is often how the grape is shaped. Gris is for the word gray; the fruit often has a gray tint. In Italy the grape is known as Pinot Grigio.
Pinot Grigio wines are generally dry, straw-colored, with the aroma of tropical fruits, melons and pears. The wines are generally intended to be consumed early. The wines are usually acidic, so they pair better with foods with little acid themselves. A glass of Pinot is excellent with light pastas or cheese and crackers.
I first encountered Pinot Grigio wine at Barboursville Winery in Virginia . It is done in an Italian style and is one of their most popular white wines. Having developed a taste for this light, yet spirited wine, I was anxious to try it at other wineries. Oliver winery in Indiana offers a very good Pinot Grigio. But, of course, I was pleased to discover this varietal at Kentucky wineries. The two that I have tried and recommend are Grimes Mill Winery and Elk Creek Vineyards and Winery. Grimes Mill’s Pinot Grigio is a crisp white that pairs well with fish dishes. Elk Creek’s Pinot Grigio has aromas and flavors of sweet citrus, peach and honeysuckle.
For a light, but favorable white wine, you can’t go wrong with Pinot Grigio.by admin
I have been out and about visiting wineries, sharing my book, and getting them into the wineries. Since it had been awhile since I visited some of the wineries, I thought I would share some new wines and changes.
Elk Creek Vineyard and Winery has released Estate Sangiovese and Estate Cabernet Franc. If you get the chance, you will want to try them. Both are very good wines.
Grimes Mill Winery has Malbec again. We loved the wine and were anxiously waiting until the new vintage was ready for the bottle.
Chrisman Mill Vineyard and Winery are currently out of Norton and Norton Reserve, but will have the new vintage ready soon.
Smith Berry Vineyard and Winery’s reds are excellent as always. It is difficult to choose between the Norton, Cabernet, Brother John, and Barbera when you want a glass of wine.
In the next couple of weeks, I plan to visit several others and will let you know what’s new. I’m contacting some of the wineries by mail because of how far away they are; I want them to see the book and didn’t want to wait until I was able to visit.
Look for a whole new photo gallery soon.by admin
On August 17, I will be signing books at Chrisman Mill Winery at Hamburg, in Lexington. I will be there from 5 to 8. Chris Weiss will be providing musical entertainment from 7 to 10.
I will be signing books at the Prodigy Vineyards and Winery wine club release event on Sunday, August 19, from 2 to 5. Live music will be provided by Thomas Hood.
In October, I will be at the Northern Kentucky Wine Festival in Covington, on the twentieth and at the Incredible Food Show, in Lexington on the twenty-seventh.
I have a few more events in the planning stages and will post the dates and times when I know them.by admin
In Kentucky, Prodigy offers Lemberger wine. This wine grape goes by many other names: Limberger in Germany, Blaufränkisch in Austria, Franconia in Friuli and Kekfrankos in Hungary. Those who are familiar with the Hungarian Egri Bikavér, or Bull’s Blood will recognize the taste of Kekfrankos. Whatever it is called, the wine is a medium-bodied, dry red, with earthy, fruit flavors of black currant, and cherry and dark garnet colors.
Our first taste of the grape came a few years ago at Winzerwald Winery in southern Indiana. They offer tastes of Blaufränkisch, as well as other German and Swiss style wines. We enjoyed the flavors, aromas, and deep color of the wine. Later, we were served Egri Bikavér at the Schnitzelbank Restaurant in Jasper, Indiana. Egri Bikavér, or Bull’s Blood, is a blend that uses Kekfrankos along with other reds such as Merlot or Syrah.
It was pleasant to find that same grape being used to make wine in Kentucky. Prodigy Vineyards and Winery has won medals with their Lemberger at the Kentucky State Fair competition and at the Kentucky Derby Festival Winefest. Lemberger is a favorite wine.by admin
My first scheduled book signing is at Chrisman Mill Winery in Hamburg in Lexington. I’ll be there from 5 to 8 PM. Also, that night Chris Weiss is performing from 7 to 10. I’m looking forward to it.
I will also be signing books at the release party at Prodigy Vineyards in Frankfort. The times are not yet set. I will update you when they are.by admin
This week I decided to write about a rather obscure wine. I’ve found it only at one winery but it is an excellent wine. Chateau Thomas Winery in Indianapolis, and their tasting room in Nashville, Indiana, offer visitors a taste of Teroldego described as Dragon’s Blood. The grapes come from Lodi, California.
The Teroldego reference to Dragon’s Blood is because of the legend often associated with the grape in its original home of Trentino, Italy. In the legend a knight slew a dragon that had been killing virgins in the area. Drops of the dragon’s blood fell to the ground and the first Teroldego grapes sprouted.
Teroldego is a deep purple colored wine with dark spice, cherry, and blackberry flavors. The aromas are of herbs and floral undertones. The wine is well-balanced with a mellow finish.
Chateau Thomas’s label offers suggestions for food to accompany Teroldego, such as, red meats, cheeses, and roasted dragon. Sounds yummy!