Saturday’s weather sounds like the perfect time to enjoy a day of fun. What could be more fun than visiting wineries and tasting wine from the barrel?
Central Kentucky wineries will be hosting tastings from the barrel of some of their finest wines. Some wineries will offer new wines, such as Prodigy Vineyards and Winery who has plans to offer tastes of a new wine for them – a Norton. Lovers Leap Vineyard and Winery will also be offering a new premier wine, Cabernet Franc. Each winery will have the winemaker there to answer questions and share their wine with visitors.
I’ll be enjoying the day, tasting and talking about wine. From noon to 2 PM, you can find me at Chrisman Mill Vineyards signing copies of A Wine Lover’s Odyssey Across Kentucky. Hope to see you there.by admin
While in southern Indiana, we chose to visit one of Indiana’s newest wineries. After all, who could resist a winery named after a monkey. Following the posted directions down a scenic roadway, we found a lovely tasting room set in the midst of a vineyard. This early in the spring, the grapevines have not begun to turn green, but it was easy to imagine the beauty just weeks ahead. The tasting room was just as lovely and inviting inside, with a natural wooden decor. Local arts and crafts are displayed among the racks of wine. The atmosphere encourages visitors to stay for a while.
The winery is truly a family run business. Daniel and Anita Hedinger and their family planted grapevines in 2003, and opened the winery in May of 2011. From grape harvesting to corking the bottles, the family is involved in the wine making process. Though still a young winery, they are greeting many visitors and have plans for growth.
Not only does the name of the winery intrigue visitors, but the wines also have interesting names and labels. A visitor might want to try a Pasture Mark – a Catawba Rose aged in a Kentukcy bourbon barrel, or a Ol’ Grandad made in a port style with the Chambourcin grape. The creativity is quite appealing. Visitors will be pleased they stopped by.
Spring Break means time to travel. We took a day trip to southern Indiana this week to visit our favorite Indiana winery. French Lick Winery is located in the historic town of West Baden. West Baden and neighboring French Lick were towns that grew from the popularity of the springs located there. Americans flocked to the towns in the early twentieth century to enjoy the benefits of the springs.
We discovered the towns when we made our first visit to French Lick Winery in the early 1990’s. We go back as often as we can for the same reason, the wine. The winery makes some of the finest wines in the state of Indiana. Our favorite is the Norton. A visit to French Lick Winery also includes an amazing meal at their Vintage Cafe and a shopping excursion at one of the best winery gift shops that I’ve ever seen. A bottle of wine, an exceptional pizza, and a few gift items made the trip an enjoyable way to spend a Spring Break day trip.
Kudos to the wineries in southern Indiana. Indiana Uplands became an official American Viticultural Area in March of 2013. This is one of only 204 such areas in the United States. This designation recognizes the quality and the importance of the wine industry in Indiana. The geographic area is approximately 4800-square miles. The area, marked by the remnants of an unglaciated plateau, has created a unique terroir that leaves a mark on the wine grapes that grow in the area.
Wineries in the United States show the geographic pedigree of their wine by noting on the label the specific AVA where the grapes were grown. American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) were established by the United States Government to guarantee to buyers that 85% of the grapes making the wine they are buying comes from a specific geographic area. Again, congratulations to Indiana’s southern wineries, especially to those wineries who have worked so hard in the last few years to obtain this recognition.
Springhill Winery has added a newsletter for its fans. Go to the Springhill Winery and sign up for their newsletter. I just received Volume 1, Issue 1. They’ve done a great job discussing all the upcoming events and happenings at the winery.by admin
Tasting wine from the barrel at some of Kentucky’s wineries won’t be all I’ll be doing on March 30th. From Noon to 2 PM, I’ll be at Chrisman Mill Vineyards, in Nicholasville, to sign copies of A Wine Lover’s Odyssey Across Kentucky.
I hope to see you there.by admin
Horseshoe Bend Vineyard and Winery, in Willisburg, will be hosting a St Patrick’s Day Lamb dinner on March 16 and 17.
The Jester of Horseshoe Bend will share his namesake wine with guests at the McConnel Springs Barrel Tasting and continue to celebrate from April 1st to the 6th with desserts to compliment the Jester.
Wine lovers who can’t wait for a taste of the new vintages of their favorite wines have the chance to taste those wines at the wineries, on March 30th. Seventeen of Central Kentucky’s wineries will welcome visitors for a barrel tasting at the 6th annual event to benefit McConnell Springs, from 11 AM to 5 PM.
McConnel Springs is the site where William McConnell and other explorers, in 1775, camped near a spring in the Kentucky territory of Virginia. After hearing about the recently fought first battle in the American Revolution, their settlement was named Lexington. The location was home to many businesses until the 1990s, when a group of citizens decided to raise money to develop the historical site for future Kentuckians.
For a $20 per person admission, visitors can travel on their own to any or all of the participating wineries and have a one ounce taste of wine before it’s in the bottle: Springhill Winery & Plantation, Lovers Leap Vineyards & Winery, Horseshoe Bend Vineyard & Winery, Wildside Winery & Vineyard, Chrisman Mill Vineyards, Talon Winery & Vineyards, Jean Farris Winery & Bistro, Black Barn Winery, Equus Run Vineyards, Acres of Land Winery, Harkness Edwards Vineyards, Prodigy Vineyards & Winery, Elk Creek Vineyards, Chuckleberry Farm & Winery, McIntyre’s Winery & Berries, Grimes Mill Winery, and First Vineyard Winery.
The day offers something for wine lovers wanting to experience wine from the barrel, for someone wanting an opportunity to tour some of Kentucky’s lovely vineyards, or for friends of McConnell Springs who want to help. It will be a great way to spend a spring afternoon in Kentucky.
For those who, like me, love Cabernet Franc wines, I have some great news. Soon, Lovers Leap, in Lawrenceburg, will be releasing an exceptional vintage of their new Cabernet Franc. While visiting the winery Saturday afternoon, we were treated to an early taste of the wine. Like other great Cabernet Francs, this wine has a clear garnet color, with flavors and aromas of ripe berries, and a long finish. Lovers Leap plans to share this wine during the McConnell Springs Barrel Tasting on March 30, and will be releasing it soon after. I can’t wait to bring home a bottle (or more).
The Cabernet Franc grape has a dark skin and likes the growing conditions in Kentucky. It is the parent grape of Cabernet Sauvignon. Many wineries overlook the potential of this grape, and use it for blending. Wineries, who offer Cabernet Franc as a varietal, are pleased with the finished product. Visitors become fans of the wine. Brian Sivinski, the owner of Lovers Leap, shared this photo of his Cabernet Franc grapes at harvest.by admin
Kentucky crafts on display this weekend were exceptional. Booths displayed hand-crafted jewelry, beautiful pottery, woven fabric, specially designed wood items and many other fine arts and crafts created by Kentucky artists.
Speciality foods such as Grandma Carolyn’s Ketchup, turtle candy covered apples from the Sweet Shoppe, and Browning’s ham and bacon, along with many others, were available to sample and buy.
Only one winery offered speciality foods. Chrisman Mill has packaged Denise Nelson’s famous bread pudding so that you can purchase it to enjoy at home. They also offered a wine infused popcorn that drew many to their booth.
Kentucky authors were there to sign their books. Other Kentucky books were available as well from University of Kentucky Press, Jesse Stuart Foundation, Butler Books, and others.
I have to say I enjoyed The Market as a visitor, as well as experiencing it as an author. I met many wonderful people who wanted to discuss my book. Another Butler Books author, Bobbie Smith Bryant was also signing her exceptional book Passions of the Black Patch, Cooking and Quilting in Western Kentucky.
Start looking for the date of next year’s event. If you missed this years, save the date for next year. I recommend it.by admin