As the weather gets warm and the vineyards become green again, wineries across the state host special events most weekends. I recommend a visit to their websites to discover what is going on at a winery near you. Some events involve food, some feature music, and all offer tastes of their wines.
Even if there is no event going on, a visit to a winery is a pleasant way to spend an afternoon. As vineyards begin to grow and the grapes become visible, the views are magnificent.
Kentucky is a beautiful state. A day trip will take you to a beautiful site with exceptional views and a chance to savor Kentucky’s wines.by admin
Several years ago, on a trip to Nashville, we discovered a special winery in Tennessee. Special, because their wine is exceptional. Generally, I would say that the wineries in Tennessee make mostly sweet wines. Chateau Ross is an exception. They make a variety of wines and all but one are dry.
While searching the internet looking for wineries along the drive to Nashville, I found Chateau Ross. Their choices of wines are from some of my favorite grape varietals including Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Barbera and Chancellor. Their website described the wines and I was intrigued. We had to call ahead because they don’t have regular hours. We visited and enjoyed the wine and the visit with Deborah, the owner. Every wine we tasted was excellent.
This weekend, we made our third visit to Chateau Ross. The wine was just as good as it had been in the past. This visit we also met Deborah’s husband Ross, the co-owner and winemaker. From creative names like Big Bitch Red to Midnight Cabernet Sauvignon, their wines are exceedingly well made.
While I seldom visit wineries that require an appointment for a visit, this is a delightful exception. I’m glad to call ahead. I recommend a visit if you are near Nashville. They are just a few miles from the Kentucky border.
While driving to Nashville last weekend, we decided to stop at one of Kentucky’s newer wineries. Forest Edge Winery is quite impressive. Visitors will find the building and the décor to be especially attractive. But what is really impressive, for a winery only two years old, is the wine. The quality of the wine is easily understood when you find out that the winemaker is Butch Meyer. Meyer has been making wine for quite some time and either makes the wine or consults with several other Kentucky wineries.
The winery is owned by Brance and Tracy Gould (Tracy is Butch Meyer’s daughter). They have a winery that will become a popular destination with wine lovers. Not only are the facilities inviting, those working there are friendly and helpful. The winery is located in Bullitt County, on the edge of the Bernheim Forest, near the start of one of Kentucky’s Bourbon Trails. Of course, wine lovers are most interested in the wine and they will not be disappointed.
Their best seller is Black Cherry Pomegranate, one of their sweet, fruity wines. The winery also offers a wide variety of dry wines, such as, Cabernet Sauvignon, Old Vine Zinfandel, and a Dry Chardonnay (with no oak). My favorite was a Dry Riesling which is an unusual find.
I strongly recommend a visit. You won’t regret it.
To begin our celebration of our anniversary, we visited Chrisman Mill Vineyard and Winery for their first Tuscan Dinner of the year. What a wonderful way to begin the weekend. While drinking one of our favorite wines, Norton Reserve, with our meal; I also got a special labeled wine as a gift for my husband. The food was excellent. My favorite was the second course of Lasagna with Wild Pheasant and Chicken, but each course was great. We enjoyed the company as well, from our son and daughter-in-law who joined us for the evening to chatting with Denise, Chris, and Cory.by admin
Those of you who have read my book will remember that it was our 25th anniversary when we first visited a tasting room at a vineyard and winery. That visit to Barboursville Vineyard and Winery sparked an interest that has continued for the last twenty years. This weekend, we are celebrating our 45th anniversary and are still wine lovers.
A visit to Chrisman Mill Vineyard and Winery, for a Tuscan Dinner; a visit to Chateau Ross, our favorite winery in Tennessee; and a stop at a few other Kentucky wineries will start our celebration. Later in the summer, we will return to Barboursville Vineyard and Winery to enjoy a stay at their 1804 Inn and to taste their wonderful wines.
We’ve enjoyed the journey and look forward to more great wines and more great vineyards and wineries.by admin
Being a vendor is quite a bit different from being a visitor at a wine festival. Instead of visiting the booths and tasting the wine, I spent Saturday greeting guests and chatting with those who wanted to talk about my book, A Wine Lover’s Odyssey Across Kentucky. I met some very interesting people and learned some lessons about festivals, such as what I needed to provide.
One of the interesting people I spoke with was Tom Beall, the owner of First Vineyard, just outside of Nicholasville. This winery is located on the site of the first commercial vineyard in the United States, established by Jean Jacques Dufour in the late 1700’s. The label on the First Vineyard wines uses Dufour’s name. I am looking forward to visiting First Vineyard this summer and will share my news with you.
My husband and I also had the pleasure of spending some time talking to the owners of the Rose Hill Winery, located in Pendleton County. They are actually fairly close neighbors, but they are in a dry part of the county and don’t have a tasting room. Their wine is available at the Farmer’s Market in Falmouth, and they will be pouring at Maysville Uncorked on June 8. I have a special thanks for Jenny, for the use of her extra tablecloth.
We met a creative lady at the neighboring booth. Kathy York uses natural and artificial corks to make items such as key rings, magnets, and coasters. There was a steady stream of visitors to view her creations. You will find a link to her website on my link page.
After interviewing Patty Livinski on the phone for my book, it was pleasant to get to meet and talk with her. Patty is one of the owners of Lovers Leap Vineyard and Winery. I was able to thank her for her support of the book.
Needless to say, this wine lover did get to enjoy some wine. Visitors were able to taste wines from many of the state wineries. A few of those attending were Prodigy Vineyard and Winery, Lovers Leap Vineyard and Winery, Rose Hill Winery, and First Vineyard.
Hundreds took a chance on the sporadic weather, and enjoyed the event. I enjoyed the day, the festival, and all of the many interesting people I was able to visit with.
Prodigy entered several wines in the Derby competition and won Gold with their Diamond, Legacy, Raspberry and Chambourcin; Silver with their Blueberry, Estate Lemberger, Meritage Blend, Blackberry, Vignoles Estate and Ky. Blush; and Bronze medals for St. Vincent Rosé, Vidal Blanc, Sweet Traminette and Cabernet Franc.
The tasting room has several nights of music scheduled during May; check their website for dates. When you’re there, you might want to try their new Wine Frappé.
The farm will be open on Sundays from 1 to 5.
Burgers and Banjos are back beginning Friday, May 17th. Call 859-375-0296 to make reservations today!
Check their website and sign up for their e-mails to get news of upcoming events.by admin
Don’t forget that the 10th Annual Wine and Vine Fest is Saturday in Nicholasville. The weather sound like a great day for wine lovers to spend the afternoon tasting wines. From noon to seven, wine lovers can savor unlimited tastings of Kentucky, domestic, and international wines for a $25 ticket (includes a Wine and Vines glass).
See you there.by admin
On our way home from Jane’s Saddlebag, we stopped by Verona Vineyards for some wine. We enjoyed a bottle of their Cabernet Franc and were lucky enough to get to try some new wines that will be released later this summer.
Dan Montgomery, the winemaker, shared from the barrel a tasting of both a Cabernet Franc and a Chardonnay which are being aged in bourbon barrels. We’ve tried reds aged in a bourbon barrel (Dan’s is quite good.), we’ve never tasted a Chardonnay aged that way. While I’m not a Chardonnay drinker, I am sure after tasting this vintage that it will be a popular wine. New vintages of their Dornfelder (my favorite) and a couple of others, will be released after bottling next week.
Along with the wine, we enjoyed the music of Lisa Raymond, who was entertaining that evening. It was as always a lovely way to spend a couple of hours.