Like most other public events, unfortunately the Barrel Tasting at the Bluegrass Wineries hosted by McConnell Springs has been cancelled.
Wineries are not open for tastings. However, most wineries are still selling their wines in a drive thru, pick up mode. Check with your local wineries to find out if they are doing so.
Let’s do our part, follow all guidelines to prevent further spread of the virus, be kind and considerate of others, and raise a toast to better times and the successful end of this pandemic.
On March 28, 2020, join other wine lovers in Kentucky for the 13th Annual Wine Barrel Tasting for the Springs. For $20 per person, start at any of the participating wineries and go to as few or as many as you want.
Chenault Winery in Richmond, 1922 House Vineyards & Winery, Chrisman Mill Vineyards, and First Vineyard Winery in Nicholasville, Equus Run Vineyards in Midway, Grimes Mill Winery, Jean Farris Winery & Bistro, and Talon Winery & Vineyards in Lexington, Hamon Haven Winery and Harkness Edwards Vineyards in Winchester, Lovers Leap Vineyards & Winery and Rising Sons Winery in Lawrenceburg, Wildside Winery in Versailles and Prodigy Vineyards and Winery in Frankfort are the participating wineries this year.
Barrel tastings (check out my blog entry on tastings) are a great way to enjoy wine and to meet and talk about wine with the wine makers. McConnell Springs is an organization that works to preserve the state’s history and the founding of Lexington. Kentucky will be welcoming spring, we hope, with an excellent day. They’re all excellent reasons to plan your trip. Hope to run into you at one of the wineries!
Wine lovers enjoy tasting wines, trying before buying so to speak. Wine tasting is the way one can decide which wines they prefer without just shopping for a bottle and finding out you don’t care for the wine.
Sometimes a winery gives visitors a chance to try different vintages of the same wine. A wine’s vintage is the year the grapes were harvested. Weather conditions of a given season can alter or enhance certain flavors and aromas. This is why wine connoisseurs will prefer a specific year for their favorite wines. A novice wine taster will notice the differences and have a preference even if they don’t know if the grapes were produced by a wet or dry growing season.
A vertical tasting allows you to taste one bottling from one winery over the course of years, with multiple vintages (such as from 1998 to 2003). Everything else stays the same (the producer, the land, the varietal), and you simply compare the years themselves. This is the kind of tasting where you’ll get a sense for the influence of yearly climate and its impact on a vineyard.
Another way to enjoy a tasting is a horizontal tasting or trying the same grape varietal made by different wine makers. Choosing a grape variety you love and trying wines from the same vintage but from different vineyards. This is the reason wine lovers may prefer wines from California or Virginia for example. Even without trying the wine, it’s easy to guess that the flavors of the grapes might differ.
A barrel tasting is a glimpse of the future of a wine. It’s a wine lovers chance to taste the wine during the aging process. Sometimes the wine is just weeks away from bottling and will taste much like the wine you will later pour from the bottle. Other times the wine may have been in the barrel for a short time and the tannin will be much more noticeable and cause you to pucker. Tannins are polyphenols from grape skins, stems, and seeds that give red wines dryness in taste, and are mellowed out by the aging process. Red wines are aged in oak barrels (American, French, and Hungarian are the most common.) for varied amounts of time. During a barrel tasting, wine is drawn from the barrel by the winemakers for the taster and savored to enjoy the make up of the wine. It is really enjoyable to taste a wine that is aged for two years and try it at different times during the aging. The hints of what is to come makes the waiting for the wine a lot of fun. And, if trying the wines isn’t enough, visitors get the chance to meet the winemakers and learn about the wine making process.
The more you learn about the wines you drink the more confident you will be in choosing your own wines and recommending them to your friends.
Once again, McConnell Springs is hosting a fundraiser featuring Barrel Tastings at Kentucky’s Bluegrass wineries. Mark your calendars for a day of enjoying an outing, tasting new wines and visiting with the winemakers.by admin