From 1920 to 1933, citizens of the United States were prohibited by the 18th Amendment of the Constitution from making and consuming alcoholic beverages. On December 5, 1933, the 21st Amendment was ratified ending this period of Prohibition. We should all celebrate this day!
Before Prohibition, the United States had a successful wine industry. In fact, Kentucky was one of the biggest producers of wine during the 1800s. But this thirteen year period stopped the production and after 1933, it was slow to get started back. Things like the Depression and World War II slowed the development nationwide. Kentucky was delayed even longer due to some state laws that limited wineries from getting started. Thankfully, new laws in the 1990s allowed farm wineries to open their doors to all of us wine lovers.
Today, we can raise our glasses and toast the end of Prohibition, the growth of vineyards and wineries, and for the wine. It is a good day!by admin
October is a great time to enjoy the fall weather, wineries, and wines. There are fewer crowds and it’s easy to just sit back and relax. We wined the whole month, it was more fun than whining.
We started the month in the North Carolina mountains, home to several of the states great wineries. We stayed at Roaring River Vineyards, enjoying a lovely room right by the river. Not only do they have a winery but they also have a really good restaurant, Chez Josephine. We discovered a new winery nearby with really good wines, Jones von Drehle Vineyards and Winery. Of course, we visited one of our favorite wineries, Raffaldini Vineyards and Winery.
Back home in Kentucky, we enjoyed a lunch and a dinner at Fuego Grill, at Chrisman Mill Vineyards and Winery. The food and wine were excellent as were the cocktails made with rum from the Hummingbird Ridge Distillery. We enjoyed two evenings of music and wine at Brianza Gardens Vineyard and Winery, as well as an afternoon of barrel tasting. Last, but not least, Halloween was such a rainy, blustery day, it seemed like a great day for lunch and wine at Prodigy Vineyards and Winery. It was a good decision.
November is here and we’re looking forward to more wineries and wine. Retirement is so much fun!by admin
We spent the evening enjoying the wine and the music of Ashley Lilly, half of the music duo Rucca, at Brianza Gardens and Winery. While we missed Lauren, Ashley entertained with an eclectic choice of songs, starting with a stirring version of “Angel from Montgomery”, followed by songs such as a classic Shania Twain, a cover of a new a new Tyler Childers’ song, and the oldie “Brand New Key”, by Melanie.
My favorite might be Ashley’s performance of “Follow your Arrow”, by Kasey Musgraves. Catch the video on my Facebook page.
It was a great way to spend the evening!by admin
For those people who don’t enjoy wine (who could that be?) or those who also like to try different drinks sometimes I have an excellent recommendation. In Lexington, at the Farm, there is a Kentucky Mist Distillery tasting room. Visitors can sample Moonshine flights or buy a bottle to take home. They also have a nice selection of gift items. The distillery is located in Letcher County.
I have a weakness for the flavored Moonshines after trying one last year. So we stopped by for a tasting. I tried a few, but found myself buying their Caramel Apple. It’s delicious and perfect for the season!by admin
This month I celebrated my birthday at Chrisman Mill in Nicholasville, with lunch at Fuego, the winery’s new wood fired restaurant. Besides being one of the states oldest wineries, they now are home to Hummingbird Ridge Distillery and Fuego. Not only can visitors be treated to an excellent selection of wine, but they can also enjoy a cocktail made from the Jamaican style rum that is distilled there or enjoy lunch or dinner from the Fuego grill. For lunch we enjoyed a wood fired pizza and Argentinian Chimichurri burger sliders and finished it off with a slice of Hummingbird cake. It was a great way to celebrate.
If you haven’t been to Chrisman Mill for a while, I recommend a visit. There’s been a lot of changes and the results are excellent.
Visiting Gabriele Rausse Winery is an unusual experience. Unlike the other wineries around Charlottesville, the tasting room is a cozy, but more rustic building set in the woods. Somehow the feelings it inspires makes visitors feel they are at home sharing the wine with the winemaker, Tim Rausse.
Pours of excellent wines are served with homemade bread and olive oil. The wines are exceptionally well made and it’s hard to choose which ones you want to take home with you. This year, we chose Rosso, a dry red blend and a Malbec.
We got a chance to see the winery this visit with Tim and watch a bit of their bottling process. Along the drive up the mountain we were able to see some of the vineyard. The Nebbiolo grapes were gorgeous. Their beauty wasn’t diminished at all by the netting that protects them from the wildlife, birds, deer, and an occasional bear. Their dark beauty makes one think of the wonderful Nebbiolo wines to come.
For our trip to central Virginia this year, we wanted to stay somewhere different and unique and found just that in Afton Mountain Vineyards. The winery has cottages on the grounds that provide a lovely home away from home, with complete kitchens and living area, separate bedrooms and baths and back porches with rockers and lovely views.
During our stay, we enjoyed wine from the winery as well. I discovered an amazing Albariño, a dry white that is typically associated with Spain.
We were surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains and enjoyed the views of the mountains with the goats and lots of deer. It was a quiet, relaxing, enjoyable place to stay.
Central Virginia is our favorite place to visit and our visit last week was enjoyable as always. We enjoyed some of the same places, revisited some places we hadn’t been to in years, and discovered some new places we enjoyed so much we’ll be sure to visit again.
A visit to Monticello is a must on our trips. Even though we have been there many, many times, we always enjoy the tour and learn something new each time. Our favorite tour is the Behind the Scenes Evening Tour. Visiting shops in Charlottesville and tasting at the region’s best wineries such as Barboursville Vineyards, Jefferson Vineyards, and Gabriele Rausse Winery are the tops on our list.
This year included visits to DelFosse Vineyard and Winery and Afton Mountain Vineyards. We hadn’t visited either one in recent years because they are off the beaten path that we usually travel. There had been a lot of changes at both, and they were both excellent.
We made a few great discoveries this year. Bold Rock Hard Cider is a great spot to sit, relax, have lunch, and to sip ciders. Flying Fox Vineyard makes an excellent Vermouth. Ox-Eye Vineyards is a new must visit kind of place.
Check out future posts for a close look at our favorite experiences.
Early this year I wrote a New Year’s Resolution to visit some of the newer Kentucky’s wineries, those that have opened in recent years. This Saturday we added one to that list. 12 Mile Creek Winery opened in Campbell County and we talked about going right away, but time passed and they just celebrated their second anniversary and this was our first visit. It won’t be our last. We had a very nice visit!
Tami and Kevin Stewart have created a friendly atmosphere with a variety of wines to please any visitors. The tasting room is a lovely room with a comfortable feel. They have wine, food, and music most weekends. We enjoyed all of those Saturday night. I got to try a new wine for me, a dry white made with the Edelweiss grape. The floral aromas are followed by fruity flavors and combine to make an interesting wine. My husband had Cabernet Sauvignon. Our food was excellent, a Buffalo Chicken Naan Bread and a Naan Reuben. The music was Jeff Blackburn and Steve Maynard, who we always enjoy!
It was a fun evening! We had a nice visit!
We became fans of a local music duo a couple of years ago after hearing them at Brianza. We saw them several times and enjoyed their music. Saturday was the first time that we have seen them for a couple of years (they were pursuing other parts of their lives), but they’re back. They played at Brianza Gardens and Winery on Saturday afternoon.
We enjoyed their show immensely! The music ranges from Fergie and the Indigo Girls to country classics like Johnny Cash. We especially were pleased that they remembered our favorite and sang a great rendition of “Hell on Heels” by Pistol Annies.
The wine, as always, was excellent. Thanks to the winemaking skills of Tony Parnigoni.
It was a beautiful day to relax with good wine and good music!