We visit Brianza often, but are especially glad to visit for the special wine events that they host. This month we were lucky to experience two special tastings of their excellent wines.
A couple of weeks ago, winemaker Tony Parnigoni, hosted a marketing tasting where visitors were able to try several vintages of his red wines and compare them, and also try their hand at blending some varietals and taste the results. For true wine lovers, it was an interesting experience.
This past weekend, library wines were brought out for tasting. Library wines are old vintages of the same wine. Vintages are the year the grapes were grown. Each vintage differs just a bit due to the differences in the weather and the changes that makes to the growing season. For instance, dry summers make for great red wines. As a relatively new winery the library wines are not very old, but there are still subtle distinct vintages. Brianza’s library wines were fun to try. Again, true wine lovers enjoy experiences such as this as they are always looking for new ways to learn about their favorite wines. Tony’s Cabernet Sauvignon is our favorite and has had several great vintages. The day was made even more enjoyable by the musical entertainment of Jeff Blackburn and Steve Maynard.
It was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon!by admin
Chrisman Mill Vineyard and Winery is one of the oldest wineries opened in Kentucky. They planted their first vines in 1997, released their first vintage in 1999, sold their wines at a tasting room in Lexington, and opened the vineyard tasting room to visitors in 2003. Since then, they have served tastings, had events, hosted special Tuscan dinners as well as other dinners, taken part in a number of festivals around the state, and have developed a tradition of fine wine.
For those who have not visited Chrisman Mill for a while, changes have arrived. There’s still a vineyard and winery, but now a distillery and a restaurant are there as well.
The vineyard itself is also changing. Old vines coming out and new ones being planted. Some new wines will be coming as well. Just released is an Old Vine Zinfandel. The grapes came from Lodi, California and were well worth it. The wine is a dry red with flavors of blueberry, raspberry, and spicy oak. It is a lovely addition to the menu. The décor is new as well but retains the welcoming ambiance that fans of the winery have come to expect.
The distillery, Hummingbird Ridge, is in the beginning stages with only one offering (for now). A Jamaican style small batch pot-stilled rum that retains the flavors and characteristics of the sugar can and blackstrap molasses. Tastings as well as a selection of mixed drinks are available and are delicious.
The restaurant, Fuego, features wood-fired dining in a Latin American and Argentinian style, but hand prepared with local all natural ingredients. A large grill in an outdoor kitchen is where most of the foods are prepared. Lunches and four-course dinners are available on the weekends. Check their website for times. We tried lunch and enjoyed it and are looking forward to trying dinner soon.
The Nelsons have made lots of changes over the years but one thing has remained the same – Chrisman Mill is one of the best examples of the wine industry in Kentucky. Chris has from the beginning crafted fine wines and now has added distiller to his repertoire. Denise is an amazing chef who has never created a dish that wasn’t well-prepared and flavorful.
The weather is good, summer is on its way. It would be a great time to become reacquainted with or to try out Chrisman Mill. My advice, make plans for a visit to Nicholasville. You’ll be glad you did!by admin
Nicholasville in Jessamine County, home to the first commercial winery in the United States, is now home to its third winery. Opening last year, 1922 House Vineyards and Winery are making some very interesting dry red wines, Norton wines, one which is aged in a bourbon barrel, Chambourcin wine, and a Noriet wine.
They are a small farm winery and will be opening a tasting room sometime in the future, hopefully in the summer. Check back on their website for updates about how they are coming along. The owner and winemaker, Brian Young, is from the business world and is new to the wine industry, but is enthusiastic and creative with a lot of ideas for developing his winery.
The name, 1922 House, comes from the house at the farm that was built in 1922. The setting for the winery is quite lovely. We’re looking forward to visiting their tasting room.
Here’s a copy of the Press Release for the event. Thanks to Annette Mathy, Event Coordinator.
Join us for the 12th annual “Wine Barrel Tasting for the Springs” on Saturday, March 30th 11AM-5PM. Participants will travel on their own to 13 different wineries to sample wine that is ready for bottling. They may have the opportunity to meet the winemakers and discuss their favorite subject. Fee: $20. Proceeds benefit McConnell Springs, the site of the naming of Lexington in 1775. For more information and a list of wineries, visit mcconnellsprings.org. or call 859.272.0682. Sponsored by the Friends of McConnell Springs. This is a rain or shine event.
Mark the date on your calendars. It is a fun day for all Kentucky wine lovers. The wineries are all ready to welcome visitors and there are always some fun activities planned. This is also a time when spring is beginning to be felt in the state and of course at the vineyards. It’s a great weekend for visiting wineries.
Check my links for a direct link to their site.by admin
Several of the wineries that we visit now opened after the publication of A Wine Lover’s Odyssey Across Kentucky. I have written about them here on the blog. One of our favorites is Forest Edge Winery. Just south of Louisville, in southern Bullitt County is a lovely tasting room just off I-65. The wines are all exceptional and there is something for every wine lover. We visited both on our way to Nashville and on our way home. It was a good way to relax along the way.
Butch Meyer, the winemaker, was there during one of our visits and we had the opportunity to chat with him about wine as well as drink some of his best wines. My choice was his Sauvignon Blanc, easily the best made in Kentucky. My husband had a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon one of the best in the state.
They had made some changes since we visited last summer and have moved the wine production to another building. This left room for a new space devoted to gatherings of wine lovers. As a destination or as a relaxing stop on your way somewhere, I recommend a visit! You’ll love it!
Earlier this month, a visit to Cave Valley Winery was the first step to completing my New Year’s resolution of visiting more wineries in the state. While driving to Nashville, we looked at Kentucky’s winery map for wineries we might pass. Just off I-65, at Park Mammoth Resort in Park City, visitors can stop for a taste of some Kentucky wine.
The winery is located at the lodge at the resort which sits on top of a hill overlooking cave country. Known for golf and shooting sports, the winery is the newest addition at the lodge. There’s also a Bistro, but since it was January, wasn’t open when we stopped by.
They offer wines from Wight-Meyer Vineyards and Winery along side of some made by Cave Valley Winery, it was an interesting first visit.
For the wine lovers who love a good dry Rosé and thought that the only Rosés to be found in Kentucky were sweet, I have found just the thing for you. Wight-Meyer Vineyards and Winery in Bullitt County has a Rosé made with a whole cluster press of the Zinthiana grape. The flavors and aromas are reminiscent of dried strawberries with an aftertaste of cranberries.
For those who are not familiar with Zinthiana, it is a relatively new grape species resulting from a cross of “Zinfandel” and “Norton” made in 2001 in California. Combining characteristics of both its parents, it has a hardiness to cold weather, is disease resistant, and has high productivity. It produces a dark grape that is suitable for red wines.
Jim Wight, winemaker at Wight-Meyer, has used this grapes to create an exceptional Rosé that is sure to please the most discerning Rosé lover.by admin
Summer is a great time for events at your local winery, usually including food, music, and lots of wine. This past weekend, Brianza Gardens and Winery hosted such an event. Along with Tony’s spaghetti and meatball dinner and his wonderful wines, visitors were treated to the music of Holly Spears.
Holly Spears is a local singer, musician, and songwriter. She has recorded several CDs of a mix of music, including country, pop, and Christian. We’ve had the opportunity of hearing her before and have enjoyed listening to her.
Check your favorite winery’s website for upcoming events. Music at a winery is a great way to spend a warm, summer evening!
Wine lovers often go into liquor stores, both large party style stores and small neighborhood shops and wish for a better wine selection. In some, wine even seems like an after thought. Wine shops are popping up, but are generally small and the choices are limited. Kentucky wine lovers have now joined a group of wine connoisseurs in other states and have a new place to go. Both Lexington and Louisville are home to a Total Wine & More, a liquor superstore chain that focus on fine wine.
The company originated in Delaware in 1991, as a small independent store and according to their website, has grown into the country’s largest independent retailer of wine, with each superstore featuring more than 8,000 wines (along with over 2,500 beers and 3,000 spirits). Total Wine & More can be found in over 20 states, and more outlets are opening.
Conveniently located, off Nicholasville Road, in Lexington Green, Lexington’s new Total Wine & More opened in the spring. We visited first in May on a day that unfortunately experienced a power outage. In an effort to console the many customers that were turned away, the management met visitors at the door with a gift of stemless wine glasses. We went again this month and were glad we went back. For a wine lover, the selections are exceptional. Kentucky wines, regional wines, domestic and foreign wines of just about every varietal. If that isn’t enough, the prices are better than most places we’ve shopped.
We just discovered Total Wine & More, with the opening in Lexington. But other wine lovers in Kentucky have known about it for a while now. Louisville has had a Total Wine & More in the Paddock Shops, on the corner of Brownsboro Road and N. Hurstbourne Parkway since 2016. Some sources in Louisville are saying that a second store is coming soon.
I recommend a visit to one of these superstores; it’s worth a drive. Or maybe a stop while vacationing to one of their other more than 175 superstores. Check out Total Wine & More online to find out more about it.by admin