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
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.
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!
Saturday was a great day for wine and music lovers in Northern Kentucky. We started the afternoon with a visit to Brianza Gardens and Winery in Boone County, with a Mini Music Festival that led off with a visit from Rucca and ended the evening at 12 Mile Creek Winery in Campbell County listening to Jeff Blackburn and Steve Maynard. Good music, good wine and good food – what could be better!by admin
Anyone who knows me or has read my blog knows that I am not a fan of sweet wines. But this summer I have been a fan of some of Kentucky’s sweet wines. You might wonder why and the answer is Sangria. This is a season for fresh fruit and refreshing drinks – that means Sangria to me.
Our favorite is peach sangria made with a mix of peach juice and peach wine and fresh peaches, blueberries, and lime slices. We did add a bit of grappa, peach nectar, and sparkling water. The result is an excellent refreshing drink to enjoy on a hot July day. We have also tried using blueberries and blackberries.
Wineries, such as Prodigy Vineyards and Winery and Purple Toad offer a variety of fruit wines. Kentucky’s farms offer fresh blueberries (which I’ve picked several times recently) and blackberries. I must confess to buying peaches from South Carolina and the Grappa and Peach Nectar come from Huber Vineyards and Winery in Indiana. Summer offers a variety of fresh fruits to create a wonderful Sangria, choose your favorites.by admin
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