Cheers to all wine lovers! May 25, 2017 is National Wine Day. You probably remember that we celebrated February 18, this year as National Drink Wine Day. Now, happily, tomorrow is another special day for all of us wine lovers.
Dionysus and Bacchus, Greek and Roman gods of grapes and wines, would be proud to discover that modern wine lovers are still enjoying the drink of the gods. While most wine lovers enjoy wine one any old day, why waste a chance to pour a glass (or more) in celebration with your favorite drinking partner?
Happy National Wine Day! Here’s to you, may you always have good friends, good wine, and good days, Salute!
Kentucky’s annual Wine and Vine Festival was a resounding success. Wine lovers came from many miles away to enjoy a day of tasting some of the state’s best wines. With music playing, wineries pouring, and vendors offering some unique shopping, visitors wandered around enjoying themselves from 10 to 7. It was a perfect day for an outdoor festival!
Purple Toad, Horseshoe Bend, Chrisman Mill, Prodigy, Springhill, Talon, Hamon Haven, Wildside, Elk Creek, Rising Sons, First Vineyard, Equus Run, Cave Hill, and McIntyre’s hosted booths and shared their wines with the visiting wine lovers. Those interested in some shopping could buy olive oils from Stuarto’s, Tupperware, hand made jewelry, Larry Mac’s Beer Cheese, Good Ole Boys Leather items, Mary Jo’s Country Crafts, and many other specialities. I bought a gorgeous hand crafted clock made of wine corks.
If you love wine, you missed a great opportunity to enjoy a taste of what Kentucky has to offer. But, you’re in luck, the Kentucky Wine and Vine is an annual event. Watch for next year’s date. Maybe we’ll see you there.
In 2007 vines were planted to reestablish the vineyards at the site of the first commercial vineyard in the United States, near Nicholasville, Kentucky. First Vineyard Winery soon followed. Today, wine lovers can visit the winery that one can imagine resembles what one might have found in 1799. But of course, the current winery contains all the modern conveniences.
According to Kentucky wine history, Jean Jacques Dufour, sold stocks to the directors and the Society for Promoting and Cultivation of the Vine in Lexington, Kentucky, and established the first commercial vineyard in First Vineyard, Kentucky, in November 1798. The vineyard was located in Jessamine County, overlooking the Kentucky River. The vineyard produced wine that was enjoyed by the directors in Lexington. After a killing freeze in 1809, Dufour and his family relocated to Vevay, Indiana, where he developed Second Vineyard.
First Vineyard welcomes visitors from 1 to 7, Fridays through Sunday. They offer a variety of wines for all tastes. From a unique dry white, Cabernet Doré, to a Kenkoolas, a peachy wine slushy, visitors can choose a drink and enjoy a relaxing afternoon on the porch of the tasting room imagining themselves in the same spot in the early 1800s sipping a new Kentucky wine.
They also have lodging at the Sugar Creek Resort. Check my link to their website.by admin
Wine lovers in the Bluegrass had a new winery to visit in 2014. Just off I 64, near Winchester, Hamon Haven Winery opened its doors. Visitors are welcomed into a lovely, cozy tasting room from Monday to Saturday, on a flexible schedule. It’s best to call ahead. They have some nice wine gifts as well as a great selection of Kentucky wine.
Native grapes, such as, Catawba, Concord, and Niagara, can be found side by side with Chardonnay and Merlot. A unique wine offered at Hamon Haven is a Zinthiana. Yes, the spelling is correct. A grape breeding program to combine Vinifera grapes with the native Norton resulted in this hybrid. Zinthiana is a red hybrid, more hardy for the cold temperatures in Kentucky than a Zinfandel, the grape produces a high quality, robust, red wine with jammy flavors. The grape has become available to vineyards and I think you’ll be seeing more of this hybrid in Kentucky.
We visited Hamon Haven Winery during the McConnell Springs barrel tasting and certainly enjoyed meeting the winemaker and trying this new wine.
Valentine’s Day brings to mind thoughts of love and romance. If you’re a wine lover, thoughts of sharing a bottle of wine with your love one will not be far behind.
Many wine experts are recommending rosé as the perfect wine for romance. Some say reds are best. Here’s my advice — choose your favorite wine. Make it a special one that you only have on special days. Whether the wine is red, white, or rosé doesn’t matter. What matters is the person you are sharing it with!
Have a wonderful, romantic Valentine’s Day with that special person!by admin
Has the winter blues got you down? For those who live close to Boone County, I have just the cure. Verona Vineyards is open from Thursday through Sunday. The wine and the atmosphere will cheer you up.
For those who enjoy sweeter wines, the winery is offering a Pinot Grigio. This is an Italian grape that makes a lovely wine. The wine has a light straw color, with floral aromas, and flavors of tropical fruits. I would recommend it to anyone who likes their wine on the sweet side. For those who enjoy a bolder, dryer red, Verona Vineyard’s Cabernet Franc is lovely with flavors of dark cherries, with just a hint of chocolate.
They are also offering a new wine for them, a Petit Verdot. This wine is newly bottled and while it is enjoyable now, it will get better as it ages. Look for fruit and strawberry flavors with bold tannins.
Last weekend, we stopped by for a couple of hours, tasted some wine and relaxed. We were pleased to chat with Dan (the owner and winemaker) for a while and got some hints about some new wines coming soon and the possibility of another off-site tasting room. I’ll let you know when this happens.
Verona Vineyards also offer events during the winter months. Go to their website (check the links) to find dates and times.by admin
As 2016 winds down, cuddle with a loved one and your favorite Kentucky wine. 2016 brought a lot of changes, not all of them good, but let’s raise a toast for a better 2017! Hope to have some book news for you soon! Also, look forward to sharing some wine news!
Hope your new year is a great one!
Hope all you wine lovers have a red and white Christmas, not a blue one.
Best wishes from the Kentucky Wine Lover!
A couple of years ago, we were able to taste a really good wine from a new winery in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. We kept promising ourselves that we would visit the winery and kept that promise this summer.
Rising Sons Farm Winery is a charming farm winery, owned and operated by Francine and Joe Sloan. Rising Sons has a cozy tasting room and many good wines, some that are not the varietals you might expect. They do offer wines made from Norton, Chambourcin, and Vidal Blanc, those standard Kentucky grapes. But you’ll also find a Vignoles, a Baco Noir, and a St. Vincent.
The St. Vincent is not very well known. Though it is often grown in Missouri, even there it is described as an orphan grape, with a mystery of its parentage and growth. It is agreed that it is a French-American hybrid, but that’s where the agreement seems to end. Francine referred to it as a problem child in the vineyard. But Rising Sons uses it to make a very interesting wine, with an interesting name and label – Crazy Llama Red, with a Barnyard Collection label.
Other labels feature their Italian heritage, such as Cataldo’s Salute, an aged Norton, Maria’s Dolce Rosato, and Bellissimo Bianco, a Cayuga. Visitors there to taste wine also get to taste a yummy Norton wine jelly.
You might want to visit their website (check my links) and blog. I found the recipes on the blog especially interesting. If you find yourself near Lawrenceburg, you’ll want to stop at this appealing winery.
Chrisman Mill Vineyards and Winery has always had a tasting room in Lexington, even before the Vineyard was able to open to the public. For the last few years, the tasting room was at Hamburg. For a lot of reasons, they decided to move. The Winery of Chrisman Mill opened in June, on the outside of Fayette Mall, just a couple of doors from the Cheesecake Factory and next door to Chipotle. The Winery at Fayette Mall is a welcome addition to one of central Kentucky’s favorite shopping sites. The décor is unique with beautifully displayed wine gifts, wine racks, an antique cork collection display, an arrangement of old vines on one wall, and a long tasting bar with a mood feature. What’s that, you ask. A section of the bar allows you to rest your hand and find out your current mood. Just like the old mood rings, you can find out if you are happy or anxious. After tasting, you might want to buy a glass, or a bottle, and relax at a table or on the sofa in a corner that just sends out a welcoming message. The winery offers a selection of truffles created and made by Denise. They are yummy. Other snacks are also available.
The setting is just perfect for relaxing in the midst of a busy day shopping or making a special trip to experience a fun day at the Winery.