Some of Kentucky’s best wineries are in Bullitt County, but unfortunately we live far enough away that we don’t often get to visit them. As luck would have it, we needed to pick up a purchase we had made at a furniture store in the county last week. Of course, we planned the day around visits to some of our favorite wineries.
Our first stop (after picking up our purchase) was at Brooks Hill Winery. It had been a while since we had visited and did a full tasting. We were pleased to find that they have a red blend that is both unique and great. The full-body dry wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Lemberger, that has been aged for 14 months in Kentucky white oak barrels. There are tastes of spice and blackberries with a wonderful aroma and aftertaste. Needless to say, we had to have some to take home. If you are a fan of dry red blends, you will want to give it a try.
Next, we traveled a bit south to Forest Edge Winery. The wine here is always going to please visitors, from the somewhat exotic Java Vino to the very traditional Cabernet Sauvignon. Our favorite, as you might guess, is the Cab. It has lush flavors of dark fruit. There’s also a really great dry Riesling for the white wine lovers. For those with a taste for the more unusual wines, the Java Vino is a dessert red wine with coffee flavors that will give you a boost.
Our last stop of the day was at Wight-Meyer Vineyard and Winery. Jim Wight, one of the state’s finest wine makers, always has a wine ready for visitors no matter what style of wine they enjoy. He makes a great dry red Norton. Possibly his most unique wine is a dry white called Cabernet Doré, a hybrid grape varietal using Cabernet Sauvignon and Norton grapes. Great grapes varietals are often cross bred using two other varietals. Cabernet Sauvignon was created from the Sauvignon Blanc and the Cabernet Franc grapevines. Cabernet Doré wine shows it direct link to its grandparent, Sauvignon Blanc. The wine is crisp and perfect for a hot summer day.by admin
Just a reminder, Jane’s Saddlebag’s Wine Festival is this weekend. From 11 to 6, on June 9 and 10, wine lovers can enjoy a festival with wine, artisans, music, and food.
Jane’s Saddlebag is just a couple of miles from Big Bone Lick Park in Boone County. The grounds are a great spot for a festival. Check their website, in my links, for more information.by admin
Wine lovers have two chances for wine tastings this month. On May 1 and 2, the Kentucky Derby Wine Festival, on the Belvedere at Waterfront Park, is one of Louisville’s first events leading up to the Kentucky Derby.
The $45 cost for the WineFest includes a complimentary wine glass, an event pin and samples of some Kentucky’s wines.
Kentucky Wine and Vine Fest in downtown Nicholasville takes place on May 12, with the preliminary events on the 10th and the 11th. (check out their website http://www.kywinefest.com for information about what’s going on those days)
The Kentucky wineries that will be pouring tastes at the festival are: 1922 House Vineyard, a new winery in Nicholasville, Cave Hill Vineyard & Winery, Eubanks, Chrisman Mill Vineyards, Nicholasville, McIntyre’s Winery, Bardstown, Old 502 Winery, Louisville, Prodigy Vineyards and Winery, Frankfort, Rising Sons Winery, Lawrenceburg, Wildside Winery, Versailles, Springhill Winery, Bloomfield, and Three Horses Vineyard, Stamping Ground.
Wine lovers will want to make plans for these wine tasting events.by admin
Most wineries are open during the winter but at a different pace. That is beginning to change. Warm weather is finally is sight. (We hope.) The vineyards are beginning to bud, the wineries are readying for more visitors and hosting events. We took advantage of a few nice days and made some visits.
In March, we spent a day in Central Kentucky at Lovers Leap Vineyards and Winery and Prodigy Vineyards and Winery. If you happen to be around Frankfort, these two winery stops are sure to brighten your day. Both wineries offer a wide variety of wines and each one is really good. Loving big red wines, our favorites are a Reserve Cabernet Franc from Lovers Leap and a Limburger from Prodigy.
We also enjoyed a lovely spring day visiting wineries and tasting wines from the barrel at the McConnell Spring’s event. We returned to Lovers Leap Vineyards and Winery and were able to taste the upcoming release of a new Reserve Cabernet Franc. It was amazing. The release this summer is expected to be limited, so wine lovers will want to get there early. We stopped at Prodigy Vineyards and Winery and tried a new vintage of Chamboursin. For those who love this grape, it will be a good release. At Chrisman Mill Vineyards, we got to try the new vintage of Norton and also got a chance to taste what will be a new wine for Chrisman Mill – a Zinfandel. Red wine lovers will be pleased at the results. Our other visit that day was to a new winery outside of Georgetown. Three Horses Vineyards and Winery has recently opened with both Vidal and Norton wines. Wine lovers will want to give this new winery a try. It is a lovely spot surrounded by the beautiful countryside.
Kentucky is doing well as a wine producer. More wineries are opening; the number now is over seventy. New wines are being developed. It’s all good news to wine lovers.by admin
Kentucky wine lovers who have been looking forward to the McConnell Spring’s annual spring barrel tasting can start counting down the days. In just 10 days, wineries in the Bluegrass will welcome visitors for a special event – the chance to taste your favorite wines while they are still in the barrels. Winemakers will be there to answer your questions and wine will be available for enjoying at the winery and for taking home.
This day is somewhat unique. Each of the 18 wineries are within an hour’s drive of Lexington and wine lovers can start at any of the wineries and visit whichever ones they choose. For $20, visitors can pick up their entry bracelet, their commemorative wine glass and a map of the participating wineries. This is a major fundraiser for the preservation of McConnell Springs, so your participation will help preserve a part of Kentucky history. Not to mention enjoying a day tasting some excellent Kentucky wines.
The following wineries will be ready to welcome visitors: Harkness Edwards Vineyards, Three Horses Vineyard & Winery, Black Barn Winery, Chrisman Mills Vineyards, Chuckleberry Farm & Winery, Equus Run Vineyards, First Vineyard Winery, Grimes Mill Winery, Hamon Haven Winery, Horseshoe Bend Vineyards & Winery, Jean Farris Winery & Bistro, Lovers Leap Vineyards & Winery, McIntyre’s Winery and Berries, Prodigy Vineyards & Winery, Rising Sons Winery, Springhill Winery, Talon Winery & Vineyards, and Wildside Winery & Vineyard.
After a long winter, join other wine lovers for a fun day of spring in the Bluegrass. Driving from winery to winery through the gorgeous countryside, visiting wineries, meeting the winemakers, and trying out some really good wines – what a way to spend a day!
We are looking forward to it. We’ve participated in the past and have always had a great time. Maybe we’ll see you there!by admin
Wine lovers can celebrate St. Patrick with their favorite wine and still be honoring his traditions. St. Patrick was a citizen of the Roman Empire, and they were well-known wine drinkers. So pour a glass of your favorite wine of choice, and say “Cheers to Ireland and St. Patrick!”by admin
A special holiday for those of us who love our grapes in a glass, February 18th is National Drink Wine Day. Get ready wine lovers, find your favorite bottle, pour a glass, and toast the day. As a wine lover, it’s your duty to support the holiday!
For the 11th year, wine lovers of Kentucky have the opportunity to support the state’s history and taste some really good wine at the “Wine Barrel Tasting for the Springs.” Eighteen of Central Kentucky’s wineries will be giving tastes of a wine that is still aging in the barrel.
McConnell Springs, a National Historic Site, is the location where William McConnell and a group of explorers camped in 1775. While there, news reached them of a victory at Lexington, Massachusetts in the Revolutionary War. They named that future settlement Lexington. Today, visitors can visit the site with its natural landscape and historical remains of that early settlement. Proceeds from the Barrel Tasting will help fund improvements at McConnell Springs.
Each spring many wineries of the state that are within an hour’s drive of Lexington participate in this event. This year the event takes place on March 31, 2018. For $20, a person can travel around the Bluegrass at their own pace and in their own vehicle visiting their choice of participating wineries, and receive a commemorative glass.
Many wine lovers are familiar with barrel tastings and have enjoyed experiencing the stages of aging of their favorite wines. If you are new to the wine world and have never tried wine from the barrel, it is really a treat. Wine makers, while sharing facts about the wine, will draw wine directly from the barrel with some sort of wine thief and pour it directly into the taster’s glass. Wines change as they age and wine makers try the wine at different stages to be sure that it has reached the taste they want. A barrel tasting is an opportunity for wine lovers to be a part of this process.
Check my links page for more information on McConnell Springs.
We have enjoyed the “Wine Barrel Tasting for the Springs” many times in the past and look forward to the event this year. What a good way to celebrate the beginning of spring!
Last week, when the weather was still cold and terrible, we decided it would boost our spirits to visit our favorite local winery. We spent a couple of hours visiting Brianza Gardens and Winery. Not only did we have some wonderful Cabernet Sauvignon, but we also got to talk with Tony about wine, upcoming events, and his recent remodel of the tasting room.
From a beautiful antique swinging door to the lovely mural on the back wall, the additional space in the tasting room is fantastic. It adds seating room and gives the winery a much roomier, welcoming space. The room also connects to the party and event space and when there is music, visitors will be able to hear the music while still visiting with friends. If you haven’t been able to visit Brianza for a while, you’re in for a treat. An afternoon there will brighten even the dreariest of dreary winter days.
Jim Wight started making wine as a hobby and as an amateur created many wines that were enjoyed by his friends. His success led him to give professional winemaking a try. Early in the 2000s, he planted a vineyard and in 2007 opened a winery in Bullitt County. As they say, the rest is history. Jim is one of Kentucky’s best winemakers. Not only has he won many awards for his wines, but has also been a guide for some of the state’s other wineries.
Recently, Jim has created wines from some unusual hybrids. He is making a delightful white wine from a new grape called Cabernet Doré, a hybrid of Norton and Cabernet Sauvignon. What? A white? It is thought to have developed as a white grape due to a recessive white gene, likely from Sauvignon Blanc, a parent of Cabernet Sauvignon. Wight’s Cabernet Doré is a smooth dry white. His other new wine is a Rosé made with the Zinthiania grape, a hybrid of Norton and Zinfandel. With notes of dried strawberries and cranberries, the wine is delicious.
A visit to Wight-Meyer Vineyard and Winery will be a treat for all wine lovers. No matter what your tastes are in wine, you will find something there you will love.