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.
As many of you have noted, I’ve not been keeping up with the wine news lately. After injury, surgery, recovery, and physical therapy for three long months, I’m back. I’ll try to catch up with all that’s been happening. I’ve even been able to visit a few wineries and attend a couple of events. I’ll write about those later. Check back soon.
Elk Creek Vineyards is under new ownership. The Papina family, with over a hundred years of wine making experience, are the new owners. Originally from California, they are introducing new wines and new ideas to Kentucky wine lovers. The winery is now open seven days a week, with the Café opening 1 hour after the 10 AM opening of the winery. Events are planned all summer long. Check out their website for more information at http://www.elkcreekvineyards.com
Brianza Gardens and Winery is now open 6 days a week. Their new hours are Tuesday to Friday 11 to 5, Saturday 11 to 8, Sunday 1 to 5, or by appointment. Many scheduled special events are planned. Check out their website at http://brianzagardens.com
Chrisman Mill Vineyards and Winery has opened a new tasting room. The Fayette Mall Tasting Room is located just in front of the mall, next to Chipotle’s. The hours there are Monday to Saturday 11 AM to 9 PM and 1 to 6 on Sundays. The tasting room at the vineyard hosts special events and is available for private parties. For more information, visit https://www.chrismanmill.com/
If your last visit to Verona Vineyards has been a couple of years, you might not know that they have a tasting room in the town of Rabbit Hash in the old iron works building. Both sites are open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Check their website for the hours at http://www.veronavineyards.com
Just a few bits of news for those wine lovers that are looking for a place to visit and try some Kentucky wines.by admin
Been recovering from an accident and surgery and watching a lot of TV, I was pleased to see a commercial for one of Kentucky’s best wineries.
For the last year, I’ve been recommending Brianza Gardens and Winery to anyone who asks me about Kentucky wines, especially those living in Northern Kentucky. They are just off the Walton exit on I-75. Their new commercial did a great job of giving wine lovers a reason to visit. Once you try their wine, you’ll keep returning.
With warm weather returning, it’s a great time to visit a winery. You will be glad you did. Check their website for hours.by admin
When the weather is bad and it just looks dreary when you look outside, a good way to cheer yourself up is to treat yourself with a special bottle of wine and an inviting fire in the fireplace. We had three of those nights in the last month, with three amazing red wines and they were all from Kentucky. In case you doubted it, take my word for it, Kentucky makes some great wine.
One of our favorite wines in the state has been Reserve Norton from Chrisman Mill Vineyard and Winery. Reserves are created with the best grapes from the year. We have enjoyed each vintage of this wine since 2005, when winemaker Chris Nelson began making it. We had been saving a few bottles from that first vintage and opened one. If you’ve ever wondered what happens when you age a red wine, a good wine gets even better. The aromas and flavors become more intense while at the same time becoming smoother. The wine was worth the wait.
For Valentine’s Day, we enjoyed a bottle of Jim Wight’s special blend of three reds. In 2013, Wight-Meyer Vineyard and Winery released a wine called 3 Reds by Wight, a Meritage style, made of a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Petite Syrah. This wine is fantastic and proves again that Kentucky can produce an excellent wine with grapes raised in Kentucky. Jim Wight did it. Each time we open a bottle, it seems better than the one before.
Our third exceptional red was Grand Reserve Cabernet Franc, from Lovers Leap Vineyard and Winery. This 2009 vintage was released in 2013. It has improved with age; and it started out great. The flavors have mellowed and smoothed over time. From the aroma of dark berries, to the lingering flavor of a chocolate covered cherry, the experience is fantastic.
The good news for wine lovers is that this is only the beginning. This is not the only great red wines. We’ve enjoyed many of Kentucky’s reds and look forward to many more.by admin
Verona Vineyards got a shout out about their wine from an unexpected source Wednesday night. During the ESPN coverage of the Kentucky and Tennessee basketball game Wednesday night, announcer Joe Tessitore held up a bottle of wine and talked about National Drink Wine Day.
The wine was a bottle of Trio, a blend of three reds, made by Verona Vineyards. He mentioned that while many might not expect a good red wine from Kentucky, this was as good as a Cabernet Sauvignon from California, and the vineyard was just an hour’s drive from Lexington.
Kudos to Verona Vineyard and Go Big Blue.
There’s good news and bad news for fans of Chrisman Mill Vineyard and Winery. The bad news is that the tasting room at the vineyard is closed for the season. We have to wait for spring to enjoy the relaxing atmosphere and beautiful views. The good news is that Denise and Chris Nelson have opened a new shop in Nicholasville, called The Vintage Gourmet. Visitors can stop in, taste the wine, buy a bottle, or shop in the uniquely stocked gift shop. Gift items range from gourmet foods, such as pastas and sauces, to wine related objects. I found a wine glass case for my phone there. All my wine lover friends want one too now.
The new shop is easy to get to, but not as easy to find. It is located on Nicholasville Road before the turn into Nicholasville, the number is 2205. If you are traveling south, it is located on the right hand side of the road. For those who like landmark directions, it is next to an Enterprise office.
Wine lovers may miss the vineyard, but hopefully the winter will be short. The new shop is great. You will love it.by admin
Visitors to Prodigy are in for a treat. Last month the old tasting room was closed and visitors now can enjoy tastings at the vineyard. The new tasting room is large with various amenities that many will find pleasing. The gift shop, while larger, offers the same unique, fun, wine-related items. A raised stage for entertainment, a fireplace surrounded by comfortable seating, more seating, and a larger tasting bar are all very welcoming for those visitors who find their way there when visiting the state’s capital. Wine lovers, who have made Prodigy one of their favorites, will be pleased to find that the Prodigy tasting room is still a great place to relax and enjoy some of the best wine in the state.
Last weekend, Brianza welcomed visitors to an event that had it all — great wine, delicious food, good music, gracious hosts, and a great atmosphere. Local food vendors shared cheese and beer cheese during the day. During the early evening, we were treated to a sausage on a baguette, with a wonderful Marinara sauce. Both the sausage and the Marinara are made for the winery locally, using Tony’s special recipes. Of course, there was wine. Brianza features both white and red wines, offering dry and sweeter tastes. Rucca, a local duo, performed a wide variety of songs, from Johnny Cash and June Carter to the Indigo Girls.
A lot of wine lovers are finding their way to Brianza. Though only open for a few months, the winery has created a well-deserved reputation for themselves. This is definitely a place to visit over and over.