wineries are contributing
to Kentuckys growth in industry
Berry, Elk Creek
are among these new attractions
the Kentucky Travel Office
(July 2008) Just six years after becoming
a state in 1792, the first vineyard in Kentucky was planted and a new
industry took off. By the late 1800s, Kentucky was a leading wine producer
in this country.
bourbon has a new
beverage challenger in wine.
Prohibition in the 1920s ended the states wine production.
But the Bluegrass state is bouncing back with 46 wineries across the
state that have opened in the last 15 years. Ten are growing grapes
and have not begun selling wine.
Some of the vineyards are former tobacco farms whose owners are trying
a new crop, according to Stacia Alford, grape and wine marketing specialist
for the Department of Agriculture.
The Kentucky Grape and Wine Council recently sponsored four regional
commercial Kentucky wine competitions and awarded medals to the top
wines that used Kentucky-grown grapes. In August, the Kentucky State
Fair will have its first commercial wine competition.
Wine drinkers seem to appreciate products that are grown nearby, Alford
said. The fact that they are purchasing a locally produced product
seems to go over well.
And with the high gas prices, Alford said the wineries make for a great
local attraction. This is the perfect agritourism destination
that for many is just a few minutes down the road.
The good news for tourists regardless of their drinking preferences
is that they can see the wineries up close. Many wineries sell
their wine, offer tours, provide food and entertainment or other special
events. The wineries also host weddings and parties.
As far as wine tasting, no experience is needed.
We teach everybody in our wine tasting, said Lou Ann Robinson,
manager at Chrisman Mill Vineyards in Nicholasville. Chrisman Mill is
located just three miles from Kentuckys first vineyards developed
by Jean Jacques Dufour, winemaker for the Marquis de Lafayette.
Chrisman Mill offers an eight-course Tuscan dinner on July 18 and will
be offering a Summer Steak and Shrimp Cookout on July 19. For more information,
winery events coming up in July include:
Smith Berry Winery in New Castle is holding concerts
July 12 (the Rigbys) and July 26 (Johnny Berry and the Outliers). Dinner
is also served. For information, visit www.smithberrywinery.com.
Ruby Moon Winery in Henderson is hosting Australian
singer and songwriter Martine Locke on July 12. For information visit
StoneBrook Winery in Camp Springs, near Cincinnati,
will offer buffet dinners in its 1890 farmhouse on July 12 and July
26. For information, visit www.stonebrookwinery.com.
Equus Run Vineyards at Midway near Lexington presents
the Sensations in concert on July 12. For information, visit www.equusrunvineyards.com.
Talon Winery and Vineyards in Lexington will feature
Zydeco Bon in concert on July 11. For information, visit www.talonwine.com.
Elk Creek Vineyards at Owenton will play host to
the Motown Revue and Fireworks Show on July 5. For information,
For more information about all Kentucky
wineries, visit www.kentuckywines.com.
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