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Explore NKY's Wine Heritage With a Curated Tour of These 8 Wineries

Time:2019-07-20 19:01wine - Red wine life health Click:

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Northern Kentucky has a long history with wine that continues to be written today. The area was actually one of the leading wine producers in America in the mid-1800s. Even though the wine production has scaled down a bit, if you’re in the know when it comes to the local wine scene, you already know about the Back Roads Wine Trail of Northern Kentucky. And if you haven’t heard of it (as it’s typically shared by word of mouth), by all means, continue reading.

Not to be confused with the California-based company ‘Backroads’ that arranges traveling, this Back Roads got its name because it's comprised of eight wineries located along picturesque country roads throughout Northern Kentucky. The wineries are selected by a committee dedicated to showcasing some fantastic Kentucky wineries that aren’t far from Cincinnati and are a heck of a lot closer than Napa Valley and Tuscany. The wineries feature award-winning wines with everything from Chardonnay to fruity blends and a whole lot of history behind every glass.

Start the tour by stopping by any of the wineries below where you’ll find a VIP Passport that you can get validated at each winery on the trail. If you stop by each of them, you’ll receive a prize. It doesn’t have to be completed all in one day, and a lot of trail-goers hire a chauffeur or shuttle before hitting the back roads. Here’s a little bit about each one:

Baker-Bird Winery

ADDRESS: 4465 Augusta Chatham Road (Augusta)

Drive from Cincinnati: A little over 50 minutes southeast

Baker-Bird might be the furthest winery away from Cincinnati on the trail, but it’s well worth the drive to see the historic property, which survived a Civil War battle and dates back to the 1850s. It’s the oldest commercial winery in the country to still have its original vineyard. Explore their 40-foot-high and 90-foot-deep stone wine cellar while sipping on a selection of wines that have won over 150 national and international awards. Dinah Baker is the owner, and you can plan your visit for tastings and cheese plates on weekends from 1 to 5 PM, or for events and private tastings by appointment.

Stonebrook Winery

ADDRESS: 6570 Vineyard Lane (Camp Springs)

Drive time from Cincinnati: Less than 30 minutes southeast

Stonebrook is owned by the 5th generation of the Walter Family. It continues to be a family affair with the kids and grandchildren on deck when it comes to making the wine and designing the bottle labels. Their wines have won all kinds of awards, one of which was the winner of the Kentucky Governor’s Cup, Best of Kentucky Award. They’re most popular for all the fruity-flavored wines they make, such as blackberry, mango, and key lime. They can host 65 people for events in the rustic space, which is a renovated farmhouse from 1890. The tasting room is open on Friday from 5 to 9 PM and Saturday & Sunday from 1 to 6 PM. RSVP ahead of time to enjoy one of their weekend dinner events.

Atwood Hill Winery & Vineyard

ADDRESS: 1616 Spillman Road (Morning View)

Drive time from Cincinnati: Around 30 minutes south

Atwood is a 100-acre farm that is over 100 years old. The former tobacco farm now hosts wine tastings, musical performances on the patio overlooking the gorgeous vineyard, and plenty of parties and get-togethers accompanied by food trucks. Julie & Nelson Clinkenbeard run the family farm that's been a winery for over 10 years. One of the buildings on the property is called the Farmstead, which is a renovated farmhouse from the 1930s where you can throw private events that accommodate 50 guests. Stop by to enjoy five wine tastings for $5 on Friday from 5 to 9 PM, Saturday 1 to 9 PM, and Sunday 1 to 6 PM. And there’s a good chance a friendly cat named Barbie will greet you as you sample tasty reds, whites, wine slushies, and their Vidal Blanc—a best-seller that’s also considered an estate wine since it is completely processed onsite.

Camp Springs Vineyard Winery

ADDRESS: 6685 4 Mile Road (Camp Springs)

Drive time from Cincinnati: Around 20 minutes southeast

Camp Springs is a family farm that owner and winemaker Chris Enzweiler grew up on. He saw an article about the region’s wine-growing past and was inspired to take his shot in the wine business 10 years ago. Chef Carlye Hopper prepares Saturday dinners for guests who reserve a spot. They include four wine tastings per guest with a salad, entrée, and dessert. The meals on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are all by appointment. If you’re looking for a great spot for a rehearsal dinner or small wedding, the tasting room holds 60 people. You’ll find artwork by Chris’s aunt and crocheted quilts made by Chris’s mom decorating the space. The Four Mile Blend is one of their most popular wines. They’re open on Friday 5 to 8 PM, and on Saturday & Sunday from 1 to 6 PM.

Seven Wells Winery

ADDRESS: 1223 Siry Road (California)

Drive time from Cincinnati: Around 30 minutes southeast

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