Kentucky Wine


The Kentucky wine industry began in 1798 when Jean-Jacques Dufour, winemaker for the Marquis de Lafayette, met Senator Henry Clay in Lexington. Dufour received backing from various statesmen, including Clay, and bought 600 acres on the Ohio River to plant grapes. He eventually formed the Kentucky Vineyard Society. The state wine industry managed to survive vine diseases and Civil War destruction, but was finally leveled with the Prohibition. Legislation wasn’t passed to resume viticulture till 1976, and funds from tobacco settlements have inspired farmers to pursue planting wine grapes for profit. The wine industry continues to grow, as does its wine tourism industry.
But Kentucky is more famous for its whiskey. A simplified version of the Bourbon story: In the early 1790s, George Washington and then Virginia Governor Thomas Jefferson offered settlers 60 acres of land if they grew native corn in Kentucky, which was then part of Virginia. Rye whiskey was the popular native distillate Read more »

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Popular wines made in Kentucky under $20

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Varietals Produced in Kentucky View all

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

    “King of the Red Wine Grapes.” The colonizer of the vineyards, pushing native wine grapes into its shadows. The Caber...

  • Chambourcin

    Little is known about the exact parentage of Chambourcin. It was a hybrid developed by Joannes Seibel in the Loire Va...

  • Chardonnay

    British wine writer and critic, Jancis Robinson, once noted that throughout the 80’s and 90’s in the United States, C...

  • Pinot Noir

    “With so voluptuous a perfume, so sweet an edge, they make the blood run hot,” Joel Fleischman, wine columnist at Van...

Popular Wineries in Kentucky View all

  • Smith-Berry Winery

    This winery is an out of the way gem for those traveling through Kentucky. The winery is a famil...

  • Chrisman Mill Vineyards,Inc.

    Welcome to Chrisman Mill Vineyards! Tucked away in the rolling hills of the bluegrass, Chrisman M...

  • Lovers Leap Vineyard & Winery

    Come to our website for information:

  • Talon Winery

    Talon Winery is located on 300 beautiful acres in Southern Fayette County in Lexington, KY. Our H...

  • Jean Farris Winery

    They say behind every winery, lives a great story. The Jean Farris “great” story began in August ...

  • Broad Run Vineyards

    Broad Run Vineyards has followed the classic journey of Old World family wineries. We have plante...

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