Kentucky Brings Home Winning Harvest
The color and flavor of fruit coming from many Kentucky vineyards is remarkable this year, according to Dr. Tom Cottrell, Extension Specialist for Enology at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. “Sugars are high this year,” Dr. Cottrell said. “We’re seeing reds like Norton, Chambourcin and Cabernet with sugars as high as 24.”
According to Alicia McGuire, Executive Director of The Kentucky Vineyard Society (KVS) , the number or wineries in Kentucky has grown in recent years to over 60. Many new Kentucky vineyards are being planted by former tobacco growers, McGuire said. As tobacco prices and demand decline, locally made wine is increasingly important to rural economic development, she said.
An example of the growth of small farm wineries in Kentucky is Lake Cumberland Winery in Monticello Kentucky. Winery owner Norrie Wake was recently granted what may be the only licence to operate a winery to in a dry county. “I could not have got my business up and running without their (Dr. Cottrell and KVS) help,” Wake said. Norrie’s wine will be made from grapes grown in his own vineyard, which he has tended since switching from tobacco farming. “Many of the same skills for growing tobacco are needed to grow grapes,” he said, “you have to work hard, know how things grow and get out in the field every day.”
The Kentucky Vineyard Society was established in 1798. Please visit their website at: