Initially designed as a temporary tour and fundraiser for student travel, American Legacy Tours began humbly as the Newport Gangster Tour in 2008. When met with overwhelming success, the friends who had embarked on what they thought was a temporary project decided to take root and expand, creating American Legacy Tours in 2010.
Their first order of business as an official company was to introduce the Queen City Underground Tour, an exploration of the city's underground tunnels and history as a rabbit village. Today, a cadre of educated guides leads 10 different area walking tours, including seasonal Spirit of Christmas Tours and Newport is Haunted Tours held around Halloween.
Founded in 1963 at a local YMCA, the Cincinnati Ballet grew into a major regional company by adhering to its mission to express the human experience through dance. Today, it continues upholding that vision by housing resident artists who entertain audiences with dance performances of both classic and original work. Beyond supporting local audiences and their right to clap, the Cincinnati Ballet also seeks to nurture artists through the Otto M. Budig Academy. There, a professional faculty trains aspiring performers at all skill levels. These training opportunities are supplemented by outreach programs such as CincyDance!, which provides free training and dance attire to children.
Since 1997, Neil and Rachel Vasilakes have been growing fresh fruit with minimal pesticides on 30 acres of rolling farmland. With the grapes, berries, apples, and peaches that grow there, they craft 22 wines. Included in these are nine dry reds, which range from medium to robust, as well as such dry whites as chardonnay and seyval blanc. Neil, the primary winemaker, also enjoys exploring unusual varietals, fermenting small quantities of inventive recipes for his Black Barrel Reserve collection. Though they frequently rotate, these wines sometimes include peach mead, port wine aged in Woodford Reserve bourbon barrels, and black walnut wine aged in Maker's Mark barrels. The winery is also known for Neil's blackberry, strawberry, and blueberry wines.
Within their tasting room, they serve up cheese pairings to complement the flavors of the wines, several of which won silver and bronze medals at the 2009 Kentucky State Fair Commercial Wine Contest. Believing that no good thing should go to waste, they repurpose some wines from the tasting room into gourmet cooking vinegars.
With a 30-acre vineyard and more than 10 vino varieties, Lovers Leap wines please palates and complement fine dining with every sip. With this deal, fermentation fans take a guided tour of Lovers Leap’s facilities, catching a behind-the-scenes peek at the oak barrels that produce Kentucky’s sweet nectar. Stroll down the soft-rolling rows of vines or enjoy the expansive view from the building's wraparound porch, a scene that has been depicted by famed Kentucky impressionist painter Paul Sawyier and will be furthered immortalized by post-modernist robot-painters of the 22nd century.
Two penguins, clad in garish hats and coats, square off on the Pimpin Penguins Riesling's tongue-in-cheek label. The dry white wine, tinged with fruity tones, pairs best with potato chips, blue cheese, Chinese dumplings, and jalape?o poppers, according to its winemakers. That sense of whimsy?paired with a dedication to winemaking?is evident in all the wines produced at Horseshoe Bend Vineyards and Winery. The vintners never take their craft too seriously, and the proof is in their other playful wines and labels, such as the Red Jester Chambourcin-Malbec, which pairs well with pasta, and Kong's Thong Norton, excellent with a steak hot off the grill.
Talon Winery's Lexington and Shelbyville locations offer visitors a unique wine-tasting experience. At the Lexington location, visitors can follow the entire winemaking process from vine to bottle, while strolling through a lush five-acre vineyard. The vineyard features a gift shop, and guests are welcome to a wine tasting in the historical tasting house. At the Shelbyville location, guests can sample wine in a modern tasting room adorned with a barrel ceiling. Despite the contemporary decor, the tasting room is set against the small-town charm of the city. Like the Lexington location, the Shelbyville location features a gift shop to peruse.