With its lavender- and khaki-colored walls, cozy seating setups, and fireplace, Forest Edge Winery comes off more as a family's living room than a business. At the heart of its warm presentation sits a wrap-around bar, with pantries and shelves and cabinets nearby filled with, what else, but bottles of wine. That community-driven theme carries throughout the facility, including a downstairs children's room stocked with a television and creative activities. Outside, visitors venture in from the edge of the historic Bernheim Forest on Clermont Road–the start of Kentucky's bourbon trail.
Intoxicated Chocolates founders Jeffery Rogers and Candace Mills created their business concept over evening drinks. The duo regularly attended social functions around town, and Candace, a dessert connoisseur, would pair their libations with a sweet dish that truly complimented the flavor. Before long, the two merged the two ideas, and began creating chocolates infused with a bevy of adult beverages. Their chocolatey creations bear such flavors as bourbon, scotch, amaretto, brandy, cognac, and a variety of beers. Chocolates come in small 6-count sizes, ideal for sharing during cozy weekday nights at home, and 24-count sizes, perfect for party hosts who forgot they don't own drink glasses.
The starting pistol fires and the runners are off, but they're in for a surprise. Rather than running an easy 5K around gentle bends and smooth pavement, they have to clamber over parked cars, carry hefty tires, and participate in burlap sack races before they even get near the finish line. This is the Waterfront Challenge, an urban race designed to test a runner's mettle, strength, and endurance on a route that runs through Louisville's scenic, 85-acre Waterfront Park along the Ohio River. The excitement extends beyond the unorthodox obstacles with waves that run late into the night—those who take off at 9 p.m. make up the Glow Race, which elevates the fun by illuminating runners with glow sticks, glow-in-the dark costumes, and the runners' own sweat, which is naturally bioluminescent. At the end of the race, runners celebrate their victories on Big Four Lawn where music, cold beer, and food join an awards ceremony for top finishers and best glow-in-the-dark costume.
Mike Hatzell is no stranger to agriculture—or wine, for that matter. As a young man, he tilled the soil of his aunt and uncles farm during the summer months, and years later when he served in France, he developed a love for wine. When he and his wife, Karen, were married more than 50 years ago, he planted the idea in her mind: one day, they would own and operate their own winery.
Back in 2007, that dream eventually came to fruition with the inception of Brooks Hill Winery. Joined by winemakers Butch Meyer and Mike Miller, the operation was in full force in just a year, and they have continued to expand and diversify their selection of wines. A number of them can be sampled at their on-site tasting room, which, despite the sound of it, is not a room that drinks wine.
Wight-Meyer Vineyard & Winery began producing wines in the late 1990s as Bullitt County's first commercial vineyard. In 2006, after initially plucking grapes from 2.5 acres of vines and squeezing them using telekinesis alone, Wight-Meyer’s founders converted their barn into a bustling wine production facility. The vineyard’s award-winning wines include a barrel-aged Kentucky norton and a rosé, some of which can be sipped during group tastings in the facility’s new tasting room.
Surrounded by thick woods, lines of vines, rows of apple trees, and a garden lush with vegetables occupy 35 acres of Scout Mountain Winery. There, the Schad family has been handcrafting wines for more than two decades in styles such as blush, syrah, and chambourcin. Tucked away on the property, the family also oversees a quaint bed and breakfast inside a country house erected in the 1920s.