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.
Sequestered in 151 acres of rolling hills and immaculate greenery, Woodford Hills Country Club whisks patrons through a bucolic landscape that features amenities both recreational and relaxing. Nimble golf carts take clubbers slaloming the fairways of the club's picturesque, 18-hole golf course, which runs alongside a horse farm and caters to golfers of all abilities with a player-friendly layout and strategic equine caddies. Outstretched toes test the waters of the club's outdoor pool, and the outdoor tennis courts sate racket-wielders' competitive spirits and affinity for yellow fuzz. Woodford Hills Country Club Grill and Bar invites midday or after-hours revelry amid burgundy walls and mahogany accents with Friday night dinner specials and crisp, cold drinks.
Life Adventure Center of the Bluegrass runs across 575 acres, half of which is preserved as one of the most heavily wooded areas in Woodford County. Several ponds, creeks, and miles of trails wind through the natural landscape, allowing hikers to bond with their environment before heading back to the farm's bustling equine, cattle-ranching, and crop-restoration programs. Life Adventure Center focuses on experiential education, encouraging others to practice hands-on learning in a natural setting through programs including survival clinics, nature photography, navigation, and horsemanship. Instructors strive to customize courses, accommodating each participant's needs, abilities, and talents for interpreting horse languages.
Sarah Bennett’s 22 years of horse experience—including a competition career that began when she was just 6—have led her to her current post as the head instructor at Ainsley Riding Academy. A lifetime around horses has imbued her teachings with a kind and understanding touch that eases the nerves of even the most young and novice rider. Atop friendly lesson horses—either inside the climate controlled indoor facility or under the sun in the outdoor riding ring—students follow a plan for improvement that’s geared toward their needs and goals while always keeping them safe and away from the peer pressure of circus daredevils.
Elk Creek Hunt Club sharpens shooting skills and sates hungers with outdoor sporting clay excursions. Like a Gumby-Seagal crossover film, duos traverse 2,500 acres of preserve lands hot on the pursuit of clay targets aboard a two- or four-person golf cart (use of four-person carts is based on availability). Upon arriving at a sporting-clay station, gunslingers prepare to tag fleeing clays as they veer towards the forest-covered or watery horizon. Afterward, hunters can rest their boots inside the Elk Creek Lodge for a hearty meal. The club's lunch menu lists a slew of sandwich and salad options, such as the Angus steak burger with cheese (an $8.95 value), dressed in the traditional garb of lettuce, tomato, and onion, and dinnertime selections include a grilled, 16 oz. rib-eye steak (a $27 value) and a cut of salmon enlivened with a bourbon glaze (a $27 value).
Fit Time for Women leads an all-female ensemble through energizing, calorie-kicking classes, including Flirty Girl sessions, which harness the power of dance to tone and trim torsos. Tara, an experienced instructor, models sensual movements drawn from music videos, pole routines, chair dancing, and the peacock's courtship ritual to transform workouts from repetitive drudgery into spirited hullabaloos. Up to 30 shimmiers per class undulate abs, gyrate shoulders, and pop hips to the heart-pumping tunes of club music. After learning Flirty Girl's fun, steamy dance routines, students strut away with enough confidence to cartwheel into their bosses' offices and demand all office chairs be replaced with gilded thrones.