Indian Creek Winery came to be as the result of a 15-day road trip embarked upon by Mark Kendall and his wife. As the couple drove across the Southeast, they visited every winery they found between Alabama and Gatlinburg. At the trip's end, they'd acquired the inspiration to plant their own grapevines on Georgetown soil. Since then, they've developed wines that range from a three-wine blend called Dry Creek Red to a riesling sweet enough to make honey glow the envious green of a lovelorn alien. Visitors to the winery can take a seat indoors, or outdoors amid scenic views and live music, to pair red and white sips with platters of cheeses, summer sausage, and dried fruit.
Turtle Run Winery’s founders Laura and Jim Pfeiffer create sippable bliss through a thoughtful process of fruit fermentation. The three-hour tasting and tutorial explains the intricacies of aperitifs, highlighting the importance of color, aroma, and balance, and demystifying differently shaped glasses. Taste-testers will swirl more than 20 offerings, comparing internationals and domestics to Turtle Run’s own varieties, followed by a dinner paired with course-complimenting libations. Hosts will also cover the science of wine making, explaining the alchemy and series of top hats involved in turning table grapes into top-notch vino.
Located in the bourbon capital of the world, Heaven Hill Distilleries has a long history that stretches back to the birth of the spirit. Today, Heaven Hills honors tried and true traditions by crafting its bourbon using pure Kentucky water and corn—as opposed to wheat from one of its neighboring states. Visitors can get an in-depth look at the distilling process through a host of tours that include educational bourbon tastings.
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.