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Kentucky Wine and Vineyards

Great Grapes: Kentucky Wine and Vineyards

When it comes to beverages, Kentucky may be best-known for its bourbon. But Kentucky’s best-kept secret is its thriving wine scene. In fact, Kentucky’s vineyards predate its distilleries, and the first commercial vineyard in the United States was in Kentucky. At one point in history, the vineyards of Kentucky cultivated more than half of the nation’s grape harvest and wine yield, so it’s no stretch to say that that we know our wine.

Want more proof? Kentucky wineries took home 47 medals at the 2014 Indy International Wine Competition–often hailed as the largest scientifically organized and independent wine competition in the United States. Today’s Kentucky wines have won countless other regional, national and international awards, including the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition and Mid-American Wine Competition.

Though Kentucky wineries turn out many varietals including cabernet, chardonnay and pinot noir, growers in the state focus on three types of grapes: European, American and French-American hybrids*.

To get a comprehensive look at the local wine scene, travel one of our Kentucky wine trails that wind throughout the state–they’ll lead you to some of the finest vineyards and wines you’ll find anywhere. Most operations offer tours and tastings to give you an inside look at how these vintners operate.

If you prefer to blaze your own trail through Kentucky’s wine scene, you can find vineyards in any region of the state, from the picturesque bluegrass hills to the mighty Appalachians. Always check with a winery before visiting to ensure they’re open when you plan to stop by.

If you’re here to visit, be sure to buy a few bottles to take home with you. Aside from sipping, you can also use it in authentic Kentucky recipes such as this superb chicken braised with white wine.

Plan your Kentucky getaway today and join us in savoring the finest Kentucky wine!