Yesterday I went out to Talon Winery, which is out on Tates Creek Road, at 37d54.438,-84d27.139
This is the first winery in Fayette County. They’ve been there for 4 years, but are just now announcing their presence to the public, and should have some releases available in retail outlets soon, although I’m not sure where.
They’ve got 5 wines so far, and they are about 50% from Kentucky-grown grapes, with the eventual goal of being 100% Kentucky-grown, mostly estate-grown. They have enormous tracts of land, and although only a little of it is planted right now, they hope to expand over time. They’ve got *very* cool equipment, including the automatic bottle filler/corker/labeller machine, which appears to be the only one of its kind in the state.
The wine-maker there is, to a small extent, a student of Chris Nelson, of Chrisman Mill, but he has intentionally avoided learning about Chris’ actual wine-making style, so that he can develop his own. Which is very good, I must say.
They have a Cabernet, Chacellor, and a Chardonnay, a blush and a sweet-ish niagra-based wine. The niagra, which I was sure I’d hate, was actually pretty good, I must grudgingly admit. And the blush might just grow on me, with lovely peach overtones. The Cab is big, jammy, and yummy, with a wonderful caramel/smoke/earthy backbone and enough tannin to squirrel away for a year or five. And the Chardonnay is … well, it’s a Chardonnay, but it’s not over-oaked. And they make a point of aging only in Kentucky White Oak, which is probably unique in the world, outside of a Bourbon distillery.
The winemaker there (Bah, I didn’t get his name) is very knowledgeable, and knows exactly what he likes. He’s clearly willing to experiment to accomplish it, and based on some of the stories he told, he also knows how to deal with the unexpected things that fate and the harvest throw his way.
I encourage you to go out there (see map linked above) and see their spread. Even if you are completely uninterested in the product, the place is beautiful, and a great place to go for a summer picnic.
Oh, and their grand opening will be on the 14th of August, with live music and food.