America’s commercial wine industry began in Kentucky thanks in large part to the Marquis de Lafayette’s winemaker, Jean Jacques Dufour (also known as John James Dufour). Around 1798 Mr. Dufour set out to find ideal land for growing wine grapes, and with the assistance of several prominent statesmen he formed the Kentucky Vineyard Society and purchased approximately 600 acres of land along the Kentucky River in present-day Jessamine County. Dufour claimed this to be the “First Vineyard”, and a portion of his first vintage went to one of America’s founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson.
Although the nutrient-rich soil in this state is ideal for grape growing, the first few decades were tough on the Kentucky grape vines due to various grape diseases and the Civil War. Nonetheless, Kentucky’s grape and wine industry continued to thrive and became the nation’s third largest by the end of the 1800’s. However, Prohibition dealt a major setback to this industry as many grape growers were forced to uproot their grape vines and plant tobacco in order to earn a living.
With the 21st Amendment to our Constitution repealing Prohibition, Kentucky looked to revitalize their once thriving grape and wine industry. In 1976, Kentucky passed legislation allowing wineries to operate, and provided funds to farmers to once again explore grapes as a cash crop. This industry has grown steadily and today there are approximately 100 wineries and over 500 acres of planted grapes. Kentucky’s growing grape and wine industry also promotes agri-tourism attractions, such as wine trails!
Bluegrass Vineyard is a new vineyard and winery here in the Commonwealth. We hope to work with other vineyards and wineries in this region to establish wine trails, host events, produce premium wines and unforgettable memories. Our vineyard sits on 20 acres and is located just one mile south of Interstate 65, exit 38. Over the next few years we hope to plant more grape vines, build a winery, and add to the agri-tourism industry in this part of the Commonwealth. Keep in touch for more information about our progress!
Bluegrass Vineyard in the News
Here are some of the articles and videos of Bluegrass Vineyard in local news:
Glasgow Daily Times, October 2016 - http://www.glasgowdailytimes.com/news/red-white-issue/article_4ee54ca2-9bfe-11e6-be3f-97151a18cf42.html
Bowling Green Daily News, December 2016 - http://www.bgdailynews.com/news/smiths-grove-to-hold-vote-on-winery-alcohol-sales/article_ee6517ab-007a-5d92-be9c-b548a7b862c7.html
WBKO, January 2017 - http://www.wbko.com/video?vid=411717926
WBKO, January 2017 - http://www.wbko.com/video?vid=411811966
WBKO, January 2017 - http://www.wbko.com/content/news/Smiths-Grove-winery-expects-to-grow-due-to-Tuesday-votes-411794335.html
WNKY, January 2017 - http://www.wnky.com/clip/13055838/bluegrass-vineyard-winery
Bowling Green Daily News, January 2017 - http://www.bgdailynews.com/news/smiths-grove-vineyard-plans-to-offer-wines-host-events/article_694a7613-0fbe-51bb-a9a6-61bc36d4180e.html
WNKY, February 2017 - http://www.wnky.com/clip/13093212/feel-good-friday-bluegrass-vineyard
WKU College Heights Herald, February 2017 - http://wkuherald.com/life/local-winery-prepares-to-take-on-the-spring-season/article_372dd029-d94c-5777-b176-e9e20ec2be9d.html
WBKO, March 2017 - http://www.wbko.com/video?vid=417795133
WBKO, July 2017 - http://www.wbko.com/video?vid=437002343
WNKY - August 2017 - http://www.wnky.com/clip/13544463/sunrise-spotlight-drew-rogers-from-bluegrass-vineyards