Wine and Vine Fest is a jewel for Jessamine County

Kentucky Wine & Vine Festival - Nicholasville, Ky.
Though I've lived in Nicholasville since 2004, I’ve never experienced one of her grandest events because a scheduling conflict has always found a way to keep me from Nicholasville and the Kentucky Wine & Vine Fest. That is, until this year.

Last Saturday, I cycled from home to the large white tents at York and Oak streets where a significant crowd had already gathered. Judging from the license plates, many locals were joined by citizens of several Kentucky counties and even those from a handful of states. This festival has truly become a destination for many.

And it is clear why. Throughout the day, live music filled the air. As I listened to people in the crowd, words like tannins and bouquets or dry and semi-sweet punctuated conversations. The festival-goers certainly were appreciating some good grape juice.

Ten Kentucky wineries (plus two vineyards from Indiana) proved how Kentucky’s fertile soil can produce not only fast horses and good bourbon, but also fine wines. Jessamine County even boasts one of these Kentucky vineyards with First Vineyard. The grapes at First Vineyard grow from the same land where America’s first commercial winery operated in the late 1700s. A host of wines from around the country and around the globe were also available to be tasted.

A number of vendors — food and craft — showcased their products. Most bore the “Kentucky Proud” label. So this festival is a celebration not only of wine, but also a celebration of Kentucky.

It is no wonder, then, that the General Assembly designated this event Kentucky’s official wine festival in 2005.

The event, sponsored by Nicholasville Now!, is now in its tenth year. I can assume that during my nine year absence, the festival saw some bumps along the way. But I can say with confidence that this is a festival well done. We can and should be proud that this festival is right here in Nicholasville.

So although I’ve missed too many past Kentucky Wine & Vine Fests, I will endeavour to not again miss out. The festival is held annually on the first Saturday after Mother’s Day. It is already on my calendar for 2014 and I’d suggest that you add it to yours.

This column originally appeared in the Jessamine Journal
It should not be republished without permission.