While the majority of my blogs feature the wineries of my home state, New Jersey, the very first winery I ever visited was actually not in the Garden State but rather in Kentucky. It was on a sunny afternoon in 2007 that we flew into Lexington and promptly realized that it was both too late to really see any of the big attractions yet too early to check into our hotel. Now what? Then I stumbled upon a FB event for free live music at Talon Winery. Sold! Like most newbies, our palates craved sweet wines and Talon Winery had several that we really liked and one that we truly loved – Sweet Evening Breeze. Recently, we had a chance to return to the winery which had cultivated our love of wine trails and I must say, Talon has grown by leaps and bounds since our last visit. Formerly known as Fair View and built in 1790 by the first governor of Kentucky, Isaac Shelby, Talon's tasting room is both charming and historic. But now this little country winery has grown into a vast complex of event venues and estates. While the expansion was indeed impressive, there was only one thought on this wine lover’s mind – will the Sweet Evening Breeze be as awesome as I recalled?
Yup, it was tasting time! First up was Vidal Blanc, a citrusy dry but bright white. Next came Rogue, a Traminette aged in bourbon barrels that was surprisingly mellow with just a hint of bourbon. And then it was time to taste Sweet Evening Breeze and yes, it was just as light, fruity and delicious as I remembered! Other memorable wines included the Bluegrass Blush, a semi-sweet sure to be embraced by White Zin fans, Mango, Southern Rose (semi-dry with hints of cherry) and the Afterglow, a Catawba that is a sweet wine lover's dream come true.
Talon Winery remains a wonderful haven in the heart of Bluegrass Country with a serene beauty that I truly hope will not be lost in the encroaching construction. And yes, every Saturday they still offer free live music.