Memorial Day weekend is pretty much synonymous with food and wine for us here at My Wine Education. It means two things: Taste of Cincinnati and opening weekend for the local wineries.
Taste of Cincinnati is the longest running culinary festival in the US. How about that? 32 years! Every year, Kevin and I go and the menu for us is pretty straight forward. I pretty much eat crepes and cheesecake and cream puffs … every dessert I can find. Kevin tries every BBQ he can find. We usually drink some Moerlein and Great Lakes beer and we have wonderful food-filled day.
Kevin and I are usually there on Sunday or Monday, as I can’t handle the crowds on Saturday. It’s generally hot, so we bring water and stay hydrated all day. No passing out down on Fifth Street!
On Saturday, instead of fighting crowds downtown, we’ll be enjoying a leisurely drive out to both Kinkead Ridge and Harmony Hill. Both wineries, as well as La Vigna Estate, open for the summer this weekend. However, while La Vigna and Harmony Hill will be open Fridays and Saturdays throughout the summer, Kinkead Ridge is open only this Saturday and Monday. If you want some Viognier-Roussane (I do!), get it now and get it early. It’s in limited supply.
If you want to spend the day lazily going from winery to winery, I recommend this route, starting in Ripley and ending in Bethel: Kinkead Ridge, Meranda-Nixon, La Vigna Estate, and ending at Harmony Hill. If you can, stop and pick up some munchies and sit out on the Harmony Hill patio with glass of wine, listening to the music.
Have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend. And remember, if you’ve had too much to drink – just call the FETCH taxi service at 513.35.FETCH.
It’s spring! Grapes are budding and the vines are spreading rapidly. Our local wineries are getting ready, in many cases, to open for the summer and have special events all lined up. Questions about local wineries? Check out our always updated Guide to Drinking Local that points you to posts on wineries from Ohio, Kentucky, and even Indiana.
Harmony Hill’s official opening for the season is on Memorial Day weekend. But there is sort of a pre-opening this coming weekend. Harmony Hill will open it’s doors for a special occasion on Saturday, May 8, in conjunction with The Village of Bethel’s presentation of its inaugural BAMfest Art and Music Celebration. The winery will host an antique tractor show from 12-6 pm, and officially release the 2009 wines Woodwind, Ovation, Aria and Chamber Suite. There will be live entertainment at the winery from 12-8 pm so bring your blankets and lawn chairs.
On May 28, the winery opens for the season, with live music on Friday nights, 5-9 pm, and Saturdays, 2-9 pm. Holiday weekends (Memorial and Labor Day), the winery is open on Friday, Saturday, and Monday (2-9 pm).
Kinkead Ridge had a rough growing season. Because of that, they won’t be open on weekends this summer. If you want your fill of excellent Kinkead Ridge wines, you’ll have to attend their special events, starting on Memorial Day weekend. On May 29 and 31, Kinkead Ridge will be releasing their 2009 white wines from 10 am – 6 pm. Quantities are very limited: only 126 cases of Kinkead Ridge Viognier/Roussanne, and only 42 cases of River Village Cellars White Wine (a blend of all our other grapes) were produced. After Memorial Day, whatever is left will be allocated to our wine store and restaurant customers. Can’t make it? They are accepting phone or email orders for these wines prior to May 29. The wines must be picked up the following Saturday.
Kinkead Ridge will be closed after Memorial Day until Labor Day, when they offer their Red Wine Release (2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Petit Verdot) and annual vineyard tour.
La Vigna Estate is located in Georgetown, OH and they’re also having their season opening on Memorial Day weekend. They’ll be open on Saturday, May 29 from 11-6 pm and Monday, May 31 from 12-6 pm. They’ll be releasing their 2009 Proprietary White ( Petit Manseng) and the 2008 Proprietary Red (Cabernet Blend). They’ll also have live music on Saturday.
After opening weekend, the winery will be open every summer Saturday from 12-6 pm.
Meranda-Nixon winery, located just outside of Ripley, hardly ever closes. They’re open year-round (with the exception of January, I believe). You can always visit their winery on Thursdays from 1-6 pm, Fridays from 1-8 pm, and Saturdays from 11 am – 9:30 pm. Additionally, you can have a fantastic dinner in the lovely Tuscan-themed tasting room at Meranda-Nixon on Saturday nights: steak and salmon dinners accompanied with a bottle of wine. Reservations can be made by calling (937)392-4654.
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