Don Davis didn’t set out with a plan to open his own winery in Auburn, but that’s the way his story has turned out.
Davis wanted to do something with his land in the Auburn area, and decided to plant a small vineyard to grow grapes for Cave Valley Winery in Park City. But once his vines were planted, his plans changed and after experimenting with making his own wine at home, he decided to use the grapes he would be growing himself; and so, Carriage House Vineyards was born.
The federal permit for the small winery has already been obtained and Davis is in the process of getting his state license. Once that lengthy bit of bureaucracy is finished, he will be able to start making and selling his own vintages later this year.
“Once I get it made, I would like to get it in some local stores,” Davis said. “I may do some Internet sales as well.”
He won’t be able to sell it from his winery and offer tastings unless there is a local precinct election. And while Davis says he would like to see that happen eventually, it is not in his immediate plans right now.
“One day this could be a nice part of the agri-tourism business in Logan County,” Davis said.
He planted his first vines in the spring of 2013 with 908 Chambourcin vines. Despite having a poor growing season, Davis said he hopes to get about 900 pounds of usual grapes from them this year.
“Chambourcin is a very versatile grape for wine making,” Davis said. “You can make a sweet wine or a dry win from them.”
In the spring of last year, Davis diversified his crop with 268 more vines with five different varieties including St. Vincent, Concord, Cayuga White, Moores Diamond and Traminette.
In all, Carriage House Vineyards has 1,176 vines on 1.5 acres.
Future plans for the vineyard include doubling that to approximately 2,000 vines on three acres, as well as developing a location in the vineyard to hold events such as weddings.
“We’ve already had some people asking about that,” Davis said. “Having weddings in vineyards is a very popular thing right now.”
Other nearby Kentucky wineries include Crocker Farm Winery in Franklin, Reid’s Livery Winery just outside of Bowling Green and Cave Valley Winery in Park City. There are currently 70 licensed wineries in Kentucky.
you can follow the progress of Carriage House Vineyards through its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/carriagehousevineyards.
To contact OJ Stapleton, email email@example.com or call 270-726-8394.