Tidbits: New Jessamine winery is rooted in history

swthompson@herald-leader.comAugust 30, 2012 

A new winery, First Vineyard, is open in Jessamine County on the same spot where America's first commercial winery and vineyard were.

Farmer Tom Beall bought a small tract of land in Jessamine County in 1994 and kept expanding his farm along the Kentucky River by buying adjacent tracts as they became available. A friend told him about the first commercial vineyard, and after lengthy research, Beall found the exact location was on his property.

That first commercial winery was started by the Dufour family of Switzerland. In 2006, Beall decided to reestablish the vineyard.

First Vineyard's tasting room is open 1 to 7 p.m. Thursday through Sunday at Sugar Creek Resort, 5800 Sugar Creek Pike in Jessamine County. Call (859) 885-9359 or go to Firstvineyard.net.

Special events

■ Lexington's Fest-of-Ales will be 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday at the Fifth Third Bank Pavilion at Cheapside Park, Main Street and Cheapside. Tickets, limited to 1,500, are $25 and include a collectible tasting glass and 20 beer samples. The event will feature more than 60 breweries, and food will be available from a variety of downtown vendors including Big J's BBQ, Courtyard Deli, Hardwood Pizza Co., Kettle Masters Kettle Korn and Skybar.

An official after-party starts at 9 p.m. at Pazzo's Pizza Pub, 385 South Limestone. Free transportation will be provided by the Colt Trolley. Call (859) 425-2593 or go to Lexingtonfestofales.com.

Alfalfa Restaurant, 141 East Main Street, will serve its popular holiday brunch on Monday, which is Labor Day. Included are the farmers market omelet, made with Boone Creek Creamery's English cheddar. The pancake special features local Gala apples. Hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call (859) 253-0014 or go to Alfalfarestaurant.com.

■ Al Young, brand ambassador for Four Roses Bourbon, will be special guest at Jonathan at Gratz Park on Thursday for the release of Jonathan's hand-picked OBSO, a single-barrel 110.07-proof bourbon. The 9-year, 9-month-old barrel was selected and purchased with other businesses including Bluegrass Tavern, Wine + Market, Unlimited Spirits and Red Dot Liquor. The dinner is 6 to 7:30 p.m. Jonathan is at 120 West Second Street. Call (859) 252-4949 or go to Jagp.info.

Bd's Mongolian Grill turns 20 in September and is celebrating with a scratch-off card promotion. Guests could win prizes, including free appetizers and entrees, and discounts. Twenty guests at each location will receive the grand prize: free food for a year. Bd's is at 2309 Sir Barton Way. Call (859) 264-0686 or go to Gomongo.com.

Farmers market reports

Lexington Farmers Market vendor Sorbet Café, a spin-off of Bleugrass Chevre, will have pawpaw sorbet Saturday at the Fifth Third Bank Pavilion at Cheapside Park.

King's Gardens, 4560 Nicholasville Road, has plenty of fresh produce at its farm market. Included are zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers, potatoes, onions, butternut squash, watermelon, Roma green beans, cushaws, sweet corn, locally made strawberry jam, black raspberry jam, apple butter and apple cinnamon jelly. Hours are 4 to 6 p.m. Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Call (859) 272-7077 or go to Kingsgardens.com.

Bluegrass Farmers Market has green beans, tomatoes, squash, eggplant, eggs, raspberries, melons, herb seasoning, rabbit, beef, goat and lamb. Go to Localharvest.org/blog/29529 for locations and operating hours.

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