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Nestled among what many may consider to be the “backwoods” of Kentucky sits a peculiar patch of woods that remains one of the state’s best-kept secrets. While the state may be known for its fast horses and strong bourbon, many wouldn’t expect an abundance of wine, but there’s a Kentucky Wine Trail that’s just as noteworthy as its infamous Bourbon Trail. Despite the fact that it doesn’t get quite as much love, we have to give credit where it’s due, and some of the best wine we’ve ever had actually comes from the heart of the bluegrass.

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While on our search for a little bit of entertainment on our way back to Cincinnati from Louisville, we happened upon an up-and-coming winery nestled less than 45 minutes from Louisville and a little over an hour away from Cincinnati right off of I-71. We have to confess that we were expecting to be greeted with the usual wine “snobs,” dressed to the nines for a little Saturday afternoon wine excursion, but that’s the furthest thing from what we found.

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Enter the Little Kentucky River Winery. Pulling up, we saw what had to be one of the most natural settings we’ve seen from any winery in the area. Strands fo bulb lights ran from a serving area to the back of the house, and hand-crafted wooden benches and tables were scattered less than 50 yards from the vineyard itself. When we walked up to order our glass of wine, we were greeted with the southern hospitality that makes Kentucky such a special place. The bartender offered us free samples, as we had never been there before, and was incredibly helpful in helping us to pick. We confess it was hard to choose. Regardless of what you’re looking for, you will find an incredible wine to suit your fancy.

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As of the wine wasn’t great enough, we were elated when the bartender said: “Ya’ll can go sit up in the enchanted forest if you want.” What was this?! Wine AND an enchanted forest experience?! This was what dreams are made of! So we walked up around the hill, noticing unique pieces of nature-themed art along the way. Turning the bend, we walked below an ivy-filled arch and saw a swing, lounge chairs and a number of wooden tables awaiting below the cover of the forest. The air was fresh, the wine was sweet, and the ambiance of the forest was truly captivating.

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Regardless of whether you’re trying to go on a short day trip, visiting nearby Clifty Falls for some hiking, going on a date, or just joining your other wine-loving friends on a new adventure, the Little Kentucky River Winery is a can’t-miss. They even offer live music on the weekends and have amazing plum and raspberry wines that just might be the perfect accent to any season. Seriously, Miss Bessie’s Pick Raspberry Wine may have permanently changed our lives and we will never be the same again. What are you waiting for? Go check it out and tell them your friends at CityNova sent you!

Matt Teaford is a meatatarian, craft beer enthusiast, and follower of his spirit animal, which he believes to be a Kodiak Bear. He can often be found hiking in the backwoods of Kentucky or bragging about both his hometown of Cincinnati and expansive knowledge of music. Except Polka. He knows nothing about Polka.

Matt founded CityNova because he wants people to experience life for all that it’s worth. He also thinks that nap time should be offered by all employers. Since he found no such opportunity, he thought a startup might be his best chance.

He’s also a political Independent who vies for true transparency and accountability in government, but that’s neither here nor there…

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