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January 2010

Happy New Year!

Well, I like to "sweep this sheet clean" in January. For recent news and reviews, check the archives link for December 2009.

We had the annual winemaker/grower party here at the vineyard on Jan. 12. It was fabulous. Everyone brought a dish in addition to the beef tenderloin and dijon marinated chicken breasts and other side dishes I made. Here are some of the photos, click any photo to enlarge it.

All the wine released in 2009 is now sold out at the winery, and the winery is closed until Memorial Day 2010 for the release of a small quantity of white wine. Because of the small quantity of white wine from 2009, the winery will probably not be open this summer. Check back after the Memorial Day release for details.

Angelo Gaja (Italian producer) quote: "The vineyard is a tough school. You learn to distrust appearances; you get used to having your hopes dashed. If the season is bad from the start, you have time to resign yourself. But in years like 1966, everything is fine until the fall, and then rain ruins beautiful grapes."

Our 2009 harvest was a difficult one. We join the ranks of vineyards throughout the world who have good years and bad years. We had a similar experience this year. The 2009 vintage report (and it's not pretty) is available here.

Guido Rivella, enologist for Gaja:
"You know with good grapes this job is a lot more interesting. You can make two kinds of wine: a good one or a poor one. With poor grapes, there's no suspense."

The manager of Chateau Latour, Lamothe, wrote in 1816: "When Nature fails to provide the ingredients of good wine, man cannot compensate for the deficiency. He will never achieve anything greater than mediocrity."

"The wine makers job is a lot like the cook's. Of course, a cook can try things out every day, while we get a crack at it only once a year. And a cook doesn't have to wait years to judge the results, as we sometimes do... In the end, of course, even the greatest chef is no better than the quality of his raw materials. He can cover up defects with a heavy sauce, just as you can mask the shortcomings of a wine with a lot of new oak, or a little residual sugar, but that'll never be great cooking. Like the chef, the wine maker should exalt his ingredients, the characteristics of the grapes he gets in a given year from a given vineyard. My job is to get the best out of the grape."


The Wine Enthusiast rates the 2008 Viognier/Roussanne 87 points! Tasting notes will be on their web site in February.

Reports from the Annual Barrel Tasting, the Saturday after Thanksgiving: first reviews of 2008 reds (currently in barrel, Released September 2010) from Dan McGrew,

"The 2007 wines are big, full flavored, young and delicious. The 2008 wines have many of the same characteristics but seem to add a dimension of elegance to that mix. Both are very, very good vintages in this area. Sadly, the 2009 vintage is very poor - the price one pays in this area.

At Kinkead Ridge we tasted, in order, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. The Syrah was the most closed of the wines, the Cab Franc the most open and instantly appealing, the Petit Verdot the darkest and most flavorful, but the Cabernet Sauvignon was my favorite. Flavor, body, acid, tannin, oak were all first class. Time to put away some $ between now and September of 2010 when the bottled wines will be released.

This past September I purchased a mixed case of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc from the 2007 vintage, and it was good to taste those wines again to see how they were developing. I have yet to open any of mine. I was more than pleased with the progress the two wines showed in the bottle. Again, the Cabernet Sauvignon was my favorite."


Review by Aaron Fetters, Cincinnati of the Annual Barrel Tasting.

"Let's start with our first stop of the day, Kinkead Ridge in Ripley. Kinkead was sampling 4 varieties from their 2008 vintage all still aging in the barrels - Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petite Verdot. I'll start by noting, 2008 was an amazing growing year for grapes here in Southern Ohio - hot and dry with a late harvest. With that fact in mind, it's no wonder all 4 of the wines Ron at Kinkead was sampling were absolute BOMBS. I tend to talk up Ohio wines probably more than I should, but for once I think it's no exaggeration to say no one would ever believe these wines come from Ohio - they taste way more like huge reds from northern California. My personal favorite at this point was the Syrah which will be the first Kinkead has put its primary label on since 2005. Each of these wines will be released around Labor Day 2010 so be sure to make a note of it for future reference."

For the full report, see

Read what others are saying about Kinkead Ridge in their blogs...

Click below for access to six regional tours of Ohio wineries. Visitors can download turn-by-turn directions to their : Garmin, TomTom, Smartphone, PDA, iPod or any MP3 player. Also included is a brief description of each winery, along with contact information and hours of operation.


Our award winning wines are available in fine wine stores and restaurants throughout Ohio. Contact us for a list and for information about shipping out of state.

We are often asked about food and wine pairings. This is a great site to browse, Natalie MacLean's
Food Matcher.


"Why  go for those long distance relationships when you can find love in your own back yard." 


Brillat Savarin noted two features which distinguish man from beast:
1. Fear of the future.
2. Desire for fermented liquors.

   Words on Wine: 

Last night, my friend and I were sitting in the living room and I said to her,

"I never want to live in a vegetative state, dependent on some machine and fluids
 from a bottle. If that ever happens, just pull the plug."
She got up, unplugged the TV, and threw out my wine.

She's such a bitch.


Famous quotes throughout history about wine. Click here.

You are riding on a beautiful white horse.
On your left side is a drop off.
On your right side are several ostriches being chased by a lion.
In front of you are four large gazelles that won't get out of your way
and you can't seem to overtake them.
Behind you is a stampede of horses.
What must you do to get out of this highly dangerous situation?



* Get your drunk ass off the merry-go-round. *


Bottle of Merlot

A man asked a waiter to take a bottle of Merlot to an unusually attractive woman sitting alone at a table in a cozy little restaurant.
So the waiter took the Merlot to the woman and said, 'This is from the gentleman who is seated over there.'.... and indicated the sender with a nod of his head.
She stared at the wine coolly for a few seconds, not looking at the man, then decided to send a reply to him by a note..
The waiter, who was lingering nearby for a response, took the note from her and conveyed it to the gentleman.

The note read: 'For me to accept this bottle, you need to have a Mercedes in your garage, a million dollars in the bank and '7' inches in your pants'.

After reading the note, the man decided to compose one of his own in return. He folded the note, handed it to the waiter and instructed him to deliver it to the lady.

It read:
'Just to let you know things aren't always what they appear to be, I have a Ferrari Maranello, BMW Z8, Mercedes CL600, and a Porsche Turbo in my several garages; I have beautiful homes in Aspen and Miami , and a 10,000 acre ranch in Louisiana . There is over twenty million dollars in my bank account and portfolio. But, not even for a woman as beautiful as you, would I cut off three inches. Just send the bottle back'


Funny drinking quotes:

"Sometimes when I reflect back on all the wine I drink I feel shame. Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the vineyards and all of their hopes and dreams If I didn't drink this wine, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. Then I say to myself, "It is better that I drink this wine and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver."
~ Jack Handy

Click here for more funny drinking quotes.