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May 2011

Nancy is invited to cook with local foodie Rita Heikenfeld, pairing wines with Rita's great recipes... see

May 17 we were visited by Mark Ganchiff, editor of the new business publication "Midwest Wine Press". The premier issue will be available June 11. MWP is proud to be the most thorough and timely source of information on the growing wine industry in the midwest, and will cover Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. For more information contact Mark at


May 24: Nancy joins Cincinnati "foodie" and blogger, syndicated columnist and author Rita Heikenfeld on her cable TV cooking show! First peek at the 2010 Kinkead Ridge white wines that will be released Memorial Day Saturday and Monday at the winery.

2008 Cabernet Sauvignon wins GOLD MEDAL at Finger Lakes International Wine Competition. Over 3200 wines were judged from all over the world. Only two Ohio wineries won a gold medal for estate vinifera wine.



Bottling, end of day, 2011, Gretchen (middle), her sister Emilee (left), and Anna (right). Gretchen and Emilee's brother Logan has also become a principal winery and vineyard worker.

Anna corking Viognier/Roussanne. Anna's now experienced on the bottle filler, the capsule machine, the labeller and the corker. She is a great young lady! We're happy she's working here for us.

Anna, Logan and Ron Hitt.

Nancy was nominated for Brown County Businesswoman of the Year, one of three nominees. The award ceremony is May 2nd. We're bottling Viognier/Roussanne that day. Click here

Recent review of the 2008 Syrah from

"Last week we opened the 2008 Syrah with a slow roasted rack of lamb from the grill, one of the few days it has been possible to grill here in the last month with all the rain. The featured wine of the night was supposed to be a 1999 Chateau Ste. Michelle Meritage from Washington State. Very good wine with rich fruit, some wood, a little bit of earth, and very nice with the lamb. The Kinkead Syrah was opened primarily to check on its progress after I liked the 2005 version so well.

By now I guess I should stop being surprised about the Kinkead wines, but the KR quite simply blew the Ste. Michelle wine out of the water. Lots of dark fruit with some blackberries and blueberries on the nose and a small hint of the raw meat smell that I like so well in northern Rhone wines. The taste was full with those same fruits but there was more acid in this wine to cut through the richness of the lamb. There was some good mouth feel of oak and nice finish to the wine. My only complaint was just a touch of heat at the very end, but that was a minor price to pay for a very good wine.

The best part may be that there are more bottles of this resting in the cellar and I will get to revisit this wine for several more years. If it matures the way the 2005 version did there are some seriously good bottles waiting down the road.

15.2% alcohol, 194 cases produced and $18.99. "

Dayton mark your calendars: May 22, Carillon Park, the Fleurs et Vin Festival. Since we are fundamentally out of most of our wine releases, we won't be pouring this year. But there will be a very special auction basket... a bottle of the very rare (only 76 cases produced) 2008 Petit Verdot, autographed by the winegrower. As far as I can remember this is the only autographed bottle, though we normally will sign the last bottle to leave the winery. There are two left in the winery. Saving one for David Schildknecht (Robert Parker writer), who hopes to visit in March. Saving the other for Gary Vaynerchuk. Also in the basket: some nice grape earrings, two glasses, a jar of my home-made Cabernet Sauvignon Dessert Sauce, a six bottle carrier, two glasses and a golden pear!

Another fantastic review of the 2008 Cabernet Franc:

"hey nancy, just wanted to say hello and pass on a note that I got from a friend of mine. he's out in northern california and he has a little circle of wine geek friends that do these dinner parties. i guess that they all individually take notes and score wines then compare them collectively. So it was your cab franc, a nickel and nickel cab and then a hutchinson cab that garnered a 95+ robert parker score. needless to say your cab franc won the tasting and was 3 points average higher than both of the other two wines."

Sadly, we lost a Russian olive tree in the front yard during the last storm (shingles off the roof too). The shingles can be fixed. The tree is toast.

It's time for "bud break". Check out this great youtube video.


A computer message we can relate to!

From Murphin Ridge Inn, West Union, Ohio. The 2008 Cabernet Franc "has been the second most successful wine at Murphin Ridge. Never have we sold a single wine in such a short period.... Number one, Cinnabar, Mercury Rising Paso Robles every vintage 2003-2007 are great. We use 15 ? 20 cases per year. So the Cab Franc has out sold all others Oct-?10-Mar. 14 ?11. This wine is special."

Here's what a customer of theirs said: "We had a bottle of the Cabernet Franc at Murphin Ridge Inn this weekend and were blown away that a wine that good could come out of Ohio. We are fans of Cabernet Franc, preferring those from the Loire Valley in France (oh, to have a steady supply of Clos Rougeard). So coming across your finely crafted wine was a true delight. Well done, indeed."

The Jefferson Cup has arrived! Only 20 wines of over 600 won this award. This is just as exciting as when we won the Double Gold medal for the 2004 Cabernet Franc at the American Wine Society competition.

Kinkead Ridge 2008 Cabernet Franc reviewed by Currently a front runner for 2011 Wine of the Year...

"A small number of wines and wineries have developed an almost cult-like following east of the west coast. Paumanok Vineyards Chenin Blanc, Barboursville Vineyards Octagon and rockstar-turned-winemaker, Maynard James Keenan portfolio of wines have all been certified platinum by wine writers and critics alike. After tasting the Kinkead Ridge 2008 Cabernet Franc, I?m convinced the list just got a little longer.

Two years ago I began reading and hearing lots of wine chatter about Kinkead Ridge Estate Winery, a small producer in Ripley, Ohio. Renowned for their Cabernet Franc, Kinkead Ridge also grows Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Petit Verdot, Viognier, Riesling, Roussanne and Sauvignon Blanc on their 5-acre estate vineyard.

Excited to learn more about Kinkead Ridge and especially their wines, Owner and Managing Partner Nancy Bentley kindly sent me 3 wines to sample, led by their Jefferson Cup Winner 2008 Cabernet Franc.

Dark fruit dominates the nose with a hint of red cherry, tobacco and spice. Blackberries, cherries, herbs and green peppers explode on the palate. A medium-bodied wine with balanced acidity and tannin. An outstanding effort, especially at $18 retail.

A front runner for my 2011 wine of the year, the Kinkead Ridge 2008 Cabernet Franc delivers on all fronts. Cheers!

--Brian Kirby

Kinkead Ridge 2008 Cabernet Franc and 2010 Viognier/Roussanne to be featured in internationally published volume "1000 Great Wines" by a publishing house in Britain in October. Details to follow.

Kinkead Ridge written up in the Washington Post! The "terrific Cabernet Franc from Ohio's Kinkead Ridge"... Click here...

Tweet from Brian Kirby, "Christmas came early. The 2008 Kinkead Ridge Cabernet Franc is unbelievable."

Facebook post from Jens Rosencrantz, owner of the Cincinnati Wine Garage: "One advantage of having a poor inventory system in the cellar, is that you get surprised by a case that you entirely forgot about. 2004 Kinkead Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon. Wonderful."


Kinkead Ridge in the Top Five of the Ohio/Michigan Wine Clash Competition
Winner: 2008 Kinkead Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon

American Wine Society Competition Results
2008 Kinkead Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon: Silver Plus; 2008 Kinkead Ridge Winery Cabernet Franc: Silver. Both of these wines were judged in October after only a few months in bottle. Many of the gold medal wines at this event were from vintages from 2007 or earlier, so this was a great result.

Kinkead Ridge and Ravenhurst, the only two Ohio wineries featured in Opus Vino. Written by a new generation of wine critics with up- to-date, in-depth knowledge of the different wine regions, the wineries and their wines, Opus Vino provides greater coverage to the wine world than any other illustrated wine book. Organized by country, and then broken down into regions, districts, and wineries, the book looks at more than 4,500 individual wineries, identifies each region's top producers and its rising stars, and entries cover the owner, grapes, wine styles, and their best wines.

At 800 pages, Opus Vino takes wine publishing to new heights and gives both professionals and amateur enthusiasts a wine reference fit for the 21st century. Available in the U.S., U.K. and Australia in November, with international editions to follow next year.
Click here for details.

Click here to request a copy of our retail outlets. There are five wine stores in Ohio that can ship within Ohio or out-of-state.

Click here for a one page summary of the 2011 upcoming releases.

Click here for a one page summary of the 2010 releases, or visit the Wines link from the home page and scroll to the bottom of the page.

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.


We are often asked about food and wine pairings. Try Natalie's food and wine 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.

Funny jokes and wine/grape quotes. Click here.