The Kentucky Department of Agriculture and the Kentucky Grape & Wine Council have announced that the fourth annual Kentucky Commonwealth Commercial Wine Competition & Commissioner’s Cup will take place at Sullivan University in Louisville on Oct. 29.
With a goal of public awareness and education through promotion and recognition, the event is the quintessential yearly guide to the best wines produced throughout the state. Eligible only to licensed Kentucky small-farm wineries, the competition assembles panels of expert judges made up of industry leaders throughout the nation to systematically assess and score entries.
Kentucky was home to the first commercial vineyard in the United States and was one of the leading grape- and wine-producing states in the nation until the industry was all but shuttered during Prohibition. Kentucky’s grape and wine industry was revived in the 1990s, and today Kentucky has 70 small-farm wineries.
According to Tyler Madison, manager of the KDA’s grape and wine marketing program, Kentucky farmers are now growing an estimated 450-550 acres of grape vines and Kentucky wineries produced nearly 173,000 gallons fermented in 2014.