A Taste of History and the birthplace of

 the wine industry in the United States

Over 200 Years of History

Kentucky has long been famous for its fast horses, beautiful women and fine bourbon whiskeys. What's not as well known is that lying in the heart of this beautiful Bluegrass region in a small county abutting the Kentucky River, is the site where the first commercial winery in the United States was established over 200 years ago. This historic venture was started by the Dufour family of Switzerland, who had been producing and enjoying wine for generations  First Vineyard was so named by the founder, John James Dufour. The story of how Jessamine County, Kentucky, was selected to become the home of this fledgling industry, how one family's dreams were destroyed by odd quirks of fate and weather, and how this unique property has since been restored is a saga rich in history, drama and the dedication of the new owners of the First Vineyard, who have spent thousands of hours carefully researching hundreds of documents  to unequivocally establish the location of this historic site. Document such as the survey of the property done by Daniel Boone in 1783, the business plan that was written by Dufour in 1798 and published in the Lexington Gazette and the Kentucky Revised Statute that actually created the Kentucky Vineyard Society and made Dufour the vinedresser for the First Vineyard in 1799.

 

We hope you will visit us – and our new tasting room – to hear this remarkable story, tour the historic property and enjoy a “true taste of history” in our one-of-a-kind winery. We have been able to rezone a portion of the property so that lodging is available for those interested in the history of wine and the beginning of the wine industry in the United States. If you are a enologist, an early American historian or just wish to view where the wine industry in the United States began and would like to view hundreds of documents and artifacts that are on deposit in our library/museum, please call us at 859-885-9359 or contact us at firstvineyard.net@aol.com to make an appointment.

 

In September 2015 First Vineyard was entered into the National Historic Register. For further information visit the National Park Service website at  https://www.nps.gov/nr/feature/places/pdfs/15000656.pdf.  Thanks for visiting and check back often to see updates and photos on our vineyard and winery.

5800 Sugar Creek Pike • Nicholasville, Kentucky 40356 • (859) 885-9359

Winery Hours: 1:00 pm - 7:00 pm Friday-Sunday • thefirstvineyard@aol.com

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