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This article originally appeared in the Napa Valley Register on September 4, 2015. While California may be the main location for vineyards today, the first commercial wineries in the United States were not on the west coast. Of course, then you might think that the first vineyards and wineries were in Virginia or one of the other original colonies. But, on a recent visit to Lexington, Kentucky, I visited First Vineyard, which is said to be the first commercial winery in the United States. First Vineyard In 1994, Lexington metro officer and builder Tom Beall found some land with the idea of building a small A-frame house for a weekend getaway. He began buying parcels in the area and in 2002 discovered that the property was the actual site of a commercial vineyard. While redeveloping the property, in order to plant vines as was done 200 years ago, Beall, a history buff, starting doing research about the land.
When I thought about fine-dining in Lexington, Kentucky, I envisioned traditional Southern, white tablecloth, fine-dining establishments with dress codes for men and women. But, our experience at Coles 735 Main was nothing like that. Owned by Lexington born Chef Cole Arimes, Coles 735 Main is located in a refinished 1938 historic landmark. It's a bit like walking into your grandmother's home with gingham print pillows. While not the most contemporary decor, it is not stuffy, formal or stodgy. Coles 735 Main Cole Arimes We sat outside on the charming patio as the fireflies buzzed and lit up around us. The menu offers Southern cuisine with an eclectic global influence and features fresh local ingredients.
The 77th winter/spring Opening Day at Santa Anita took place on December 26th, the day after Christmas. With the sun shining and temperatures hitting close to 80 degrees, what better way to spend the day than drinking whiskey, and trying to bet on horses, at the Whiskey In Winter Tasting Event in the recently renovated, member-only Chandelier Room.