If someone stepped onto the grounds of Chenault Vineyards without knowing their location, they might mistake it for California wine country. Vast, picturesque fields of grape crop paired with its warm, rustic chic Welcome Center echo the simple serenity that many seek in Sonoma. However, the rolling hills and Appalachia-inspired event spaces– like the Kirksville Saloon– ground visitors into what is unique about Central Kentucky.
“The views are some of the best in Central Kentucky and truly can not be described until you have seen them yourself,” said Samantha Chenault Ballard, co-owner of Chenault Vineyards. “We like to think we have some of the most beautiful views in our county and we try our best to keep our grounds in tip top shape.”
For tourists and locals alike, Chenault Vineyards offers not only great locally-made wine (available to taste), but gathering spaces; live music; interactive courses like yoga, cooking, and barrel head painting; and a relaxing escape with gorgeous views and over four miles of walking trails.
“Chenault Vineyards gives the community of Richmond not only a beautiful event venue, but we give our community an enjoyable atmosphere to come and relax,” Ballard said.
Chenault Vineyards opened January 2016 after Ed and Becky Chenault purchased the land in an effort to give them roadside access to another property they owned. With their combined wealth of experience in hospitality and property management, the couple saw an opportunity. They painstakingly restored the buildings that became the Welcome Center, Kirksville Saloon, and Silver Creek Barn and Paige Hill Reception Hall.
In addition to hosting simple, elegant events, Chenault is also a fully-functioning vineyard. All crops are grown and maintained on the property, and all wine is produced on-site.
“Seeing this crop grow and wine being produced is an amazing process and something unique that Chenault Vineyards brings to Madison County,” said Ballard.
In addition to more traditional blends, Chenault carries three signature wines: Sam’s Fix-it-Juice, a sweet red made from 100% concord grapes; Bovine Blush, a sweet and fruity rose with notes of fresh grape, strawberry, and blackberry; and Sundy Best, a sweet white unveiled at this summer’s inaugural Vibe in the Vines festival and named for its opening act. Guests can taste these and other Chenault wines in the tasting room, located in the Welcome Center and open Thursday through Saturday from 12:00 to 8:00 p.m., and Sunday from 12:30 to 6:30 p.m. Visitors can also enjoy winery tours, led by vintner Alex Southwell, on Thursdays through Saturdays at 12:00, 2:00, and 4:00 p.m. Alternatively, visitors are free to explore the stunning grounds on their own via four miles of walking trails that wind around the property’s perimeter.
Connecting with visitors, according to Ballard, is one of the most enjoyable parts of running the vineyard. Since its opening, Madison County locals and international travelers alike have come to relax with a glass of wine and enjoy the scenery. She recalled that Chenault has enjoyed guests from such far corners as London, England. Though tasting and purchasing wine is limited to those 21 and over, guests of all ages, she maintains, can enjoy the vineyard.
“Any and everyone should visit!” said Balalrd. “We offer such a wide range of events and gatherings that we have something to entertain all ages of your family. We truly try to make our environment relaxed and always keep the events exciting and different.”
Four unique spaces are available for rent for both public and private gatherings, and can cater to small events to those with more than 300 guests. The grounds also host regular events, most notably this summer’s inaugural Vibe in the Vines Festival. Live music and community activities regularly fill the venue, information about which can be found on the Chenault Vineyards Facebook page. On November 27, the vineyard will host their annual Holiday Barn Market from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Local vendors will be set up to offer a holiday shopping experience, and the vineyard will serve soup, wine, mulled wine, wine baskets, and hot chocolate. Photos with Santa will also be available.
Visit during business hours for tours and tastings. For event inquiries, contact Chenault Vineyards at [email protected].