There is truth in wine, and there will soon be a tasting in Bowling Green. The Historic RailPark & Train Museum will partner with the Kentucky Wineries Association to bring 12 wineries from across the state to 401 Kentucky St. from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. July 13.

Jamie Johnson, executive director at the Historic RailPark & Train Museum, said the inaugural BG Wine Festival will offer patrons the ultimate wine drinking experience, as it will feature some of Kentucky’s most delicious local wines.

“There’s a lot of people that are not aware of what’s available right here in their own backyard,” Johnson said. “Really, the thought behind putting this festival together is to bring it right here so that it’s easily accessible for people. A lot of times when people think about wine, they think they’ve got to go to California or they’ve got to go somewhere else – they don’t think about what’s right here. Our goal is to try to make it easy access for them so they can try it and learn to love what they can easily get a hold of.”

Johnson said the Kentucky Wineries Association has hosted similar events in other cities around the state, but it will be the first of its kind in Bowling Green. The goal is to keep the first event “small and under control” so organizers can get feedback and make it better in the years to come.

“We want to do just a few things to see how it goes and to really find out what parts of the event do people like, what things that they’d like for us to add so that we can continue to grow it every year,” Johnson said. “This year with limiting it to 12 wineries, we really want people to be able to go around and talk to all the different wineries and experience all the different types of wines that they have and really talk to them and learn about the winemaking process and everything that goes into it and how some of these farmers have decided to get into the business.”

The local wineries will be in the L&N Depot’s grand lobby and meeting room space. “They’ll all be inside in the air conditioning, so that way, no matter what the weather is, the wine’s still here and it’s good,” Johnson said.

Outside the venue, patrons will get to enjoy live music all day long from BandZaZZy – a local collective that plays music from the 1960s through today. An on-site food truck – Pop’s Street Eats – will also be available.

The event has a seven-hour time frame, but visitors won’t have to stay very long to enjoy a new experience. “People have the opportunity to come in at any time and they can get through and do their sampling so they still have the ability to do something before and after the event if they want,” Johnson said.

Advance tickets are available online for $20. Organizers will close ticketing a couple of days before the event takes place, at which point people will only be allowed to purchase tickets at the door. Door tickets will be $25.

Tickets include entry and 10 sampling vouchers. Additional tasting tickets will be available for purchase, along with wine by the glass and by the bottle. As an added incentive, the first 250 people who purchase tickets will also receive a commemorative wine glass from the Kentucky Wineries Association.

Although making wine in Kentucky isn’t new, many people want to experience wines they haven’t had before, Johnson said. There are numerous festivals around town, but none will offer the same wine-related fun as this one.

“There’s festivals for bourbon, there’s festivals for whiskey, there’s festivals for beer,” Johnson said. “But there’s not anything right here in Bowling Green, or even really close by, where they’re doing a traditional wine festival and doing it on an annual basis. So, we wanted to be able to bring that here and to be the first place to do it and to be the only place to do it.”

– For more information, visit https://www.historicrailpark.com.

– Daily News reporter Drake Kizer may be reached at dkizer@bgdailynews.com or by calling 270-783-3257.

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Judy Wildman Hughes Fellow. Will spend 10 weeks at the Bowling Green Daily News during summer 2019, primarily covering news and other general assignment stories.

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