Emancipation Day marks the day President Abraham Lincoln signed the Compensated Emancipation Act of 1862, which freed more than 3,000 slaves in the District of Columbia.
Federal employees get Emancipation Day off from work; since the 16th fell on a Saturday this year, they got Friday off instead, which pushed Tax Day this year to April 18.
Equally importantly to us at The Daily Sip, Lincoln’s wife, Mary Todd, is credited with putting local wines on the menu at a State Dinner back in 1861! So in honor of our 16th president and that he grew up in a log cabin in Kentucky, this Emancipation Day weekend, we will feature the wines of Kentucky.
Kentucky ranks #9 in the list of top wine producing states, according to the National Association of American Wineries, and contributes about 3% to our country’s total wine production.
America's first commercial winery was founded on the banks of the Kentucky River in 1798. The vineyard was fittingly named "First Vineyard," but it got hit with frost and was abandoned by 1809.
Kentucky now has over 113 grape producers growing around 550 acres of grapes, according to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. (We would wager that there will be more soon as Kentucky farmers turn their tobacco fields into grape-growing acreage.)
Next time you’re in Kentucky, check out some of the vineyards, and in honor of our great president, consider trying wine -- not just bourbon -- from the Bluegrass State!
Consider these wines :
Springhill Winery Bourbon Bordeaux ($21.95), which is aged 6 month in Bourbon Barrels.
Wildside Winery Seyval Blanc ($13.00). Seyval Blanc is a French hybrid that is famous for its resistance to cold.
Kentucky Blue Riesling ($16.99). Just because we love the name.