Seemingly endless fields of corn flank either side of U.S. Highway 60 between Henderson and Morganfield. The closely grouped stalks create a sense of perpetually unified motion as they gently sway in the stifling breeze of an early summer heat wave. Not far from the Ohio River in the western part of the state, Morganfield emerges from rural agricultural fields, maintaining the quintessential southern charm of so many small Kentucky towns. Nineteenth-century houses set amongst mature tree lined streets give way to an historic yet lively downtown comprised of brick structures of bygone generations
White Buck Vineyard and Winery lies just past downtown Morganfield. Kentucky’s newest winery, White Buck has transformed a former recycling station into a fully functioning winery complete with tasting room- now open five days a week (Tuesday-Saturday). As I stroll through the acres of trellised vineyards with owners Carla and Dr. Allen White, their passion for the business is apparent. Allen explains each variety planted and his plans to expand the vineyard. He tells me about the wines he is crafting and those he anticipates making for future vintages. Once back in the comforts of Air Conditioning, Carla flips through photos of the property snapped prior to the White’s extensive renovations. The winery in its current state is nearly unrecognizable. Where refuse once littered the disused concrete floors now lie rows of American Oak barrels and a newly constructed climate controlled tank room. On the spot where rusting trailers once stood stacked amongst overgrown weeds now lie rows of carefully maintained Traminette and Vignoles vines. The White’s vision was certainly inspiring if not daunting but, in spite of the challenges, they’ve managed to construct a truly beautiful winery.
The tasting room is refined yet warm with a bespoke bar constructed in part from salvaged doors dominating the room and a series of commissioned equine paintings by a local artist adorning the walls. Though tastefully elegant, an ambiance of welcoming comfort encourages casual relaxation and shatters all preconceived notions of tasting room pretentions.
Alas, in spite of visual appeal, the aesthetic façade of a winery’s tasting room often says little of the quality of wine produced. Fortunately, this isn’t the case at White Buck. Dr. White is producing stellar wines that really make a visit worthwhile. For the serious oenophile up for a challenge, try the Cabernet Sauvignons (Lodi). White Buck has two separate bottling’s of Cab, one aged in American Oak and the other in French Oak. It’s great fun to try to determine which is which and then to seek out the subtle nuances that make each wine unique.
The Sangiovese (semi-dry) is medium bodied with light tannins and chocked full of aromas of summer berries and cassis. Lovers of off-dry aromatic whites will love the Doc’s Delight, a Riesling brimming with a bouquet of fresh quince and pineapple that possesses a steely essence and finishes with just the right amount of racy acidity. In addition to the aforementioned wines, White Buck also produces a Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and, for the sweet wine enthusiast, a Catawba Rose.
White Buck Vineyard & Winery Contact Information:
1800 U.S. Hwy, 60 W
Morganfield, KY 42437
Phone: (270) 389-1285
Website: www.whitebuckwine.com (Coming Soon)
Hours: 11am-6pm Tuesday-Thursday
11am-8pm Friday & Saturday
Kentucky Wine Page: http://www.kentuckywine.com/wineries-vineyards/wineries-list/white-buck-vineyards-winery-2/