- Associated Press - Sunday, September 13, 2020

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. (AP) - There’s nothing like it in Elizabethtown.

That’s what everyone kept telling Charlie Watkins when he began searching for places for the franchisee location of Waters Edge Wineries he signed on for last year.

He wanted to open a business he could run with his daughter Tiana. Friends connected him to Ken Lineberger, CEO of Waters Edge Wineries, and “things got rolling from there,” Watkins said.

After more than a year in the works, Watkins’ franchisee location of Waters Edge Wineries, called Waters Edge Winery & Bistro of ETown, opened at 114 S. Mulberry St. in Elizabethtown.

“We wanted to bring something like this to E-Town so they don’t have to travel so far to get it,” Watkins said. “Now they’ll have it in their own backyard. Once we opened public ticket sales for the opening (event), they sold out in an hour.”

The 6,100-square-foot winery is Elizabethtown’s first commercial winery and bistro. It features a main dining area, small side dining area, patio and private room with a kitchen. There are 220 seats overall, which means even with COVID-19 social distancing restrictions, it can hold more than 100 people.

The California-based Waters Edge Wineries company was founded in 2004 and has 12 locations around the country, with another seven in the works, including the spot in Elizabethtown - the brand’s first location in Kentucky.

The micro-winery makes all its wines in-house and features classic selections as well as lesser-known grape varieties. Highlights on the selection of reds include “The Mammoth,” a medium-bodied merlot from France’s Burgundy region and “Koori,” an Italian Barbera, with notes of cherry, cranberry, nutmeg and anise. The white wine list features options such as the “Crazy Cats,” a chardonnay blend from California and the “Rolling Thunder” with passionfruit, cut grass and grapefruit aromas.

Wine flights featuring five different pours will be available, as well as a menu of sangrias. A wine club is also available at three different membership levels between $35 and $55 per month.

“Our supplier gets juice from all over the world and we ferment it here,” Watkins said. “We do everything: bottle it, cork it, personalize and label it. In our bistro, people can have small meals and drink wine and enjoy themselves.”

Food offerings include a selection of appetizers, sandwiches, salads, flatbreads and desserts, such as fried ravioli with roasted vegetables and dipping sauce, cauliflower wings and prosciutto and fig flatbread. There will also be gourmet cheese boards. A standout on the dessert menu is a bacon cherry brown butter cake with candied bacon and a cherry sauce made from one of the wines.

Watkins said his favorite wines are semi-sweet wines, but tasting some new varieties changed his mind. His current favorite is the Waters Edge Almond Sparkling, a specialty wine that mixes bubbles with a light hint of almond.

“I want to broaden people’s horizons on different types of wines,” he said. “If I could change my mind, I bet I could change other people’s minds.”

Waters Edge Winery & Bistro of ETown will be open Monday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. The winery is closed Sundays except for private events. For more information or to purchase a wine club membership, visit wineryetown.com.

Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide