Elk Creek Vineyards is Kentucky’s LARGEST winery and we are not open 7 days a week.
Our tasting room presents more than 20 varietals of award winning wine and our counter service café menu features gourmet soups, salads, and sandwiches daily.
We offer 2 free winery tours in addition to live music and dinner specials every Friday and Saturday.
Elk Creek has 15 lodging rooms, meeting space, and a spa that makes us the perfect place for a wedding, corporate outing, reunion, or special event.
We are kid friendly (no pets please since we serve food) and although we do not take reservations we do appreciate a call ahead to help us staff accordingly.
Did you know that Kentucky was the first state in the US to have a commercial winery BEFORE prohibition? It's true! Curtis Sigretto moved to Kentucky from New Jersey and decided that he would like to build a winery in the heart of Kentucky's Golden Triangle, Owen County, so he started planting grapes in 2003. Curtis fought through some very restrictive prohibition laws and he opened Elk Creek Vineyards in November of 2006.
On October 22nd Barry, Karin, and Fred Papina signed papers with Curtis Sigretto
to take over Elk Creek Winery, LLC.
Papina Legacy Winery, LLC is a family owned
business with a 145 year-old vineyard and winemaking history. Fred and Carol
Papina have been married for over 50 years; they have 3 children, including
their son Barry and daughter-in-law Karin Papina who have blessed them with 5
amazing grandchildren. (Click HERE to read more about the Papina Family Legacy)
Elk Creek has 30 acres in vine and produced KY’s first Estate Merlot, Pinot Noir, and Sangiovese wines! We also grow Vidal Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Riesling, Chardonelle, Norton, and Chambourcin on the Estate. Elk Creek bottles nearly 48,000 gallons of wine each year! We harvest about 3 tons of grapes per acre (1 ton of grapes yeilds 450 gallons ot 2,225 bottles of wine).
We have 4 SIZES OF STEEL TANKS and 4 sizes of oak barrels to age and ferment our wines.
4640GL (largest) =25,000 BOTTLES
60gallons, 120 gallons, 500 gallons and 1,200 gallons
Remember that 1 gallon = 5 BOTTLES
At Elk Creek we hand pick all our grapes! The red grapes are destemmed, crushed, then and lest with the skins for 2 or 3 weeks to give the red wine color. Since the tannins give the wine the dry sensation on the tongue and the tannins come from the seeds they are also given a few weeks in the tank before they are pressed. The white grapes are destemmed, crushed, then pressed. Our grapes are pressed with an air filled bladder then the skins and stems are composted.
Elk Creek grows our own unique yeast culture used to ferment our wines. Fermentation is simply the process of turning sugar into alcohol and different varieties of grapes have different levels of sugar. We allow all the natural sugars to ferment to about 13.5%.
Most of our white wines take 6-8 months from harvest to bottle, fruit wines (including concord) take about 3 months and they are all made in our stainless steel tanks. The red wines are aged in American or French Oak barrels and typically age between 18 and 28 months. We use medium toasted white oak barrels to age the wine allowing the surface to accept the wine and to expand and contract as needed for aging.
When our wine is ready to bottle we bring the tank into cold stabilization, the frost forms on the blanket and brings the tank to about 32 degrees allowing the sediment to fall to the bottom. Then we pipe off the top for the clear wines and allow the tank to come back up to about 62 degrees. Our bottling machine is top of the line and can bottle 3.5 cases or 42 bottles of wine per minute!