New winery to open in Darke County

Another new winery is in the works for the region.

Kennedy Vineyard near New Madison in Darke County is scheduled to open in October, according to co-founders John Kennedy and Scott Robinson.

Kennedy Vineyard will be the third new winery to open in the region this year, following Caesar Creek Winery east of Xenia and Old Mason Winery near West Milton. And it will be the second winery in Darke County, home to the Winery at Versailles.

The new winery has 1,300 vines in the ground, and more will be planted this summer, Kennedy said.

“Each year, we’ll plant another acre, until we max out at about 2,900 vines,” Kennedy said. Plans call for planting a fruit orchard as well, to accommodate the production of fruit-based wines such as apple and peach.

When the tasting room opens this fall, the winery will offer seven wines for sampling, made from juice and grapes brought in mostly from New York state and other Ohio vineyards. Kennedy said as newly planted and recently planted grapevines reach full production over the next few years, the vineyard’s owners will use increasing proportions of grapes grown in their own vineyards to make their wines, with a goal of becoming an all-estate-grown winery in about five years.

Kennedy said his sister and brother-in-law operate a winery in the Columbus area, and his mother has made wine on the Darke County property for more than a decade.

The new winery is owned by Kennedy and his wife Louisa of Arcanum and by Robinson and his wife Shelley, also of Arcanum. All have other jobs but will collaborate in the business venture, Kennedy and Robinson said.

For more information, check out the Kennedy Vineyard Facebook page.

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