Located in Leitchfield, Arbor Stone Vineyards offers a taste of something different for Grayson County’s agricultural economy.
Operated by husband and wife team Billy and Peggy Davis, Arbor Stone Vineyards serves as the only commercial vineyard in Grayson County, contracting with wineries throughout Kentucky and Indiana.
Billy Davis said he and his wife purchased their farm a number of years ago and discovered that the land had a rolling topography, with many similarities to vineyards they had visited previously.
The couple contacted the University of Kentucky (UK), which has a wine grape program, to do a site survey of the land.
Then in 2011, the couple planted about 1,000 vines, consisting of four different varieties of wine grapes, and, in 2014, they planted another 1,000 vines, consisting of two additional varieties of grapes, Billy Davis said.
Over the past five years, Billy and Peggy Davis have worked closely with UK on the establishment and maintenance of Arbor Stone Vineyards, which, he said, is a full-time job from March through October.
Billy Davis said the grape vines require a “massive amount of pruning and maintenance” throughout the year to ensure the quality of grapes that the wineries want is met and that the vines do not overproduce.
Billy and Peggy Davis get their root stock from nurseries, plant them once, and prune them every year moving forward. When the vines are matured, they can produce around 16 tons of grapes.
The couple contracts with wineries at the beginning of spring to determine how much product they want and what kind of product they want, according to Billy Davis.
Prior to Prohibition, Kentucky was the number two grape-growing state in the nation, Billy Davis said.
Reach Matt Lasley at 270-259-9622, ext. 2015.