Planning entertainment for group retreats can often be stressful if you are not familiar with an area. At The Stanford Inn, we try to provide as many options for our guests as possible, whether it’s right here in Stanford or in surrounding counties.
We recently provided an online entertainment guide to historical locations in the area (click here to read), and now we want to showcase one of the most popular forms of entertainment—touring bourbon distilleries and wineries.
When you think of bourbon, you think of Kentucky. The Bluegrass State is where 95% of the world’s bourbon is made. Do you have a favorite? Not every bourbon is the same and part of the fun is exploring the Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail®. The taste of bourbon depends on the type of yeast mash, grain type, and so many other factors.
In honor of bourbon lovers, you can also find distilleries in every corner of the state. Residents and tourists can visit and explore how bourbon is made—from the lab to the rick houses. You can learn everything from why most rick houses are painted black to how bourbon gets its color.
However, if bourbon isn’t your cup of tea, Kentucky has actually had a corner in the winery market since the 19th century. Kentucky has more than 113 grape producers and more than 60 wineries as of 2023, according to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. From Paducah to Lousia, various types of wine are produced and sold locally.
Central Kentucky has its fair share of access to bourbon distilleries and wineries if guests at The Stanford Inn are interested in adding that to their agenda. You don’t have to be in Louisville or Bardstown to access some of the best bourbon and wine.
The Stanford Inn is located in the heart of Central Kentucky. Interstate and parkway access provides visitors with the opportunity to quickly travel to several bourbon distilleries and wineries and then return back to The Inn. Let’s explore what central Kentucky has to offer!
Bourbon & Wine tours within an hour of The Stanford Inn
1. Wilderness Trail Distillery
20 minutes from The Stanford Inn
BOURBON – Wilderness Trail Distillery, in Danville, KY, is one of the closest options for visitors of The Stanford Inn. It’s just 14 miles and a 20-minute drive from downtown Stanford. This distillery began with two friends who were in a rock band together in the 90s. What’s more perfect than rock music and a glass of smooth Bourbon? The two friends, Shane Baker and Pat Heist, decided to leave their mark on the world of Bourbon in 2006, so they started Wilderness Trail Distillery. They can do one-hour guided distillery tours for groups of up to 16 people.
WINE – Cave Hill Vineyard & Winery is just 35 minutes south of The Stanford Inn in Pulaski County. This Kentucky Proud business is owned by Bill and Debbie Patterson. Bill and Debbie planted their grape vines in 2005 & 2006. They focused on the French hybrids of Chambourcin, Traminette, Cynthiana Norton, Cayuga White, and several blends. They offer wine tastings and often specialize in wedding space rental. For info on tours or availability, call 606-423-3453.
BOURBON – Four Roses Distillery is less than an hour from The Stanford Inn located in Anderson County. This brand has roots dating back to 1884 when the founder, Paul Jones, moved his business to Louisville and a couple of years later established the name Four Roses. It was the top-selling bourbon in the early 1900s. The business had several owners over time including a move overseas. Today they are located in Lawrenceburg, KY. They offer four different types of tours ranging from 30 minutes to an hour and 25 minutes. They can do tours for groups of up to 20 people.
WINE – 1922 House Vineyards is located just 35 miles north of The Stanford Inn in Jessamine County. This Kentucky Proud winery is owned by Brian and Karla Young. They created their brand in honor of their home, which was built in 1922. The winery is located near the family’s 25-acre farm. Their home is also featured in their logo. 1922 House Vineyards is regularly open on Saturdays from 12 pm to 6 pm. You can call ahead to schedule group visits and tours. Call Brian Young at 859-321-3533.
BOURBON – The Limestone Branch Distillery is 38 miles west of The Stanford Inn located in Marion County. The Beam family produced whiskey as early as 1795 with Jacob Beam and The Old Jake Beam corn whiskey. In 2010, Jacob Beam’s great-great nephews, Stephen and Paul, decided to start distilling their own bourbon and opened the Limestone Branch Distillery in 2012. They offer tours daily with groups of up to 12 people: Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm & Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm.
WINE – About 33 miles North of The Stanford Inn is First Vineyard. This winery dates back to 1799 when it was deemed the first commercial winery in the country. As of 2015, it was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. First Vineyard underwent many renovations over the years. The winery that it is today was reopened in 2012 with the addition of a tasting room and pavilion.
TASTING ROOM HOURS
January – March 24: Closed
March 25 – October 30: Friday thru Sunday 1 pm to 7 pm
November 4 – December 27: Friday thru Saturday 1 pm to 7 pm & Sunday 1 pm to 5 pm
BOURBON – Maker’s Mark Distillery is located in Loretto, Ky, which is about an hour from The Stanford Inn. The distillery began with Bill and Margie Samuels in 1953. Bill was a 6th generation distiller and Margie was actually the first woman to ever be inducted into the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame. Maker’s Mark is known for the tops of the bottles dipped in red wax. Visitors have the option of dipping their own bottles in wax to personalize it. Maker’s Mark Distillery has multiple options for tours for groups of up to 20 people.
BOURBON – A bourbon distillery list wouldn’t be a true bourbon list without one from Bardstown, KY. Lux Row Distillers is about 1 hour from The Stanford Inn. Lux Row is unique because it focuses on producing multiple brands of whiskey and distribution. In 2015, they decided to construct the distillery location in Bardstown. Lux Row has multiple options for tours for groups of up to 18 people.
BOURBON – The Bardstown Bourbon Company is also located in Bardstown, KY. They are more than just a distillery. There is a restaurant and bar located on the property. Their focus is on the whole bourbon experience from distilling to consuming. The Bardstown Bourbon Company has multiple options for tours on Wednesday through Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm for groups of up to 14 people. They are closed on Monday and Tuesday.
BOURBON – The Barrel House Distillery is located in Lexington, KY. It is also unique because they distribute not only bourbon, but also vodka, rum, and “moonshine.” Barrel House is owned by Jeff Wiseman and Pete Wright, who began the distilling process in 2006 with vodka. Barrel House has tours from Tuesday through Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm.
What began as a mission to bring life back to Stanford’s downtown has developed into a family of businesses with world-class amenities in a unique small-town setting. Escape the big-city and stay, eat, shop and relax with us in Stanford, Kentucky.