Talon Winery wins medals at State Fair

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By Josh Moore

Talon Winery and Vineyard isn't too aged — it has only been around for about a decade — but its wines continue to win awards.

The winery, based in Lexington with a new location in Shelbyville, won six medals this week at the second annual Kentucky State Fair wine competition.

Audrey Baumgardner, daughter of Talon owner Harriet Allen, said she's proud of their Kentucky-made wine.

“Of course we're always proud of our wine,” she said. “But it's always really exciting for us to be recognized, and particularly at the State Fair because it's Kentucky.”

Baumgardner said Talon does everything “from vine to wine” at its 300-acre farm in Lexington, which her mother bought in 1998.

The company enters about six to eight competitions a year, including international competitions, she said.

“We've gone up against some French wines, a lot of California wines, some New York wines, and we've been able to beat some of them,” Baumgardner said. “All of our wines have been medal winners.”

She said the success also makes them proud of Talon's winemaker, Kerry Jollife, who said the competitions let him know if he's on the right track.

“It gives you a better feeling of how other people perceive your wine,” he said. “When you're around it everyday, you get used to drinking your style.”

Jolliffe said he entered six of Talon's wines in the State Fair, so winning six medals meant Talon was doing something right.

“It feels nice to win,” he said.

Baumgardner said they've also been happy so far with their new tasting room opened in Shelbyville.

The property, opened a few months ago, is on Gordon Lane, just south of I-64 off Taylorsville Road. Talon plans to plant its first grapes on the property next spring.

“Everyone in Shelbyville has been real hospitable,” Baumgardner said. “We've already got a lot of regulars.”

She said people, regardless of their knowledge of wine, are welcome to stop by either location for a tasting or just to learn more about what Talon does.

Baumgardner said some people are intimidated and think they have to be wine connoisseurs.

“Most people aren't,” she said. “It doesn't require any special interest or training.”

And Jollife isn't resting now that his wines have won more awards. He's been hard at work creating more varieties.

“We've got a lot of new things coming out soon, so everyone be looking for that,” he said.