Harkness Edwards Vineyards hosting weekly event to benefit local charities

Mother-daughter duo Cathy and Nini Edwards are launching a new weekly event at Harkness Edwards Vineyards today to help support area nonprofit groups.

Called Sip and Support, the event is aimed at offering a low-cost fundraising option for charitable groups in the region. 

The first event is today, to benefit Clark County C.A.R.E.S., an organization dedicated to supporting the Clark County Animal Shelter.

For $30, customers get a guided tour of the vineyard, located at 5199 Combs Ferry Road. This comes with a wine tasting and cheese pairing. At the end of the tour visitors are served hors d’oeuvres and a glass of wine of their choosing. Twenty percent of all the money raised will be donated to the organization it is benefiting.

She added that the organizations are welcome to do additional fundraisers, like raffles or other events, while they are there for the sip and support.

The events will last all afternoon, beginning at noon and ending at 6 p.m.

Nini, who has worked for nonprofit groups in the past, said the idea for the event grew out of the family’s desire to give back to the community while making events accessible for community organizations.

“We want people to slow down,” she said. “We want people to come out here and enjoy the experience.”

The attitude is reflected in the layout of the vineyard. As drivers turn in to head to the tasting room, they drive past the long rows of vines and park in a field. To get to the tasting room they then walk through a rustic barn with an old carriage in it until they come upon the renovated Victorian style Peach House where tasting begins.

Nini said she would like the vineyard to host a new nonprofit organization each week. She said another sip and support event is planned in November to benefit the Clark County Homeless Coalition.

Regular customers are welcome to visit the vineyard during its business hours of noon to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday. The vineyard offers $10 wine tastings during those times.

Cathy said the vineyard has been growing grapes since 2004. 

“Kentucky used to be a large grape-growing region prior to prohibition,” she said. “We knew grapes would grow here and we knew there was a market for wine.”

Cathy’s husband Harkness, the vineyards’ namesake, was the farm’s vintner until their wine making building was struck by lightning and burned down in 2013. 

Since then, Cathy said the farm’s wines, including their popular Big Red and Sweet Concord, have been made using their grapes at other facilities. However, the family is in the process of bringing on-site production back.

To learn more about sip and support opportunities, contact Harkness Edwards Vineyards at (859) 527-3584.