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Program 1420

1. Bramel’s Hickory Hill Nursery and Plantation
2. the Thoroughbred Center
3. Chrisman Mill Vineyards
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Mason County

For more information:
Bramel’s Hickory Hill Nursery and Plantation, 6037 Mill Creek Pike, Mays Lick, KY 41055, (606) 742-2596

Producer, editor: Valerie Trimble
Videographer: John Schroering
Audio: Charlie Bissell, Noel Depp
Editor: Jim Piston

Home to History

Bramel’s Hickory Hill Nursery and Plantation

Butch Bramel and his wife, Mary Jo, live in an 1861 Greek Revival home in Mays Lick that goes back nine generations and has been in his family for five. All the furnishings in the Mason County home and the outbuildings are original to the family, and Butch takes visitors on tours enlivened by his memories of having grown up in the house. They stop along the way to point out furniture and other antiques original to the home, and Butch hints about possible supernatural elements.

The tour also takes in the carriage house and tool house, both original to the farm. Other buildings include a dairy and a smokehouse.

Like their ancestors, Butch and Mary Jo have their hands in the soil, but for a more modern enterprise—a plant nursery. At first they grew only chrysanthemums and asters, but they have since developed the four-acre site into a well established garden center and landscaping business. As you might expect, most of the plants, like the Bramels themselves, are Kentucky grown.

Fayette County

For more information:
Thoroughbred Center, 3380 Paris Pike, Lexington, KY 40511, (859) 225-4073
• Jim Pendergest, (859) 293-1853

Producer: Joy Flynn
Videographers: Matt Grimm, Amelia Cutadean
Audio: Noel Depp, Charlie Bissell
Editor: Jim Piston

And They’re Off!

the Thoroughbred Center

Early each morning all year long, racehorses train on the tracks at the Thoroughbred Center. A clocker times them for specified distances and records that information on racing forms.

This 240-acre facility—with more than 1,000 stalls—is considered the largest public thoroughbred training facility in the country. The Paris Pike property is owned by Keeneland and was once used for horse sales.

The Thoroughbred Center has two dirt tracks: 7/8 of a mile and 5/8 of a mile. While showing us around, General Manager Jim Pendergest discusses the process of getting horses ready to race, from basic workouts to leaving the starting gate. He also talks about the importance of the horse racing industry in Kentucky.

The center is open year-round and offers behind-the-scenes tours to the public. On the 90-minute guided tour, you’ll visit the barns, meet a trainer, watch morning workouts at a track, and learn about auctions in the sales pavilion. From April through October, tours depart Monday through Friday between 9:00 am and 1:00 pm (ET) and Saturday between 9:00 and 10:30 am. Tours are by appointment only the rest of the year.

Jessamine County

For more information:
Chrisman Mill Vineyards, 2385 Chrisman Mill Rd., Nicholasville, KY 40356 (859) 881-5007
• The Kentucky Vineyard Society lists dozens of vineyards and wineries across Kentucky.

Producer, editor: Cheryl Beckley
Videographers: David Brinkley, Darius Barati, Alan Miller
Audio: Jessica Gibbs

Wines on the Vine

Chrisman Mill Vineyards

Jessamine County was home to one of America’s first vineyards. In 1798, Jean Jacques DuFour, winemaker for the Marquis de LaFayette, planted grapevines in Nicholasville. By the late 1800s, Kentucky was the nation’s third largest grape and wine producer, but those days ended in the 1920s with Prohibition.

Now Kentuckians are rediscovering their winemaking roots, and we visit one thriving vineyard in the county where it all began.

Chrisman Mill Vineyard, just outside of Nicholasville in Jessamine County, is very near where DuFour’s vineyard was established. Owners Chris and Denise Nelson enjoy creating unique wine flavors, showcasing obscure grapes, and drawing attention to wines made in the Commonwealth.

During our visit, Chris and Denise explain how their passion for winemaking grew into a vineyard that produces 8,200 gallons of wine a year. Many of their wines are made from their estate grapes. Predominant varieties include vidal blanc, seyval blanc, cabernet sauvignon, and chancellor.

There’s more than wine to Chrisman Mills, however. After touring the vineyard, visitors can stay for the authentic Tuscan-style dinners.

SEASON 14 PROGRAMS: 140114021403140414051406140714081409
142214231424142514261427: Lincoln: ‘I, too, am a Kentuckian.’1428142914301431

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