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The state in the southeast of the USA with its capital Frankfort is only of historical importance in American viticulture today. In 1799, a vineyard with 35 different varieties was planted in Jessamine County near Lexington by the immigrant Swiss winegrowing pioneer Jean Jacques Dufour (1763-1827) on a loop of the Kentucky River. Among others, he used the historic hybrid Alexander. This vineyard is considered the first commercially managed vineyard in the United States. Until American Prohibition (1920-1933), Kentucky was still the third largest wine producer in the USA. The only AVA classified is Ohio River Valley, which Kentucky shares with the three states of Indiana, Ohio and West Virginia. There are about ten production facilities, the centre of viticulture is around Louisville. Well-known wineries are Broad Run Vineyards, Chrisman Mill Vineyards and Winery (in Lexington - considered the successor to the historic Dufour Vineyard), Highland Winery, Lovers Leap Vineyard & Winery, Stovers Family Vineyard, Springhill Vineyards and Winery and Rolling Hills Winery. There is also a grape variety named Kentucky after the state.

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Dr. Christa Hanten

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