Local Spotlight // Gunpowder Creek Vineyards

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Years in the making, Gunpowder Creek Vineyards, located in the rolling hills of Union, Kentucky, is a vineyard wine and food enthusiasts should keep on their radar. I have had my eye on the journey of this vineyard since owner and wine maker John Floyd, made the announcement of wanting to venture into the world of wine making. With hard work and determination to master many arts John and his father hand built everything on the property, including the wine production room and soon to be tasting room. They also prepared the land for the vines themselves and continue to tend to the growth of the grapes, on top of the actual wine making production and process. The attention to detail completely shows in the beauty of the land and in the wine. Having tasted the grapes straight off of the vine,as well as sampling of some of the product, I am so pleased and proud to watch this vineyard continue to master the art of winemaking. Take a closer look into the story behind Gunpowder Creek Vineyards father- son duo that started it all below.

1. Please let our readers know your full name and a bit about your background, school, where you grew up, where your current location is now, and your occupation.
 
My name is Jon Floyd- grew up and graduated high school in Monroe Ohio. In my younger years I lived in College Hill and was home schooled. I wouldn’t even know what to say for an occupation, I do a little of everything- I bartend on weekend nights, have been in the restaurant/bar industry for the past 10 years. I split the rest of my time between metal fabrication and building the vineyard.
 
2. How has your personal background shaped your life as the owner of Gunpowder Creek Vineyards? 
I feel like the natural progression for a bartender is to get into the business of alcohol, wether it be sales , or in my case making it. My father is my partner in this- and to be honest it was more his idea than anything. I just decided to join and partner up with him in this endeavor.
 
3. Why do you feel it is important for the youth and young professionals of the world to be involved in the growth of small businesses throughout our country and the world?
 
Without makers and doers  within our younger generation, it would be a pretty boring future.
 
4. What types of wine do you produce at Gunpowder Creek Vinyeyards? 
We are growing Steuben, Arandell , Aromella, Cayuga, Norton, and a little Catawba. And a whole bunch of Blackberries as well.
 
5. What advice do you have for those looking to open up a business in the tri-state?
 
Just do it. If you feel it’s the path for you, buckle down and get it done. Figure out the hoops you have to jump through and be on your way. It will take sacrifice, mostly of time, but you won’t be wasting it.
 
6.What is your winemaking style?
 
Well we are kind of playing to the palate of the area, we will be making a lot of sweeter wines. I’m most excited about the couple of dryer reds that we will be making.
 
7.Who do you admire most? Who influenced you?
 
Definitely my Father. He has a vision only I can hope to gain. And a work ethic to make it happen. We are both learning the art of winemaking together. But I am for sure learning to build something from him. He’s more relaxed when he’s working 7 days a week, a trait I don’t necessarily have, but have had to force myself to do to try and get this going.
 
8.What is one of the hardest part about winemaking? What do you find to be the hardest part of harvest?
9 months of work and preparation leading up to harvest haha. There’s always something to be done to the vines throughout early spring all the way to fall harvest. It’s just long days of walking up and down every row attending to every single vine. Harvest always seems to fall on the hottest days of the year. It’s kind of a slow process, looking over every cluster, sorting through the grapes you want and don’t want. You’ll get a pretty gnarly tan though, so there’s that.
9. What is one of the most rewarding things about being an owner and wine maker?
 
Seeing someone get true enjoyment  out of something you’ve put countless- and I really do mean countless hours into.
 
10. Any wine making tips for those just getting into winemaking or for those interested in studying wine?
All the information is out there. We are lucky enough to have an amazing wine maker as our guide and consultant for our vineyard and winemaking. His name is Alex Sena. He is the winemaker for Revel winery in OTR. Without him we would be a lot farther behind than we are.
 
11. What has surprised you about being a winemaker?
That it can be as simple or complex as you’d like to make it.
12. What are your favorites from the past week?

Restaurant: I’m a seafood fanatic- a little Cajun take out place in Clifton called K & J seafood.

Store: Dixxon Flannel

Quote: “Nothing that’s worthwhile is ever easy. Remember that”.

Music: Matt Maeson

Artist: umm no one in particular. I follow a lot of metal fabricators on ig, and they put out some cool work.

 

13. What’s the biggest myth about drinking wine?

That you have to be sophisticated to enjoy it. Screen Shot 2019-09-20 at 4.54.46 PM.png

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14. Which wines are aged in barrels? How long are the wines aged before being bottled?

Mainly red wines, but really you could put anything you want in them. For instance we have some blackberry wine in a bourbon barrel. The barrels you see are filled with norton. As far as time goes, that’s really kind of up to you as a winemaker. To taste really. Anywhere from a couple months to a couple years.

15. When does Gunpowder Creek Vineyards plan to open to the public? 

That’s a tough question. Hopefully sooner than later. We are building everything ourselves. From the production building, to the tasting room, everything is built by my dad and myself by hand. So as long as it takes. Hopefully by this time next year we will have a place for you to come enjoy our efforts.

16. The location of Gunpowder Creek Vineyards is gorgeous, will you eventually have this location available for rent as an event space? To host weddings, dinner parties, product launches?  

I think that’s in our future for sure. But right now we are just concentrating on making a good wine and getting open. Have to walk before you run!

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Gunpowder Creek Vineyards

floydsie@gmail.com

Travel // 10 Kentucky Airbnb’s to Check out this Fall

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This weekend where will you be on Friday, not only is it a full moon but it is also Friday the 13th! Exploring Kentucky on the weekends while on research working on the VB in the CITY cookbook, has me looking forward to the colder months. While exploring Kentucky, I have made a local travel wish list of the top ten Airbnb’s I want to visit this Fall, while checking out local farms for produce.  Scroll below to view these perfect little getaways. I am all about bon fires, curling up under blankets with a good book and a coffee (or bourbon) and just in time for the changing of the Seasons.   Happy exploring readers! Enjoy horse country.

Peace  + Love,

V

Screen Shot 2019-09-10 at 7.18.40 PM.pngBed and Bike Awaits You // Louisville – 2 bedroom 

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1.Tradewinds Treehouse // 3 bedroom 

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2.Riverside Cabin | Mammoth Cave |  // 1 Bedroom 

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3.Welcome Hall 5 bedroom 1880’s home on 55 acres  Bedroom 

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4.Historic Shelby Manor – 5 Bedroom 

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5.‘Wine Cellar’ 3BR Red River Gorge Cabin w/ Views 

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6.Sandstone Cabin RRG Hot tub // 1 Bedroom 

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7.Middle-Fork-Lodge // Red River Gorge // 3 Bedroom 

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8. Scenic Sunset Cabin RRG, hot tub // 2 bedrooms + 3 beds 

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9. Southern Comfort – Highlands, EXPO, Downtown / 4 Bedroom – Louisville

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Foodie Friday // Sammy’s Craft Burgers + Beers

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My recent venture to Sammy’s craft burgers and beers, located in Blue Ash, and owned by Sammy Flores, has creations in burgers that make gourmands eyes gorge.   Let me introduce you to one of my favorite burgers in Cincinnati right now, the BACON-JELLY craft burger. This great tower of loveliness is topped with house-made bacon onion jelly, gouda cheese, and fresh field greens. We sat at the bar, where Brad at Sammys then directed me to another insanely amazing palette changer, the JUICY LUCY burger – set up with Smoked BBQ,  bone marrow, sharp cheddar, bacon, smoked BBQ sauce, onions, jalapeno straws, smoked KY bourbon sauce, served with chicken BBQ mac & cheese that is damn brilliant.

Ash makes gourmet steak burgers with a blend of brisket, short rib, ball tip, and tri tip that is ground locally, hand-pattied, lightly seasoned, and char-grilled to order. Served on a Allez Challah bun with choice of beer battered french fries, or cole slaw as a side. This place is a mixture of casual bar dining with insanely curated local and gourmet craft burger list and an amazing beer list complete with a  full bar.

ABOUT SAMMY’S

Meet Sammy Flores, restaurant owner and soccer player.  As a child he aspired to be a professional soccer player and succeeded in Mexico. At the young age of 18 he joined his first professional team, Oro,  he then moved to the United States at the age 24 in 2003. His first job was working at a chain restaurant starting in the culinary world washing dishes. Sammy spent two years working, seven days a week, non-stop, to earn the money needed to obtain his next goal of owning his own restaurant. In 2005 El Pueblo was opened.  After immediate success, he opened, Sammy’s Gourmet Burgers and Beers in 2009. With amazing hard work and brilliant artistrty in combination with local ingredients,  we are able to enjoy mouthwatering creations that are constantly changing – O and there is an amazing beer selection. Check out a special Burger every month, and drink specials every day – 

Monday: Sammy’s Red Ale, 32oz $4.00
Tuesday: Frozen Margarita $4.00
Wednesday: House Wine $3.00, Sangria $4.00
Thursday: Cocktail of the Day $5.00
Friday: Beer of the day $5.00
Saturday: Beer of the day $5.00
Sunday: House Made Bloody Mary $5.00

Crowler Fill Up $10.00 and up
FC Cincinnati BloodOrange IPA duringgane$4.00
Sammy’s Red Ale, 32 oz during Cincinnati Reds game $4.00

SAMMY’S CRAFT BURGERS & BEERS

513-745-9484

4767 Creek Road
Blue Ash, Oh 45242
View Map

Monday-Saturday:
11:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Sunday:
11:00 AM- 9:00 PM

SAMMY’S MENU

Our full menu is online and downloadable!
View Menu

BEER MENU

30+ craft beers on tap. Try them all!
Beer Menu

https://www.instagram.com/sammyscbb/

Foodie Friday // PINK AF RADISH, CUCUMBER & SMOKEY TABASCO GAZPACHO

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Happy Friday creatives! The end of Summer is upon us, yet the weather is still scorching hot. Cool down with this cool soup that is not only delicious, but pretty damn cute as well.  I love my Summer staples of hot dogs, cheeseburgers, ice cream, pie, fried chicken, any and all the picnic foods, yet I do still tend to always make at least one batch of gazpacho every Summer. I stumbled upon this RADISH, CUCUMBER & SMOKEY TABASCO GAZPACHO over at anisasabet.com, and knew I just had to share this perfectly pink recipe with all of you. Make sure to head over to Anisa’s blog, to show this Austrailian some love. She is an amazing photographer and food stylist, who helps brands bring life to their offering through visual storytelling and creative direction.

PS I have so many amazing new posts coming up featuring new and seasoned restaurants and Chefs from all over the United States and beyond.  I really feel that art is everywhere, especially when it comes to cuisine. So go ahead, and play with your food!

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 8 cucumbers, de-seeded, peeled & roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 & 1/2 bunch radishes (about 12 small)
  • 200g greek yoghurt
  • Good splash red wine vinegar (I did 1/4 cup as I like it tangy)
  • 1 can butter beans, drained
  • Very good splash smokey tabasco sauce
  • To serve: chives, olive oil, sea salt & pepper

 

Directions:

1. In a blender, blend together all the ingredients. Pop into the fridge to chill for 2 hours. Serve in bowls, topped with fresh chives and a drizzle of olive oil, and sea salt & pepper.

Storage: soup will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Peace + Love,

V

Empowering Wednesdays // Featuring Lindsey Swadner – Owner of The Hub

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Continuing the Empowering Wednesdays series, may I introduce Lindsey Swadner, owner of The Hub, located in the heart of the historic Over-the-Rhine. The Hub is Ohios first neighborhood bicycle retail shop and bar, and is one of my favorite hang-out spots in OTR.  You can have your bike repaired, shop for a new bike, or just sit back and enjoy the selection of beers and drinks like “The Dude” patron, xo cafe, vodka, and cream, or for hot days, their “Pear Mule” Tito’s, pear syrup, ginger beer, with chilean pear garnish. Read below to learn about Lindsey, and her amazing story:

1. Please let our readers know your full name and a bit about your background, school, where you grew up, where your current location is now, and your occupation.

Name: Lindsey Swadner
Background: Among owning The Hub, I am also about to receive my BA in Art
History and Fine Arts, with a certificate in Historic Preservation from UC DAAP. My
research is mainly on the topic of Jewish art during the Holocaust and also modern day
fascist symbolism within political compaigns. I also am the operations manager for
Digital Rhine Development, a company I’m very happy to be apart of. I grew up on a farm out in Milford, then Sycamore. but I’ve lived in OTR for about 7 years now. My
mother and grandmother both grew up down here and it’s home.

Being a woman businesses owner in the historic OTR, how has The Hub helped shape who you are today? What do you wish to instill in future female business owners?The Hub has helped me shape my viewpoint of a person’s role in creating community. Being a woman business owner I believe this is a little different due to this being a bar. Being a woman and having dangerous experiences within this culture of drinking made me more adamant on how to protect those within the environment I have created with the help of all of my friends, and employees. The Hub also has taught me about how to support those around me, to accept those around me and also how showing up is half the part of creating any positive relationship. Essentially, I think community built on the standards of acceptance, protection and inclusion is so important.
I think that leading by example for others, business owners-community members-etc, is
so important in the act of instilling values. I think inclusion is the most important
aspect, and I want to get that across within this environment. Mike, from Longfellow puts it best, “All are welcome unless you do not welcome all”.

How has your personal background shaped your life as the owner of the Hub?

My personal background is mainly that of storytelling, that’s what art and art history is. I want to share and create a space for others to share their knowledge and stories as well-
that’s what a community does at its finest. We grow, share and heal together. When I first came to OTR I was accepted by a fantastic community in a space that no longer
exists due to large developmental greed that exists in this community space. I felt
with my background and passion for this I was able to create something of value. I also
think that Chuck Walden is largely apart of this aspect of storytelling. He’s the main
booking agent here at The Hub and he is such a large part of what we do here. If we are
metaphorically a body he is the brain to the operation of this portion of what we do.

Now with that being said I’ve always been a very competitive person. I actually was 1st in the State of Ohio for Retail Merchandising and 14th internationally in 2012. I really only competed off of a bet- which I won. When originally building The Hub I was working with someone who wasn’t very positive in the building experience so I had to use this same method of pursuing my dreams. Treat it like a bet, build it like there’s no tomorrow and just dont stop. I think I’m still on this track, though maybe in a better more organized way. I also ran into many issues with the other development companies that I had to overcome using the same methods of personal advancement, but betting myself as a motivator. I guess when you find a method of drive that works for you it’s best to stick with it.
Please tell our readers about your involvement with the LGBTQ+ community?

We’re an inclusive environment, who believes wholeheartedly that everyone belongs. That everyone has a right to be exactly who they want to be- we believe in leading by example, do what you want to see in the world.

 Why do you feel it is important for the youth and young professionals of the world to be involved in the growth of small businesses throughout our country and the world?
Everyone has something fantastic to offer. A new perspective, an idea or a solution to a
problem. With the ever changing climate, politically, technologically and culturally
everyone has the ability to create change and grow in ways that were not previously
available. I also think that by involving youth we set up the ability for healthy
relationships with themselves; we have to teach children and youth that they have the
ability to change and advance the future in ways that we (including I) may not be around
for. Everyone has something to offer, by creating opportunities for personal growth and
creation we show that this is valued and supported which only furthers drive of
everyone. Again this goes back into community, when your community is rooting for you and supporting you, there is so much more drive, love, passion and exchange of ideas.

What is your signature style?
Lately I’ve been dipping into some reds and green hues, feels like Christmas in July but I
like it. Mostly I just wear all black. Working in the industry has taught me that I will spill things all over me all the time and it’s just the best way to prevent showing that. I’ve also
been taking a lot of style inspiration from some of my friends. Big fan of bike shorts and
sports bras right now due to my friend Maria, I’m also into cropped band tees due to my
friends Charlotte and Ivan. I just thrive off of others, my friends inspire me.

What are some sustainable living tips for living in the city, big and small?
Find a good AC unit and take care of it. Treat it like it’s your best friend. Also, of course,
shop local. Findlay Market is wonderful, New York Grocery is as well (They have great
dried mango slices). Biking to either of these places is not only good but fun! Most
importantly get a bike! Bikes are a fantastic source of transportation and exercise.

 What are some of your favorite things about living in Cincinnati, Ohio?
The underground tunnels that were here during prohibiion. Yeah, other cities have them, but with ours – I’m where George Remus was years ago, while he was running a
smuggling empire. We have some super cool history here. I’m also very excited about the
Over The Rhine Museum ran by Anne Delano Steinert, I went to one of her talks recently
about early age plumbing/outhouses/etc. and just fell in love with what she’s doing.

How do you feel no matter what age we can impact our social circle and beyond, to create a dialogue for empowerment and equality?

Creating a dialogue of empowerment and equality comes from the fact that no matter that age we all deserve to be empowered. We all can push each other to be the best and
speak up for those who are categorically looked down upon by the government, police
and so forth. Everyone offers a new perspective on how to advance and create a better
living environment for all- we can benefit from listening and acting with each other no
matter what age and experience they come from.

Tell us one thing the readers may not know about The Hub.

We have a beautiful painted over skylight, just look up. I restored that myself and fell off
the ladder only one.

What books would you recommend right now?
500 Nations, it has a great history of the community that was here before us (and that has been drastically harmed by the government- past, future and present tense for the government).

What are your favorites from the past week?
Restaurant: Frida

Store: Libby (She has the best earrings and rings)

Quote: “Were not accepting verbal apologies this year, only changed behavior”

Music: Three Legged WorkHorse- This Will Destroy You
Artist: Nick Cave (Always Nick Cave though)
Tell us about something exciting happening soon at the Hub.
WE HAVE KARAOKE BACK!!!! It’s August 23rd, be prepared to party, we also have a
large front patio area coming in late August

A positive and a negative memory of you career, current or in the past?
Positive: When the city was re-doing the sidewalks we had metal planks installed to enter the business. Ian Bulling skated across it and Robert Howley did a wheelie on his
mountain bike off of it. It was great.
Negative: Watching all of the fights that happen Saturday night down here, they’re all
negative, dangerous and unnecessary.

If you could choose to have dinner with anyone in the world who would it be and why?
Probably Elizabeth Warren, she’s got it all together and I’m just in awe of her and her
compassion and care for community support and creation.

What advice do you have for those looking to open up a business in the city of Cincinnati.
Look at what’s already going on in the community you’re looking to be apart of, the
market here is really overflowing with businesses. Not everyone needs a brick and
mortar. However you also have to participate and support the community you’re stepping into- they were there first, you’re an addition.

Check out the Hub on Facebook <<<< 

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Saturday Morning Three Cheese Spinach Quiche

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Looking for a breakfast dish for Saturday morning brunch? Check out my take on the classic Quiche Lorraine, complete with shredded cheddar, gouda, mozzarella, asparagus, ham, onions, green peppers and more. When I lived in France, I would venture to different cafes weekly for the search of the best quiche lorraine. In my search for flaky egg,ham,and fromage goodness, I was able to pick up some killer tips during my stay and travels in and around Tours, France. Scroll below for the recipe that will make you want to get up just a little extra early on Saturday mornings. Enjoy readers!

 

Peace + Love,

V

 

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 3 shallots, minced
  • half of a white onion, diced
  • 3 bunches flat-leaf spinach, thick stems removed and leaves roughly chopped
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 8 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
  • Mozzarella cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
  • Cheddar cheese for topping
  • Healthy pinch of oregano
  • Healthy pinch of chili powder
  • healthy pinch of rosemary
  • 1 recipe Basic Pie Dough for Spinach and Gruyere Quiches, fitted into two 9-inch pie plates
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 green pepper
  • Diced ham 2 Packages of 8 OZ.  
  • 5 stalks of asparagus
  • 5 pieces of smoked maple bacon
  • 3 cups half-and-half
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

DIRECTIONS

For the crust // – 1 recipe Basic Pie Dough for Spinach and Gruyere Quiches, fitted into two 9-inch pie plates

For the Filling //

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with racks set in upper and lower thirds. In a large skillet, heat butter over medium. Add shallots and the white diced onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, oregano, and to spinach to skillet as will fit;  and toss, adding more spinach in the skillet as room becomes available. 
  2. Transfer spinach mixture to a colander. Press firmly with the back of a spoon to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Take the cooked bacon, pat dry with a paper towel, chop and also set aside.  Now time to prep each crust for the filling, place the baked crusts on a separate rimmed baking sheet. 
  3. In a separate large bowl, whisk together eggs, chopped bacon, spinach, the cheeses, ,half-and-half, nutmeg, oregano, rosemary, salt ,pepper and chili powder to taste. Dividing evenly, pour egg mixture into crusts.
  4. Arrange baking sheets on racks, and bake until center of each quiche is just set, 55 to 60 minutes, rotating sheets from top to bottom halfway through. With five minutes remaining, add cheddar, gouda, mozzarella topping.  Let quiches stand 15 minutes before serving.