They say behind every winery, lives a great story.
The Jean Farris “great” story began in August of 1997 on a University of Kentucky sponsored bus tour of Missouri wine country.
Jean had just completed her B.S. Degree in Food Science from the University of Kentucky and planted her family’s farm in Eastern Kentucky with several hundred grapevines. At this point the “wine seed” was firmly planted in her soul; and, after learning of a week-long wine tasting trip to Missouri, she quickly packed her bags.
Boarding the bus in Bowling Green one early August 4th morning, Jean found a seat in the middle of the bus so she could continue her “light” reading of a Enology text she’d brought for company. While reading, she looked-up to notice a dark haired young man choose, and then sit in, the seat right behind her.
Quickly assessing the other members of the tour, Jean remembers thinking to herself how odd the young man and she must seem to everyone on board. They were easily the youngest members of the wine tasting tour – by 30 years!
Well, it didn’t take long before the young man struck up a conversation and Jeanie learned he was Ben O’Daniel, son of Eddie O’Daniel, owner of one of the first wineries in Kentucky: Springhill Vineyards. Ben learned that Jean’s family reclaimed mountain top removal sites in Eastern Kentucky that had been strip mined with vineyards. As they exchanged life stories, and their view of the world of wine, Ben purposefully worked his way into the seat beside Jean – and remained there for the entire course of the tour.
Ben and Jean spent the rest of the week together exploring their shared passion in tasting and evaluating wine, and, discussing various vineyard and winery management practices – among other things!
The Jean Farris story began on a Missouri wine tasting bus tour where Jeanie and Ben found their best friend and partner. And, it continues on today in every glass and bottle of Jean Farris wine.