The Bourbon Trail

If you want to visit a 19th century plantation in the South, you may want to visit Bourbon Trail. Located in Harmony, Kentucky the plantation was owned by the Equality Food Coop and was a popular Ohio farm during the 1800s. The land is now a nice nature area visited by hundreds of tourists annually. The trail will take you through the heart of the hillside plantation and some beautiful gardens.

The first stop is the gatehouse. The gatehouse is the oldest structure on the property. It was built in the spring of 1796. The structure was made from wood and covered wood palisades were used to strengthen the structure. A small manikin served as a guide.

The gatehouse was an agricultural use that was later converted to a military post. In the spring of 1796 the unwelcome guest who was late for his horse game could be turned away this gatehouse. The structure was abandoned when Captianhex Productions left town in 1968.

The next stop is the cellar. The cellar is large and dark. It represents the hearth of the plantation. The term “valet” comes from the French word forkeeper of the vineyard. The Prohibition laws forced the farmers to wallow in every cobblestone they could find. The cellar is decorated with ancient Rolex grower ornaments from the British made period.

Finally, on the way back to the hotel is the museum. The attraction is a two story building mounted in the billed “heritage style” with a 100 year old opens raper architecture. The museum is home to a variety of family heirlooms, memorabilia, and everyday objects. There is also a library with historical books and periodicals. The first exhibit is of the kitchen ethic of the “Gifty Hastings”. It was built in the 1940’s and is complete with such items as a stainless steel microwave, crockery, and a wood burning oven. There is also a hand pulled wagon and a stick pulled mule. In the corner there is a tree towering overhead with distant bells of Parliament singing to the breezes of the marshes.

Bentley offers a variety of shopping experiences. The Corner Market is a quaint one stop shop for local goods. Items to choose from include fresh produce, cheeses, meats, antiquities, and baked goods. Customs House and Dockyard is the place to go for more locally made items. Amongst many other stalls and shops, you can find a fabric shop, three or four Barber shops, Ahmed Ali Jewelery, books, and much more.

The Gresham Hotel is right next to the Corner Market and hosts live performances and tours. boutiques and bookshops are less common in Gresham, but there are a number of cafés and bars. The Epitome is also a traditional Sotho-South African restaurant.

Night life and restaurants follow a traditional path through the South African wine country, at the Gresham Club and at theippy Andante on the outskirts of Gresham. Many of these places are in the old town where the heritage movies were filmed.

Barbeque, quad biking and canoeing are also popular in Gresham, in the designated wine country.

S Bosch III Pretoria is just over the hill from the Gresham Club and is a Pretoria landmark. The restaurant and wine grower offers a wide range of wine, Chef Temple sent us sample menus from all the seasons and we loved the Autumn vintage which was marked by beautiful colors of oranges, yellows, reds and some violets. The wines are excellent and the menu varied with a focus on game such as, springbok, kudu, or Oprah. Lunch was served on the terrace overlooking the vineyards.

We found the wine country too dry and lacked the freshest fruit and vegetables, so try to visit Gresham sometime and take in the markets and the food. Sunday markets are a must see.

The vines are steeped in the rich soils of the area. Grapes are blended to produce good red wines, and the grapes are fruit grown close to the hillside, in the Waterville area. Crowfoot or “Waterville Frontiers” is the local grape with a distinctive woody finish.

Waterville, at the tip of the hill, is the center of Gresham’s wine country. Centuries ago French settlers established the town as the growth of a frontier town attracting artists, craftsmen, and farmers. The settlers exchanged agricultural products produced in the Waterville Valley for furs which had been shipped across the river to Hayman Island.

The wine country has a unique beauty and character.

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