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.
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!
Gunpowder Creek Vineyards