Bardstown Bourbon Co. announces new partnership with Napa Valley vintner

David Mandell, CEO and president of the Bardstown Bourbon Co., talks to the crowd Friday evening at a special dinner event to celebrate the company’s new partnership with Phifer Pavitt Wines in Napa Valley, Calif. Photo by Sylvia Horlander.


Nelson County Gazette

Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019 — Bourbon and wine — together? Yes!

The collaboration is officially coming to the Bardstown Bourbon Company this spring, as the company continues to grow and diversify its brands.

Suzanne Phifer Pavitt, founder of Phifer Pavitt Wine, leads guests through the wine tasting portion of Friday’s event. Photo by Sylvia Horlander.

At an invite-only preview on Friday, Feb. 8, 2019, guests got a special sneak peak and celebrated another accomplishment of the company’s newest and second collaboration with wine, Phifer Pavitt Reserve, a 9-year-old Tennessee straight bourbon whiskey finished in phifer pavitt cabernet sauvignon barrels from Napa Valley for 18 months.

Phifer Pavitt Wine founder Suzanne Phifer Pavitt is one of the finest and most respected vintners in Napa Valley, as she is known for creating big, bold and energetic wines that are all organically and sustainably farmed.

“You have to be incredibly passionate and patient to make good wine,” Pavitt explained during the announcement.

Employees at Phifer Pavitt Wine hand sort every berry and de-stem them before putting them in a fermentation tank. Wines are held in French oak barrels for a minimum of three years before being released. Pavitt said it was important to her to represent the best of what wine could be, stressing the importance of clean, sterile equipment, and adding that it is best not to manipulate or intervene in the process by not adding sugars, additives or artificial color.

She describes her wines as rich, velvety and succulent, with “love in every drop.”

Raised in rural Georgia, Phifer Pavitt considers herself “a country girl through and through.” She and David Mandell, Bardstown Bourbon Company president and CEO, met almost three years ago through a mutual friend and Bardstown Bourbon Company board member in Nashville who was tasting Pavitt’s wine at an event.

Pavitt said she was wanting to get in on the bourbon boom for a while because she considers it one of the best spirits.

She said the collaboration between the two is unique and was meticulously planned: The barrels are bunged and wrapped and placed in a cold, refrigerated truck that transports them across the country from Napa Valley to the Bardstown Bourbon Company. On arrival, the wine barrels are immediately filled with the bourbon and aged for 18 months at the top of a rickhouse.

Bourbon samples waiting to be tasted by guests at Friday’s special event celebrating the partnership between Bardstown Bourbon Co. and Phifer Pavitt Wines of Napa Valley, Calif. Photo by Sylvia Horlander.


Mandell describes the company’s newest collaboration as “two great teams with southern roots and wonderful people to create a unique and exceptional product.”

Mandell said Pavitt worked directly with the company’s master distiller, Steve Nally, Daniel Callaway, director of beverage operations & bourbon education, and John Hargrove, the company’s executive director of distillation operations, to make the collaboration a reality.

The collaboration is trailblazing in the industry, and has created the first Napa-Valley style destination on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail that combines distilling, culinary and beverage expertise to create a modern and authentic bourbon experience.

Daniel Callaway, the director of beverage operations and bourbon education, explains of of the four bourbons up for tasting at Friday’s event while Master Distiller Steve Nally looks on. Photo by Sylvia Horlander.

Invited guests from Friday’s event were later treated to a formal dinner Friday night. The four course dinner consisted of food from the bourbon company’s own Bottle and Bond restaurant, paired with wines from Phifer Pavitt and the 9-year-old Tennessee straight bourbon whiskey used in the collaboration.

Guests were also treated to “The Moxie,” which consists of Phifer Pavitt Reserve Straight Bourbon Whiskey, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup and Phifer Pavitt Date Night Cabernet Sauvignon. The specialty drink will be available this spring at Bottle and Bond. Phifer Pavitt Reserve will be available to the public first at Bardstown Bourbon Company in late March or early April. A bottle will retail for $124.99.

Bardstown Bourbon Company’s mission statement is that the company is a celebration of the art of making bourbon and the community responsible for bringing it to the world. The company prides itself on their motto of no secrets, no hidden recipes, no mythical stories or embellished legends.

Bardstown Bourbon Company is set on 100 acres of active farmland at 1500 Parkway Drive adjacent to the Bluegrass Parkway in Bardstown.


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