Ask anyone who lives the farm life. It’s hard work, and it doesn’t matter if you are getting in hay or pruning grapevines. It’s daylight to dark, and even beyond when the seasons are in. The Raines family knows this well, and yet they traded their comfortable life in Hendersonville with a smile on their face. In fact, they sold every thing they owned to buy this vineyard they found in a little town in Kentucky. They are all in with all their heart, soul, and strength. And they love it. Cline Road is now their home, and they’ve settled in nicely with some big plans for the future. Scroll through my FUN afternoon of pics with them for more information about this amazing family and their venture.
It’s safe to say that Pepper Raines and her little sister Meadow love it too. This is now their home, and I love that they will grow up here with memories of a childhood in the country. That’s what their mom and dad want for them; a slower lifestyle filled with night sounds of crickets, daylight views of grapes, open skies, and some chickens and sheep thrown in too.
You might have seen the Kentucky Hilltop Vineyard’s feature on WBKO last week, which happened to be the same day I came to photograph them. It was a beautiful feature that captured the hopes and dreams of the Raines family.
When you visit Kentucky Hilltop Vineyards, you will pick your own grapes right off the vines into one of these yellow buckets. What you will also leave with is an awesome experience of contributing to an authentic farm to table venture. It’s a cool family outing for sure. I love that family operations are making a bit of a comeback because locally grown is always better. On top of the delicious taste, the memories made are treasures for the future.
Christy found the vineyard advertisement on Craigslist. She read the listing to Chris and commented that it probably was a scam. It just sounded too good to be true. They decided to check it out anyway, and the rest is history. They bought the vineyard with rolling hills in rural Allen County, and Chris quit his government job to work the vineyard himself. The vineyard has over 40 rows of grape vines and over 20 varieties. Christy is able to work from home quite a bit, and they home-school Pepper who works hard on her online curriculum for several hours each day. They’ve quickly turned the vineyard into their own, and they have plans to expand the community UPick aspect of the vineyard in years to come.
Chris and Christy are all about family, and I have felt so welcome every time I’ve been around them. It’s no trouble to tell that they love each other, their children, and the life they are building right here in Allen County. They have goals for their beautiful land, and they are working hard to make their dreams a reality.
One immediate plan is to add sheep to the farm next spring, and “Farmer” and “Betty” are just waiting to protect them. They are beautiful Great Pyrenees which are fantastic guardian livestock dogs. I have no idea which one is with Chris and Christy here, but both of them are super friendly and an important part of the Raines family.
Pepper has the sweetest, friendly personality. She is fun to talk to and definitely loves her chickens and showing sheep. Hard work has already landed her some wins with the sheep. Little Meadow is interested in everything around her and she’s a busy little girl. They are both beautiful inside and out. I loved every minute I spent with the Raines family.
Meadow WANTS to love the chickens like her mom and older sister, but she just can’t bring herself to touch them yet. Pepper is all about the chickens and she’s so glad that they have started laying eggs. She has Curie in her arms. Curie is always checking things out and got her name because she’s so curious. Christy is holding Amelia – who you might have guessed likes to fly.
I don’t know how it’s possible to feel like you’ve known a family for years when you’ve really only been around them three or four times. But that’s exactly how you will feel when you meet the Raines. They will make you comfortable immediately, and I know that visiting their vineyard will be a great experience for your family too. If you haven’t already done so, make sure you like their FB page to keep up with their expansions and UPick dates. They have even opened some through the week. The link to their page is here.
Raines family, thanks for welcoming me to your vineyard and for being so open and friendly. I wish you amazing success and growth in the years to come. You have an amazing family and I’m excited to watch Pepper and Meadow grow up right here in Allen County.
Love and blessings, Pat