If you're like me, you’ve been known to have a bad taste in your mouth after a few golf outings. (Not to mention wet socks from playing through he pond, and bunker sand in your shorts from . . . well, let’s move on.)
An area golf club is trying a new concept that might be able to do something about the bad taste in your mouth. The par 3 golf course Twin Oaks Golf on Kansas Highway 10 just east of Lawrence has teamed up with rural Eudora winery BlueJacket Crossing to offer wine tastings at the golf course’s clubhouse.
We reported over a year ago that a deal was in the works between the two businesses, but the new venture just started a couple of weeks ago.
BlueJacket is hosting tastings at the course — which is located at the intersection of K-10 and County Route 1057 — from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Friday evenings and from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. But a big part of the concept is groups making special appointments to hold golf and wine combination events.
Golf course owner Jeff Burey calls the concept Nine and Wine. The Twin Oaks course is a pitch and putt style of course that takes far less time to play than a traditional course. So groups could do a golf outing followed by a wine tasting and still have an event that lasts a only couple of hours.
“We’re finding people have an interest in those type of outings,” said Pep Selvan, owner of the winery. “It is working out nicely. We want it to become a little bit of a recreation destination.”
The winery produces nearly 20 different wines that it offers for sampling as part of a tasting. After sampling the wines, patrons, of course, can buy a bottle to take home. County regulations, however, don’t allow for people to buy the wine and consume it on site, such as on the patio of the clubhouse. Such on-site consumption is allowed at BlueJacket’s actual winery (more on that in a moment.)
But before we leave the golf topic, I have one last idea. They call it Nine and Wine, but I wonder if it could be Wine and Nine. Maybe a bit of wine before the golf would make the sand less uncomfortable.
Selvan has plans for BlueJacket’s winery and vineyard facility at 1969 N. 1250 Road, which is about a mile south of the golf course.
Work is expected to begin this summer on a new 2,000-square-foot tasting room at the vineyard. The facility currently has a small tasting room that can accommodate about 25 people. The new room will be able to accommodate about 75 people, and will be an all-season facility with air-conditioning, a patio and a fireplace. Unlike at the golf course, patrons will be able to linger and enjoy a bottle of wine they buy on site.
Selvan said wine tastings are becoming a popular outing for events such as bridal showers, birthday parties or corporate retreats.
While work will begin this summer on the project, the room is not expected to be completed until the spring of 2014. That’s because the winery will have to take a break from construction in the fall to concentrate on the grape harvest.
The nearly five-year-old winery tends about 4,000 vines, although that number was reduced by about 1,000 due to the recent drought. Selvan is in the process of re-establishing those vines, which can take anywhere from two to four years.
The good news, however, is that Selvan is pleased with how the weather is shaping up this year. Even with snow in May, the vines were able to avoid untimely frosts.
“The key thing with the vines is that we don’t have an early blast of heat and then come back with a cold spell,” Selvan said. “We’re off to a heck of a start right now. But it will still be interesting. It is farming, after all.”
And that’s one thing that can get you dirtier than even a round of golf.