Vineyards and Winery- Salina,KS
Smoky Hill Vineyards & Winery originated in 1991 when the founders, Steve Jennings and Kay Bloom, hand-planted the first plants on one acre in Salina, KS. By 2009, the family-owned business had become the largest grape producing farm winery in the state of Kansas.
The new Smoky Hill Vineyards & Winery came about when the second generation, Norm and Jen Jennings, contacted fellow wine-enthusiast and vineyard owner, George Plante, to see if he would be interested in taking over the beloved business so they could pursue their passion in ministries. Having fallen in love with wine since first tasting River Valley Red, George knew this was an opportunity he could not pass up - to further embark on his passion of wine-making. George has owned and operated his own vineyard, White Cross Vineyard in Lindsborg, Kansas since 2004. Ironically, Brock Ebert, George's son-in-law, has always had an interest in wine-making and worked at Fields Winery in Paxico, Kansas, as a teenager. The Jennings passed on the well established craft to the new family artisans in November of 2012. The new Smoky Hill Vineyards & Winery currently farms eight acres at the privately owned Smoky Hill Vineyard and three acres at the White Cross Vineyard.
George, his wife, Jeanna, along with his daughter, Nicki, and her husband, Brock, are dedicated to carry on the Smoky Hill mission and philosophy: To produce world-class wines indicative of our region of central Kansas" and "To honor God in all that we do. To provide products and services that exceed the expectations of all."
The new owners continue to serve their loyal followers, friends, and family, as well as instilling their passion for the art of wine-making on to their children.
Wine Maker: Bart Hettenbach
Associates of Science in Enology from Highland Community College.
Bart has been the head wine maker at Smoky Hill Winery for 4 years. Over those 4 years, Bart has won a bronze medal on Noiret, silver medals on Blue Vidal and Heartland Red Velvet, and gold medals on Noiret, Heartland Red Velvet and Pink Catawba.