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Shoot Before You Sip

Where do I begin? That’s been my struggle in writing an article about a place with such an unusual combination of activities that you would think you’d have to go all over the state to experience them. But Elk Creek Vineyards, with its award-winning estate wines, live entertainment, adjoining sporting clays course, lodging, massage therapy, and dining options, is a gem of a diverse destination tucked away in the rolling hills of Owen County.

The sporting clays course is rated as one of the best in the country, with 45 shooting stations in three separate courses. When I tried out one of the courses it reminded me of being on a golf course. I luxuriously traveled from station to station in a golf cart on paved trails. I kept thinking of that last bad round when I three-putted two greens and double-bogeyed another, only to be pleasantly brought back to reality when I yelled “pull” instead of “fore.” Well, I missed my target, but what the heck.

The motto here is “shoot before you sip,” and the staff makes sure everyone adheres to it. So only after I shot dozens of clay targets did I head next door to the rustic winery. There I enjoyed tasting the estate wines born from 37 acres of vineyards. One of those wines, the Cabernet Franc, recently scored a very respectable 87 out of 100 in the acclaimed Wine Enthusiast Magazine. The winery also offers a gift shop, gourmet café, and a mezzanine area featuring the work of local and regional artisans.

If that’s not enough, visitors can enjoy gourmet dinners and live entertainment down at the amphitheater. By the way, that live entertainment has included The Beach Boys, Three Dog Night, Sara Evans, Blake Shelton, and other well-known acts.

Elk Creek Vineyards owner Curtis Sigretto, a New Jersey native who founded the Halloween Express stores, came to Kentucky a few years ago in search of some rural property he wasn’t really sure what he’d do with. But he created a masterpiece. Sigretto says, “The success of Halloween Express brought us here, but it’s really scary how much I love Kentucky, the wine business, and Elk Creek.”

There’s something about Elk Creek Vineyards that captivates visitors. The facility creates the perfect opportunity for kids and parents to connect while shooting clays, and for couples it’s an escape for a weekend of relaxation and romance. It is a unique destination, where clay targets and wine co-exist in strange harmony.



• For more information, go online to
or call (502) 484-0005.

• For information on the sporting clays course and hunt club, go online to or call (502) 484-4569.

• Shotguns and shells are available on-site.

• Twenty lodge rooms with all amenities are available at Elk Creek Vineyards and Elk Creek Hunt Club.

• Don’t drink and drive.

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