We're Kenny and Denise Jewell. We're pretty "normal", with 4 kids ranging in age from teens to early 20's, in a blended family with full time jobs. Both of us have owned our own businesses, so it could be said that we have the "entrepreneurial bug". It could also be said that we are just total gluttons for punishment and enjoy torture. When people say to us, "Wow, you own a winery. What made you get into that?" Here's what we have to say:
We have always enjoyed visiting wineries and trying new things and we always thought it would be cool/ fun/ interesting to one day own our own winery (future retirement dream). After years of bodily abuse from working in the construction industry, Kenny thought it might be prudent to speed up our retirement plans. We already owned this cool commercial building in Buechel (we bought it right before the economy tanked in 2008 - that's a great story for another time), and we realized after some research that there was a huge gap in wineries in the Louisville area that we could fill. We also realized that there wasn't anything in Louisville with the concept of combining exclusively-Kentucky wines with Kentucky beer and bourbon. So, we started looking into what it would take to make the dream a reality.
Kenny started experimenting with making wine at home a few years ago, and even though he has the mind of an engineer, he is deceptively creative. He wanted to try flavor combinations for the wines and he came up with the decor for Off the Rails and completed most of the construction himself. Kenny is a master of his own craft of electricity but can also build or fix nearly anything - and not only does he enjoy it, but he does it quite well.
Why "Off the Rails"? We are right by the train tracks in Buechel, and we decided to embrace our location. That's why a lot of our wines have train-themed names and you'll see some train-themed decor around the space.
It's safe to say that Off the Rails is a labor of love, complete with actual blood, sweat and tears. We hope to see you soon!