Winemaker Keplinger's gourmet taste cultivated early in life

Helen Keplinger was introduced to the art of tasting — and the discipline of refining her palate — early in life.

“My parents were always obsessed with food,” says the winemaker and founder of Keplinger Wines. “They planned our vacations around great restaurants my dad had read about in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal .”

“In maple syrup country, we would drive for what seemed like hours, tasting every stand in the area, until they found what they deemed to be the best,” says Keplinger, who grew up in Ohio. “In North Carolina, sourwood honey was approached the same way. I remember my dad driving us to upstate New York and stopping for a few glasses of wine with Konstantin Frank , who always poured wine for my sister and me as well.”

Helen’s mother was an accomplished cook, and her dad appreciated good wine and had an extensive cellar. “We really had beautiful meals every night, always accompanied by wine. My parents poured wine for us on special occasions. It was just a part of life in our house.”

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