The Monte Cassino Vineyard, Tasting room and Bed & Breakfast is a charming facility located in Northern Kentucky, just three miles from downtown Cincinnati, OH.
The Monte Cassino Vineyard, Tasting room and Bed & Breakfast is a charming facility located in Northern Kentucky, just three miles from downtown Cincinnati, OH. Nestled on a gorgeous hillside in Covington, Kentucky, a 12 minute ride from the airport and Cincinnati this is a true find. It is history restored to life. Coupled with a babbling brook, towering hillsides and now a cleared and terraced vineyard, this is a true destination vacation in your back yard. Two acres of vines, six years old, experienced their first year to maturity and vintage in 2012. This is not the first time there was a vineyard on this hillside. Mark Schmidt has taken great care to re-create history. After purchasing his Covington home built in 1830 with 7 acres, he soon discovered the history of the land and its wine-making heritage. After hiking the forest behind the home, he ran into walls- literally stone walls. He kept finding pieces of wire on the ground. This was no ordinary hill. Research proved that the original home was built for Rev. Kuhr, the first pastor of the mother of God Church in Covington, Kentucky. Its adjacent monastery was home to the Benedictine monks. The monks had built 14-18 foot retaining walls to terrace the South-facing hillside for their vineyards. The hillside was named Monte Cassino after the original Monastery founded by St. Benedictine in 1129 in Italy. Mark has brought the vineyard to life and would like to share his unique passion with the world.
Northern Kentucky has a new growing concentration of vineyards, wineries and tasting rooms. This, coupled with the bed and breakfast concept will be the draw for new customers and return clientele. His home and 2 adjacent homes and the surrounding 15 acres are the center piece for the entire Vineyard B&B experience. The historic property surrounded by the vineyard, acres of hiking trails, views of the nearby valley with the added benefit of the sculpture garden, small working farm and orchard will bring Monte Cassino’s fame and be a major draw in this area. The business with a tasting room, small conference area and B&B will be set up as an LLC proprietorship of Mark Schmidt. The tasting room and B&B will reside in 2 newly renovated adjacent buildings. Each of the five sleeping rooms has their own private bath in the B&B. The B&B facility has a wonderful centralized living room for the socialization of the guests, a private garden patio, and an on-site winery fromMark’s two-acre till. Many of the rooms have large windows offering guests an unprecedented view of the vineyard. The tasting room is an open 2-story vaulted ceiling space accessed on the ground level of the second building. The room is lined with 10-foot leather bound oak pews, vintage tables and exquisite vineyard décor. The view as you enter the ‘cave’ is a 3-story mural of the monks working in the vineyard in the 1800s.
Monte Cassino has many distinct competitive edges that differentiate it from the competition.
The first is the vineyard and the related history of this property.
The vineyard has been in place since the 1800s and was farmed from 1877 – 1918 by the Benedictine Monks to produce wine for the Covington and Cincinnati Catholic churches. The history of this property sets apart the visitor’s experience. From the dry-stack stone walls assembled by the Monks to terrace the 5 acre hillside to Mark’s collections of artifacts, this is memorable stay. The dry-stacked walls are listed on the National Historic Registry. The building itself has museum-like qualities and is decorated and embellished with all of Mark’s collection. Mark has been a collector of historic Monk artifacts and Monk related objects for over 15 years. He has excellent taste and each room reflects his desire to exceed the expectations and bring about a historic and “tasteful” (no pun intended) experience. In addition, the proprietor has a never-ending attention to detail and customer service. Mark recognizes that his mission is to ensure that his customers have the finest stay. Mark will do whatever it takes to ensure the customer's happiness. This ranges from superior customer service accentuated with massage treatments, private yoga classes or uniquely prepared individualized dinners on site to walking tours of the vineyard, orchard and private gardens
- Gardens & running creek (some complimented by fountains or surrounded by landscaped areas)
- 16 acres of Hiking Trails... pets welcome!
- 2 acre vineyard
- Paved road to get you there
- Rental Facilities
- Outdoor Festival Lodge (holds up 100 guests)
- Outdoor Wedding Chapel (room for 80 guests)
- Historic Stone House built for Reverend Kuhr
- 50 sculptures and collectibles
TASTINg ROOM & CONFERENCE FACILITY
The second building is designed as an open forum for evening summer tastings and light bites. The space opens to the outside for an indoor/outdoor experience during the spring, warmer summer months and the fall. The space will be utilized for group tastings, private, invitation-only parties or small conferences. This is designed to fit 30 – 40 people for private parties and is well suited for entertaining the ladies luncheon or the gent’s night out. This is the perfect location for receptions, reunions, parties or family gatherings. The tasting room is fully equipped with an industrial kitchen for the larger events and in-house catering. This space is also furnished exquisitely with vintage collector icons and memorabilia of the property. The 3-story mural is the centerpiece of this room.
SCULPTURE GARDEN & OUTDOOR MUSEUM
The 17 acre tract hosts a sculpture garden displaying works of national and internationally acclaimed artists. The design is highlighted with numerous plantings, by horticulturist Trisha xoxoxo… There are travelling exhibitions by Lydell Moe xoxoxo an internationally acclaimed sculpture from South Africa. From the entrance on Highland, the 1 mile trek to the B&B is littered with sights to appeal to young and old. At the end of the trek is the parking lot with the two free-standing buildings for B&B and tasting room. Mark has combined the lure of nature with the dynamic presence of monumental art. Landscape and art come together in a natural gallery among the vast the hillside and woodlands. The list of artists represented in the sculpture garden is: TBD