Winemaker Logan Leet | Courtesy of Old 502 Winery

Logan Leet has been a furniture salesman, store manager, bed-and-breakfast owner, musician, real estate agent and winery operator in his lifetime, and now he finds himself behind the scenes of Old 502 Winery, quietly making Louisville’s best-selling local wine.

Leet started at the downtown winery in 2012, when it was still known as River Bend. He always knew the wine had potential, and he worked with the new ownership to help elevate Old 502’s products, image and message.

With a hip marketing strategy from Red7e and an emphasis on using grapes grown by farmers locally, nationally internationally, the “anti-winery winery” went from producing 600 cases a year to more than 13,000 in 2016.

Its popular brands include Bourbon Barrel Red, White Noise, Bore Dough, Kentucky Lady and Run for the Rosé, among others.

Leet tells Insider the most surprising thing he’s learned from the last five years making wine is that everyone has an opinion and different way of doing it.

“For every 100 winemakers you talk to, they have 100 different ideas on how (to make it), and they all work for each of them,” he says.

And while 502’s success comes from a myriad of things — hard work, quality control, keeping it fun — he says Louisville wine drinkers play a part, too.

“I like to think it’s because we try to be genuine, and we’re lucky enough to live in a community that appreciates it,” he adds.

Some of the tasty Old 502 products | Courtesy of Old 502 Winery

Leet says the Bourbon Barre Red is their best-seller, and he’s got a few experiments in the works for 2018, including, “perhaps,” a sparkling wine and/or canned wine.

Old 502 is celebrating its five-year anniversary on Tuesday, Dec. 5, with a special Repeal of Prohibition Party featuring live music by Robbie Bartlett and VOICES of Kentuckiana; food from Ladyfingers, Cellar Door Chocolates and the Macaron Bar; and drinks by Old 502, Falls City and Rabbit Hole Distilling. Also, the event will serve as a fundraiser for the Louisville Youth Group.

The free event runs 5:30-8 p.m. at Over the 9 Restaurant, 120 S. 10th St.

Before that first celebratory bottle gets popped, we caught up with Leet to ask him some very important questions …

What’s the most surprising thing on your Bucket List?

The lack of the list … I’ve been fortunate to have done a wide array of things over my life and am thankful for them all. Just looking forward to the next surprise.

Mayor Greg Fischer gets his own key.

What poster was on your wall in junior high?

Photos printed in my darkroom … yes, I was a geek.

If you were mayor, to whom would you give the key to the city?

Our present mayor — I like Greg Fischer’s style.

What are your preferred pizza toppings?

Anything made from a pig. And arugula.

If you could be any age for a week, what would it be?

80 … might prepare me for the future.

Swap out the beer for wine.

What famous person do people say you resemble the most? 

I don’t always look like someone else, but when I do, it’s usually “the world’s most interesting man.”

Who would you most like to be stuck with in an elevator?

Muhammad Ali … because I actually have — for about one minute.

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