Wine Down This May for Tennessee’s Grape and Wine Appreciation MonthTake A Grape Escape with These Wine Trails Across The State
Nashville, Tenn. – Home to Jack Daniel’s whiskey, seven genres of music, barbecue and hot chicken, Tennessee’s abundant and ever-growing grape and wine industry is often overlooked. Dating back to the 1800s, wine plays an important role in Tennessee's tourism industry. With over 67 wineries, the wine industry employs over 400 people, provides memorable experiences and offers picturesque destinations to the likes of both visitors and locals. So, wine down a little this May, and take a grape escape across the state with one of these wine trails for Tennessee’s Grape and Wine Appreciation Month.
What better way to enjoy the southern charm of West Tennessee than taking a wine road trip along the region’s Wine Trail. With over seven wineries that make up the trail, the day will be filled with wonderful outdoor wonders and delectable traditions of the soulful region.
If staying in Memphis, start the day at the Old Millington Vineyard. Situated within the peaceful, rolling terrain of West Tennessee, their prize-worthy wine paired with their live music will have your palette craving more.
Next, cruise on over to the Napa-inspired Delta Blues Winery for great wine, scenic or picturesque views and fun. It is the ideal location to spend a day with friends and learn more about the grapes in the region as most of their grapes used to make their signature wines come from other vineyards across West Tennessee.
Following Delta Blues is the newest addition to the wine trail, de terra Winery and Vineyard. Situated between Memphis and Jackson, guests can try everything from a sweet Muscadine to a smooth red and fruity white. With events happening throughout the year ranging from food trucks, music and dancing, a trip to the quaint winery is an afternoon well spent.
For over 100 years, Century Farm Winery has been a family-owned working farm which has allowed them to grow their impressive wine collection to over 17 different types. Whether looking to try a sampling of their highly award-winning wines or a glass of their signature wine of the month, this Jackson gem is a must-stop.
Afterwards, travel north to White Squirrel Winery, named after the albino squirrels that live on the property, where guests can snack on their delicious chocolates, cheeses, jams, salsas and sausages coupled with a selection of their rich wines.
Next, wine trail enthusiasts can head over to Gibson County to Crown Winery & HRH Vineyards. The Tuscany-styled winery prides themselves on using renewable energy to create their wide range of fine wines including a refreshing sparkling wine, full-bodied red and a beautiful blush that pairs perfectly with parmesan cheese.
Lastly, venture to Paris Winery where guests can try over 31 flavors of wine that are all made right on property. This fun stop mixed with its great southern hospitality and rolling hills of vines is the perfect end to the day.
Experience Middle Tennessee uncorked on the Upper Cumberland Wine Trail. On this trail, visitors can take in all the waterfalls and rivers of the region coupled perfectly with a glass of the region’s finest wines.
The day on the Upper Cumberland begins at Cellar 53, a family farm located in Brush Creek. With everything from sweet, dry and seasonal wines, guests can take in the fine textures while drinking in the views on the winery’s back patio.
Continue to relish along the trail at Red Barn Winery & Vineyards where each of their wines are made with care from their very own estate-grown grapes. As guests sip on a glass, they can take a tour and learn more about how they make some of their most popular, well-balanced wines including the Tennessee Red Neck, Niagara Sweet White Grape and Cranberry Spice.
The next stop of the day is at the ravishing DelMonaco Winery and Vineyard. With the property stretching over 52 acres across the Tennessee’s countryside, vino-lovers are encouraged to saunter through the vineyard, partake in a tasting of DelMonaco’s award-winning wines and soak in the European-style views that many choose to spend their wedding days.
Any wine tour of middle Tennessee is not complete without a visit to Highland Manor Winery, the state’s oldest licensed winery. Highland Manor has been providing guests with its highly awarded wines and tranquil settings dating all the way back to before Prohibition.
While Highland Manor is one perfect-picture way to end the day on the Upper Cumberland, the wine fun doesn’t have to end there. Other stops include Chestnut Hill Winery, Holly Ridge, Northfield Vineyards and Stonehaus Winery. Chestnut Hill Winery is named one of Tennessee’s largest wineries with a tantalizing selection of dry, semi-dry and sweet wines. Holly Ridge, located in Livingston, places the utmost importance on using only the best quality of grapes which contributes to their prize-worthy selection of wines such as lightly bodied whites, full-bodied reds and flavorful dessert wines. Take a step into the country at Northfield Vineyards, a family-owned farm that has been producing Tennessee wines, jellies, jams and juices since 1904. Finally, at the very top of the plateau, wine-drinkers will run into Stonehaus Winery. Offering tastings seven days a week, visitors can take in their delicious wines, food and homemade fudge.
Drink the day away along the Natchez Trace Parkway and take in all the views of middle Tennessee by taking the Natchez Trace Wine Trail. Only an hour outside of Nashville, visitors can experience four wineries in one day including Grinder’s Switch Winery, Keg Springs Winery, Amber Falls Winery and Natchez Hills Vineyard.
Named by Southern Living as one of The South’s Best Vineyards, Grinder’s Switch Winery has been leading the way in middle Tennessee for over a decade with its award-winning wines. Guests can start their day by sipping on some of their most popular wines such as Honeysuckle Rose, Blackberry Express and Cabernet Sauvignon while strolling amongst the property’s vineyards.
After Grinder’s Switch, follow the parkway to Keg Springs Winery in Hampshire. With weekly entertainment, a complimentary buffet and wine slushies, it makes for the quintessential summer day, however, the fun doesn’t have to stop there.
Amber Falls Winery greets everyone with its cozy feel and a breath of fresh air. Opportunities await to relax on their patio with a bottle or meander among the vines to learn more about how they make their superb selection of sweet and dry wines.
Lastly, wine down at the beautifully manicured Natchez Hills Vineyard where the owners, Jim and Karen Odom, provide guests with the ultimate wine experience. Indulge in a variety of their prize-worthy wines including Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and their signature Naughty Tea.
Over the river and through the woods in East Tennessee, visitors can embark on a wine journey among the oldest mountains in the world. Five wineries and one distillery make up the Rocky Top Wine Trail, a unique experience to please the taste buds.
Hillside Winery offers a fresh break from the everyday hustle and bustle while providing guests a free sample of Italy. Named one of the largest grape-crushing facilities in the region, guests can try everything from Pinot Grigio to Muscadine wine.
Continue around the mountain to Apple Barn Winery where its apple-based wines are always a surprising treat such as its classics ranging from Apple Barn White, Apple Blush and Apple Strawberry to seasonal options such as Apple Juple and Blackberry Dessert Wine.
Afterwards, follow the trail to one of Tennessee’s largest wineries, Mountain Valley Vineyards. For over 30 years, Mountain Valley has been providing its visitors with a selection of French and German-inspired winesall made from grapesnative to Tennessee.
Next in the queue is Mill Bridge Winery. Located in the popular Mill Bridge District, they offer a mix of crisp wines to start and then top off the tasting with a flight of their signature ciders. It makes for a memorable, spirited day.
Lastly, end the day at Sugarland Cellars. Thisstop offers a fun, cozy ambiance among the Great Smoky Mountains National Park where wine lovers can try a sampling of dry to sweet wines.
Escape to Tennessee’s River Valley region for a wine country expedition among the Great Valley Wine Trail. Along the way guests can experience four different wineries that represent the agritourism industry the area has to offer.
Also on the Rocky Top Wine Trail, is the first stop along the way and the perfect summer escape offering everything from Pinot Grigio to their signature Muscadine wine.
From there, take in the country views at Spout Spring Estates Winery & Vineyard in Blaine. The six-acre estate is home to sprawling views and homegrown blackberries, blueberries and wineberries all used to create their wide selection of wines including Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling and Muscadine wines.
After Spout Spring Estates, stop by Goodwater Vineyards for one of their gourmet picnics paired perfectly with a glass or two of its award-winning wines. It makes the ideal lunch spot for every vino lover.
As the day ends, take a tour of The Winery at Seven Springs Farm to learn about the process they take to create their delicious handcrafted wines and juices. Sip and enjoy all eight of their plentiful wines ranging from white, red and rose.
As vino lovers take in the majestic East Tennessee mountains, not only do they get the chance to stop at four of the region’s iconic wineries, but they also can take in many of the adventures that make the area what it such as zip-lining over the river, visiting the Tuckaleechee Caverns or taking a walk across America’s longest swinging bridge. There’s so much to do on the Foothills Wine and Cider Trail that visitors may wish to split this wine trail up over a few days
The first stop along the way is the historic Tsali Notch Vineyard located in Madisonville where guests can lavish in its ever popular Muscadine wines and juices. Guests can taste a sampling of their wines or take a tour around the property where they can catch views of the Great Smoky Mountains and Cherokee National Forest.
Next, visitors can head over to Townsend and bask in the peaceful settings of Cades Cove Cellars. For over 80 years, they’ve been busy perfecting their wine and providing their guests with a one-of-a-kind experience that truly highlights the region's unique charm and beauty.
After taking in the quiet serenity of Cades Cove Cellar, voyage over to Mill Bridge Winery where their distinct selection of wine and cider including fun fresh fruit and Muscadine spring packs will leave the most knowledgeable sommelier coming back for more.
The last winery on the trip is the Pigeon River Winery. It is the most quintessential spot to cap off the day with a flight of their first-class wine and a complimentary cheese dish. Guests who are not ready for the trip to end can also make a stop at Wyile Cider Mill. Made from only the freshest of apples from orchards in the area, their guests can indulge in a variety of flavored ciders including blueberry, elderberry and blood orange ciders.
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Mary Katelyn Price