Tennessee Wines Win Awards Coast To Coast—But Visit Them At Home In October

Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - by Tammy Algood

Tennessee wineries have been racking up awards on both sides of the U.S. all summer, but now is prime time to visit them on their home turf, when the wine making process is underway at local wineries.

Depending on the grape variety, weather and vineyard location, the season’s harvest begins about August and wraps up in October. That’s when wineries start making the year’s wines, and when visitors to local wineries can get a close up look at the process. Most local wineries offer educational tours of their facilities.

Going straight to a winery to learn about wines has practical benefits, too. In retail stores, wines are often bought based on the look of the label, the price, or recommendation of someone at the store who may or may not know the wine being discussed. At a local winery’s tasting room, wines can be sampled before purchase. The vintner may even be on hand to discuss ways to serve and use it. The winery certainly will have an expert on hand whose whole purpose is to educate visitors about their products.  

Tennessee has a fast-growing, international award winning wine country, with 40 wineries and 150 vineyards across the state. According to Dr. David Lockwood, fruit specialist and professor of plant science at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, Tennessee’s commercial grape production has grown from 650 acres in 2011 to “a modest estimate” of more than 800 acres statewide. Lockwood says that 97 percent of all commercial grapes grown in Tennessee are used for wine.

At September’s 2013 International Wine Channel TV Awards in Sonoma, Ca., Keg Springs Winery in Hampshire took a rare “double gold” medal for their best of show fruit wine, M’Lady’s Strawberry. To win a double gold medal, every judge at the event had to vote for that wine to receive a gold medal. More than 850 wines were entered in the international competition.

At the recent Mid-America Wine Competition in Winston-Salem, N.C., Keg Springs Winery took home more gold, along with Beachaven Vineyards & Winery, Clarksville; Beans Creek Winery, Manchester; and Century Farm Winery, Norton. All four wineries also won silver and bronze medals. A complete list of their award winning wines and medals from 2013 competitions are listed at www.picktnproducts.org.

Visit www.picktnproducts.org to find local wineries and food pairings of Tennessee wines with local and seasonal foods.


Buffalo Wild Wings “Eats Wings, Raises Funds” For Blood Assurance

The Buffalo Wild Wings in Cleveland, Hixson, and downtown Chattanooga will have “Eat Wings, Raise Funds” events from  11 a.m. to midnight  on  Wednesday .  Proceeds benefit Blood Assurance, the regional non-profit blood center. The downtown Chattanooga restaurant is at 120 Market Street, Cleveland’s restaurant is at 625 Paul Huff Parkway and Hixson restaurant ... (click for more)

Taco Mac Is Too Good

It was a  Friday  night in Chattanooga and the possibilities for a good place to eat were bountiful. My friend and I wanted a happening place to get a quick bite and enjoy a nice brew. We decided to try out Taco Mac. The motto, "genuine food and craft beer," really grabbed our attention. It was exactly what we were looking for. I wondered, though, if the description ... (click for more)

Prominent Business, Civic Leader, And Philanthropist Scotty Probasco Dies At 86

Prominent Chattanooga business, civic leader and philanthropist Scotty Probasco has died at the age of 86. Scotty, as he was affectionately greeted by most of Chattanooga, was known for his modesty, generosity, dependability, and unswerving loyalty. “Great work” was always on the tip of his tongue – a manifestation of his joyous humility. He was a man of high ideals, of kind ... (click for more)

Chemical Odor In Lookout Valley Traced To Chattanooga Tank Wash

Chattanooga firefighters in Lookout Valley were sent out Friday night to investigate reports of a strange odor in the area. The firefighters searched the area, but never found the source of the odor.  John Schultz, an investigator with the Air Pollution Control Bureau, was also out Friday night and eventually tracked the source of the odor to a business, the Chattanooga ... (click for more)

Proud Of Hometown Boy Turned Global Leader, Bob Corker

Time Magazine has it right.  Not only is Chattanooga’s own U.S. Senator Bob Corker one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World,” but he is probably now the most prominent leader in the history of our city.   At a time of extreme frustration with Washington and Congress in general, Bob continues to rise above the division and rancor to build consensus and solve ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Great Work, Ol’ Pro!

Years ago I was lucky enough to be the seatmate of Scotty Probasco on an airplane bound for somewhere and he taught me a word that has helped me be a much better person than I ever thought I could. We were already swell friends, since he’d watched me grow up at First Presbyterian Church every Sunday with his kids, and he liked some of the stuff I tried to write back then. So ... (click for more)