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.


Charles Siskin: A Bite Out Of The Big Apple

I was never aware of food courts until I made my first trip to London way too many decades ago. It was there I discovered the Great Food Hall at Harrod’s Department Store. Truthfully I’ve never seen anything comparable since. I have been privileged to visit lots of outdoor stalls and indoor markets in the Far East, South America, Australia, Europe and right here in this country, ... (click for more)

Sticky Fingers Honors First Responders With Free All-You-Can-Eat Buffet This Sunday

Sticky Fingers will pay tribute to local American heroes by offering a free All-You-Can-Eat Buffet to active first responders in the area this Sunday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m at both Chattanooga locations:  420 Broad St. and 2031 Hamilton Place Blvd. “The entire Sticky Fingers family wanted to take this time to show our appreciation of the first responders in our community ... (click for more)

DA Pinkston Files Petition To Declare 2 Gangs A Public Nuisance

District Attorney General Neal Pinkston filed a petition on Monday asking that two Chattanooga gangs, the Gangster Disciples and the Grape Street Crips, and their members be declared public nuisances. General Pinkston is also "asking that injunctive relief be given to the law-abiding residents of East Lake by establishing a Safety Zone that covers most of their neighborhood." ... (click for more)

Woman With Ankle Injuries Rescued On Walden's Ridge

Emergency Service personnel responded to an injured runner on the Mabbit Trails on Signal Mountain on Monday morning. At 10 a.m. , a 39-year-old female called 911 reporting she had injured her ankle. Walden's Ridge Emergency Services, HCEMS and Signal Mountain Fire Department responded and set up a command post to Wilson Avenue and Summerbrook Lane. At 10:30 a.m. , ... (click for more)

Patrol Cars Donation To Kevin Muhammad's Nation Of Islam Sets A Dangerous Precedent

Re: City Police donating two patrol cars to Kevin Muhammad's Nation of Islam: While I know it's unpopular to mention the wisdom of separation of church and state, this sets a dangerous precedent and should meet with concern from everyone who values religious and secular freedom. What's next? Southern Baptists getting old city parking scooters to patrol church parking lots ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Pitch Called ‘The Defector’

When Jose Fernandez was killed early Sunday morning in a boating accident, he was 24 years old yet had already lived a life much larger than almost all old men. He had spent part of a year in an unimaginably cruel Cuban prison, this when he only 14 years old and sandwiched in an inhumane cell among grown criminals. There were murders daily – in his very cell -- and nobody cared. ... (click for more)