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.


Cambridge Square To Host Chattanooga’s First Sanctioned World Food Championship With The Ooltewah BBQ Brawl

Cambridge Square and de-facto Ooltewah Mayor and local business owner Steve Ray, have teamed-up to host Chattanooga’s first sanctioned World Food Championship. Branded the Ooltewah BBQ Brawl (The Brawl), the event will take place on April 15 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Admission to the event is free of charge. Cambridge Square is a mixed-use community located less than a quarter mile ... (click for more)

Chicken Salad Chick Foundation Presents Donation Check To Chattanooga Area Food Bank

The Chattanooga Area Food Bank announced that on Friday, Josh Patton, the area franchise owner of Chicken Salad Chick, presented a donation check to the Chattanooga Area Food Bank for $3,143.60. This total equates to 12,574 meals that the Chattanooga Area Food Bank can provide to hungry neighbors in the area. The money for this donation was raised by the Chicken Salad Chick ... (click for more)

2 Shot On Rawlings Street Friday Night; 1 In Critical Condition

Two people were shot, Friday night, and one is in critical condition. At approximately  9:56 p.m.  Chattanooga Police officers responded to the 2000 block of Rawlings Street on a report of a person shot. Officers arrived on scene and located one victim lying next to a vehicle suffering from a gunshot wound. A second victim arrived at a local hospital suffering from ... (click for more)

Car Crashes Into Motel 6 In Dalton; Driver, 17, Admits To Texting While Driving

The Dalton Police Department and Dalton Fire Department responded Saturday morning to a crash at the Motel 6 at Highway 41 and Tibbs Road. The driver of the 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix involved left the roadway and crashed into the Motel 6 building causing severe damage to one of the rooms. There were no major injuries. Investigators believe texting while driving was a contributing ... (click for more)

Slaxxon Regret - And Response

Back in the seventies my three oldest brothers had a buddy named Steve Slack. “Slack” was a star soccer player at Baylor and he grew up on Lookout Mountain, which is where I grew up. He and Jimmy, Henry and Bill went to the University of Virginia where they were roommates in an old, beat up house that was painted pink. Naturally, the place became known as the “Pink Palace” but lest ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Ballooniac’ Fined $25K

The Calgary Stampede is one of the biggest events in Canada and every year it draws well over 1.5 million people to one of the most beautiful places in the world. It started in 1912 as a big rodeo event and today it lasts 10 straight days. A highlight is the chuck-wagon races, where $4 million of advertisements are sold on the wagon’s canvas covers and there are pancake breakfasts ... (click for more)