As you drive down Patton Road in Arrington, Tennessee, the scenery is one that you would find in most small towns. Farms, livestock, and wildlife are common views down this two lane road. Then as you drive around a winding section of the road, you will see the grapevines and Arrington Vineyards.
Arrington Vineyards is co-owned by Winemaker Kip Summers, country singer-songwriter Kix Brooks and entrepreneur John Russell. In 2003, four years before the vineyard officially opened the first 25 acres were purchased, cleared and grapevines were planted. Shortly after the remaining acreage was purchased by Kix, which included a farmhouse that became the tasting area. In a short amount of time, the land was converted from two farms into a winery.
Even though the winery is only about 25 miles south of Nashville, Tennessee the atmosphere gives off the feeling of going back in time. The view upon arriving at the vineyard on any given weekend looks like a giant picnic.
Neither the vineyard nor the city of Arrington have restaurants, so visitors bring picnic baskets from home or purchase direct from Simply Living Life, the on-site catering company. Find the perfect spot in the grass or an open picnic table to sit back and enjoy the day at the 75-acre vineyard. The only thing left to do is decide what wine you want to accompany your picnic.
The one thing that should go without saying is that this winery would not be the hot spot that it is, if not for the actual wine. Arrington Vineyards opened in 2007 and soon became a known as Nashville’s version of wine country. There are Chardonnays, Rieslings and Cabernet Sauvignons, other varietals and numerous blends, such as their Red Fox Red and Antebellum—something for everyone’s palate.
Their wines have won several awards. They won “Best of Show” at the Wines of the South Competition for its popular Syrah, a wine described as having full-bodied aromas of wild blackberry and vanilla oak followed by flavors of plum, blackberry and clove. Their Stag’s White has also been one of the vineyards top sellers for years.
Arrington produces two fruit desert wines that are hard to find in local stores due to their popularity. Locals will drive to the vineyard just to pick up the blackberry and raspberry wines in person because they are just that good. During tastings, you will get a piece of wine infused chocolate to pair with these two wines in order to pull all of the flavor out of both the wine and chocolate. Last but definitely not least, Encore! is the rich, port wine that is made from Arrington’s Chambourcin grapes and also considered a desert wine though not as sweet as the aforementioned fruit wines.
Tasting Options at Arrington Vineyards
The winery offers tastings daily with a few different options at the main Tasting Lodge and in the Grand Barn. Yes, that’s right, an actual barn that sits a few yards away from the main lodge. It serves double duty as an event space in addition to wine tastings with live music. The barn area of the winery is separate from the main area and is connected by a walking trail that only allow golf carts in addition to pedestrians to use. It is more intimate with fewer people and only open on the weekends.
The vineyard has eighteen different wines and multiple wine tasting options to choose from. Select from the Expanded Tasting, which is a sample of eight wines, the Classic Tasting with four wines, or the Picnic Tasting. The Picnic option allows visitors to bypass being put on the wait list for tastings. They get to pick any four wines and receive two ounces of each in plastic cups placed in a carrying tray. It includes tasting notes and wine crackers. Selecting the Picnic option, you can carry your wine back to your table and taste at your leisure.
For those who like to splurge, the vineyard offers one more tasting option. The Premier Experience takes place at the Wine Loft which overlooks the vineyard grounds. The tasting includes five award winning wines paired with gourmet cheese and other food prepared by the onsite catering company. The tasting includes a guided walking tour of the barrel house and wine production facility. This tasting option requires a reservation and is limited to Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
All wine is available for purchase every day, including Sunday.
Besides the wine, the location and atmosphere, one more reason Arrington is a local favorite is free live music. Located within minutes of Downtown Nashville and having country artist Kix Brooks of Brooks & Dunn as a co-owner, it’s only fitting that Arrington have live music from various artist from April through October. On weekends visitors get to enjoy what the winery calls “Music in the Vines” with bluegrass in front of the barn and jazz performed in the Courtyard at the winery. Take in both bands by simply taking the short walk down a path between the two live event locations.
Finally, do not worry about having problems parking at the vineyard. There are multiple locations to park on top of the hill as well as down below next to the wine production building. Weekends are busiest, so on those days staff directs traffic and assists with parking. The vineyard also provides transportation up the hill to the main lodge or barn via golf cart upon request.
- Arrington Vineyards, www.arringtonvineyards.com
- Simply Living Life, www.simply-living-life.com
- Visit Music City, www.visitmusiccity.com/
– All photos by Tomeka Allgood.