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On a gorgeous Sunday afternoon, a friend and I decided to take a drive out to Arrington Vineyards.
Just a short 15 minutes from I-65 at the Hwy 96 exit, Arrington Vineyards is a beautiful place situated on a hillside — tucked away from the hustle and bustle of busy Franklin life.
All of the wine is made right there, in a separate building behind the wine-tasting lodge. Among the choices are a number of award-winning wines which are a must-taste!
When we arrived, we were surprised by the number of visitors who also decided to venture out there on this Sunday afternoon. We parked not too far from the entrance (that’s how many cars were there), and walked up the gravel road to the winery.
There are fields of grape vines scattered all over, and a rustic lodge that overlooks it all. Behind the lodge is the building where the wine is made.
As we climbed the stairs to the entrance of the wine tasting lodge, there was a huge deck with iron tables and chairs scattered, where you can sit and visit with others over a bottle of wine, of course.
There was one couple playing dominoes, and other groups enjoying conversation. We were most interested in the wine tasting, so we went inside where we found an attractive bar area surrounded by walls of the vineyards’ wine selections, as well as gifts.
Exploring The Grounds
Since the bar was full, we had to place our name on a waiting list to participate in the wine tasting. We had about 45 minutes to spare, so it gave us the opportunity to explore the grounds a bit.
In the shop, a massive fireplace anchors the space, and adds a very cozy lodge feel to the room. In addition to wine, the shop offers shirts and souvenirs from Arrington Vineyards, bottle openers and plugs, wine-appropriate snack items and other gifts.
After wandering through the lodge for a few minutes, we walked outside and gazed out over the vineyard and at the beautiful landscape.
Surrounding a good portion of the public facility are areas for gathering — including picnic tables, wooden swings hanging from several trees, a huge fire pit for bonfires, and a patio where live music is played… there was jazz playing while we were there.
As soon as one became available, we grabbed a swing and enjoyed the weather and the serenity. There were several groups sitting on blankets and at tables, eating and enjoying wine. Children were running around playing on the hillside. Jazz music was playing in the background… what a way to spend a Sunday afternoon, or any afternoon for that matter!
The Wine Tasting
The hostess called my cell phone after about 30 minutes and summoned us in for our wine tasting. So we made our way back to the lodge and took our place at the bar.
Donna, our wine hostess, greeted us with a list of the wines:
- 5 white wines
- 7 red wines
- 2 dessert wines
I was surprised at the selection, as I thought there were only 3 or 4 wines made there. So, I was pleased to find a Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chardonnay among the choices.
For the tasting, we were given 4 selections to try. I chose the Riesling and Gewurztraminer for my whites, then the Red Fox Red and their Raspberry dessert wine for my reds.
- The Gewurztraminer, their sweetest white, was delicious! The green apple flavor was very pronounced, and it went down very smoothly.
- The Red Fox Red is their most popular red wine, and is a blend of 7 grapes, including the Sangiovese. It is very fruity and mild — a great table wine which works with just about any dish you might serve. Plus, if you’re not a big wine drinker, or if you’re new to wine, this is a great choice to get you started.
- For the dessert wine, the Raspberry was a yummy choice, served with a raspberry truffle made by the local chocolate shop, Schakolad. It tasted almost like a raspberry punch, with very little alcohol taste.
Overall, I thought the Arrington Vineyards wines were very good. My friend chose the Syrah for one of his reds, and enjoyed it as well. I’m no wine connoisseur, but I enjoyed all 4.
After spending a couple hours at Arrington Vineyards, we determined that the next visit will include a picnic basket and blanket.
It’s such a relaxing place, you could spend an entire afternoon just lounging around and enjoying the scenery, along with a great bottle of wine (or 2) made right on the premises!
Arrington Vineyards expands with a new state-of-the-art glass pavilion!