Monday, August 13, 2012

Wine in the South: Arrington Vineyards

"I think that was the turn."
"There wasn't any sign, but I will check the map. Yup, that was it!"

Hidden in the hills 30 miles south of Nashville, TN, our family took us to Arrington Vineyards on a recent visit. Putting together a picnic dinner and packing the kids into the car, it seemed a great way to spend our last vacation night together. And apparently we weren't the only ones with this clever idea. Short of the Wine and Balloon Festival in Virginia last year, we have never seen so many people gathered together to drink wine. A large parking lot, across from the vineyard was mostly full, and the  sprawling field in front of the tasting room was packed with families sitting among their picnic spreads. Children read and played, while families and friends shared bottles of wine.

We spread our for our dinner, and enjoyed the warm summer evening, enjoying time with our family. Once the children wandered off to play, making new friends, a few of us adults ventured up the hill to seek a glass or two of wine, on the basis that Tina and I are obligated to share our adventures with you readers. Unfortunately, we were stopped at the door when we asked for details, and were told that there was a three hour waiting list for the free tasting, and, since they closed in two hours, it was unlikely that we would get in. But there was the wine shop back down the hill, where we could buy some wine. There, we were stopped short when we learned that they could sell us a bottle, open it, and provide us with some plastic cups, but since they were selling under an "agricultural" license--not a liquor license--they couldn't serve us a glass of wine.

We struggled with the decision, since our hosts weren't really wine drinkers, but the wine list was too interesting to pass up. Of course they offer Chardonnay and Merlot, but there was Viognier and Gewurtztraminer, Roses of Chambourcin, and even a Port. Given the warm weather, we agreed on the dry rose. Grabbing a bottle, we settled back on our picnic blankets, we shared our bottle of wine while we watched the kids play while the sun set.

While we wish we could have tried more of their wines, it was still a great evening. Those who were more in the know seemed to make a day of it, large groups sharing the picnic tables and a number of bottles of wine. It seemed a great way for families and friends to spend a wonderful day outside.

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