How merlot can you go, Nashville? It’s no surprise that Nashvillians do their fair share of wine-drinking. But as vino connoisseurs with sophisticated palates, indulging in fine wines doesn’t always have to mean sipping on our favorite fermented grapes from distant lands — sometimes, those praiseworthy treasures are produced right in our own backyards.
Get to know Music City’s wine industry, from local wineries and vineyards to festivals and other places with wine on the menu. Ready? Yes way, rosé.
🍷 A brief history
Dating back to the late 1500s, alcohol was added to wine in a process called fortification, which helped preserve the beverage for long shipping journeys. This process produced sweet + tangy wines like port, sherry, and a Portuguese wine called Madeira. When the latter came to the US, it was used to celebrate a significant part in American history: the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
Fast forward roughly two and a half centuries to today’s America… Nashville has some serious wine fans.
🍷 Locally-produced + thriving
We heard it through the grapevine — Tennessee sits at No. 16 for wine production by state, producing ~1.3 million gallons in 2022, and boasts 97 wineries. DYK:id you know? The most popular wine in Tennessee is Cabernet Sauvignon, with the most popular in the Southeast region being Moscato, Chardonnay + Zinfandel.
When it comes to places to wine down, head to Sixty Vines to kick back with one of 60 wines on tap or enjoy a French wine bar experience at The Authentique. Grab your wine-obsessed friends for a trip to Arrington Vineyards, just 30 miles from the city. While you’re there, pick up the port-style dessert wine Encore 2018, which was awarded a gold medal at the 2021 San Francisco International Wine Competition.
🍷 Wine outside the box
Who doesn’t love a little vino variation? Instead of committing to a single glass, try a wine flight at Belle Meade Winery, City Winery, or Natchez Hills Winery. Don’t forget — summer is just around the corner. That means on a warm day, cool off with a Friesling, a frozen, riesling-based drink, on L.A. Jackson’s rooftop.
🍷 Festivals + other fun wine events
Mark your calendars for the 20th Annual Wine on the River Nashville (Sat., Sept. 10) that will include 200+ wines, beers, spirits.