"The best way to learn about wine is to drink it."
At least that's what my friend Jimmy says. And he should know. He's an expert. But I agree because I haven't always been a wine lover, but one night in Colorado, close to 15 years ago, converted me. All I have to do is open up a bottle of Rex Goliath Merlot and immediately I'm transported back in time to that memorable night.
Here at Visit Franklin, we're constantly listening to both visitors and locals alike describe how surprised they are at what a great wine tasting destination Franklin and Williamson County is. And when you consider all the great wine festivals and experiences we have in and around Franklin, it's easy to understand why!
So in this post, I thought I'd share a local's guide to the best wine experiences in Franklin!
Let's get started!
Not only is Arrington one of the most photographed locations near Franklin, but it's also one of the best vineyards in the country, producing award winning wine every single year. In fact just last year they competed in the 25th Indy International Wine Competition with over 2,000 entries from 11 countries and 40 states, taking home the Double Gold Award for their 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon!
Remember my friend Jimmy, the expert, from earlier? Well as the District Manager for Banfi Vintners, he says, "Imagine a Napa-like experience but only 15 minutes away. That's Arrington Vineyards." Pretty cool, huh?
Their tasting room is open Monday thru Thursday 11 am - 8 pm, Friday and Saturday 11 am - 8 pm and Sunday from 12 pm - 6 pm. Plus you're invited to bring your picnic or experience the best gourmet offerings from Simply Living Life, who's always on-site Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
If you time your experience just right, you'll be in the perfect position to snap that epic Tennessee Sunset all your friends want to see you post on Facebook!
If you're inspired by more of the John Cusack meets Kate Beckinsale in Serendipity vibe, then JJ's Wine Bar is your jam. My friend Heather actually says, "it's the best place to gather, hang out, and enjoy great company in, what feels like your friends living room."
Located in the heart of Historic Downtown Franklin, JJ's offers 28 different types of wine by the glass, dispensed in your choice of sizes - a taste, a half-serving, or full serving, using a smart card received at the front desk. They do offer wine by the bottle as well if you're sold on what you want.
With an outdoor courtyard and wrap around porch, on Franklin's warm-weathered nights, JJ's is the perfect spot to experience why Garden and Gun magazine named Franklin the "Greatest Southern Town."
Let's talk about pairings now. Most aficionados would say you haven't truly unlocked the mystery of a wine until you've paired it with the perfect meal. Homestead Manor sits on 50 acres of land steeped in local history, offering a farm-to-fork experience that'll surely leave you inspired and craving more.
The Glass Bar is Amelia's favorite spot to get her wine on. She's a local photographer and lives just down the road and says, "there's something especially romantic about the whole place."
My favorite thing of course (in addition to wines by the glass and the outstanding house aged filet) is what they feature from Hattie Jane's Creamery for dessert!
Franklin's certainly well known for its epic street festivals like Main Street Festival, Pumpkinfest, and Dickens of a Christmas, but there's no shortage of wine events to experience as well!
One of my personal favorites is the Franklin Wine Festival in October. With over 300 wines and 30 restaurants participating, my wife and I love making it a great date night with friends. Plus the event benefits Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee!
Be sure to mark your calendar and start planning your trip to experience these events today!
The best thing about a good locals guide to wine in Franklin is access to the source of their knowledge, and in this case, Lisa and Dave from The Bottle Shop are simply amazing. Jamie says, "Whenever I'm looking to branch out and try something new, The Bottle Shop is the first place I go! Their staff is always super welcoming and have the best recommendations. I feel like I can ask as many questions as I want and never feel dumb. Oh - and did I mention they have an adorable shop dog?"
So as you can see if you're looking to learn or wanting to try something new, we've got you covered in and around Franklin, Tennessee.
Hope this guide inspires you whether you're already a local or are planning an experience in Franklin soon. What other questions can I help answer? Let me know in the comments below. I'm happy to help in any way I can!