Imagine a picnic with some of your favorite people in the beautiful pastoral hills of Tennessee, complete with delicious wines, tasty finger foods, and live jazz playing in the background. It’s hard to beat an outing like this one, which is why Arrington Vineyards has been one of Middle Tennessee’s most popular destinations for tourists and locals alike since opening its doors in 2007.
Started by country musician Kix Brooks, wine enthusiast Kip Summers, and entrepreneur John Russell, Arrington’s first vines were planted on this former farm back in 2004. In 2007, Arrington Vineyards was licensed, bottling began, and things got off to a phenomenal start when the vineyard’s Syrah won ‘Best of Show’ at the 2007 Wines of the South competition. In 2008, a warehouse was constructed for bottle storage, and Arrington Vineyards’ wines began being distributed throughout Middle Tennessee. Once wine shipping was legalized in the state in 2009, Kix’s Wine Club was launched, and thousands of wine connoisseurs across the country began experiencing Arrington Vineyards’ wines for themselves.
The vineyards expanded in 2012 when another adjacent farm was purchased, providing two houses that were remodeled for private events and a “Grand Barn,” which now holds a retail shop and stage for live music. A Pavilion was added in 2018 and transformed in 2020 into a retail store selling bottled wine, wine flights, Frosés, and upscale snacks. Today, Arrington Vineyards offers something for everyone, whether you’re looking for a fun-filled family outing, a girlfriend’s get-together, or a romantic outdoor date.
Many locals opt to bring their own picnic and enjoy it on one of Arrington’s many outdoor tables scattered throughout the property. You’ll find plenty of tables in the sun and in the shade, so don’t let a warmer day deter you! While you’re welcome to bring your own food and drinks, outside alcohol is strictly prohibited.
For those who’d prefer to purchase food, gourmet picnic baskets can be ordered ahead of time on the Arrington Vineyards website from Simply Living Life, which provides all the details from the meal to tablecloths and drinkware. You can also buy gourmet charcuterie-style snacks at several locations on-site, and food trucks are on the property every Friday, May through October.
Of course, you’ll want Arrington Vineyards’ wines to complement your picnic spread, and you have 21 award-winning reds, whites, and dessert wines to choose from! Some of the most popular varieties include Stag’s White, Red Fox Red, and Firefly Rosé. I quite like the Antebellum White and Red collections, which have a unique whiskey barrel finish. Wines and Frosés (frozen wine slushies) are available for purchase throughout the property.
From April to October, live jazz plays each weekend on the Hillside Stage, while live bluegrass can be heard in the Grand Barn. You really can’t go wrong no matter which stage you choose – When I went to Arrington Vineyards on a recent weekend, my friends and I liked both bands so much that we moved our picnic from one table to another midway through our afternoon so that we wouldn’t have to decide between them!
While admission and parking at Arrington Vineyards are free, a few add-on experiences are available to make your picnic even more special. At the Lodge’s Tasting Bar, you’ll find traditional wine tastings. You’ll be guided through a tasting of six wines curated just for you and your friends, and a Riedel wine glass will be yours to keep after the tasting. Wine tastings can accommodate up to four guests, they’re $40 per person, and reservations are highly recommended.
Consider a group tasting in one of Arrington Vineyards’ two private tasting rooms for a special occasion. Group tastings include a selection of five popular wines, a cheese plate, and keepsake wine glasses for everyone in attendance. Wine tastings in the Nashville Room are $450 and can hold up to ten guests; the Rosé Room holds up to 14 guests and costs $630.
Food and wine pairings are also offered for groups of two-six people at $65 per person. You’ll enjoy a seasonally inspired tasting menu from Simply Living Life paired with 2 oz. pours of award-winning wines. The experience also includes a property history, a video of the wine-making process, and time for questions about how the wines are made.
Arrington Vineyards is one of five stops on Williamson County’s Masters & Makers Trail. Simply sign up and check in at five of the area’s finest breweries and distilleries, and you’ll earn a limited edition t-shirt from the visitor downtown Franklin Visitor Center.
And for more fun, while you’re in the Arrington community, visit the Hatcher Family Dairy, made famous by the TV show of the same name on Disney Plus, Mercantile 1858 of Arrington, where you’ll find a carefully curated selection of vintage and vintage-inspired decor, and Three French Hens, a popular antique store located right next door.