Good Wine, Good Music, Good Times in Tennessee
Wine makes every meal an occasion, every table more elegant, every day more civilized.
~ Andre Simon, “Commonsense of Wine”
The music in the vines is calling! It’s time to pack a picnic and head for one of Tennessee’s wineries to enjoy an evening of good wine and jazz on the lawn.
Tennessee is a wine lover’s delight, boasting 33 wineries across the state, and 17 in Middle Tennessee alone. The concert season is kicking off now, so come with me as we pay a visit to three wineries in this region where you can enjoy one of the most affordable nights out in Middle Tennessee! Good wine, good music, good friends – what more could one ask?
Arrington Vineyards, founded in 2005 by Brooks and Dunn country music artist Kix Brooks, is nestled in rolling hill country 25 minutes south-east of Nashville. Every weekend beginning in April, Music in the Vines is a free jazz concert on the lawn, when families and friends gather in clusters on the hillside overlooking the vineyard, spread their own picnic fare on tables or blankets, and celebrate reunions, birthdays or an afternoon’s relaxation in Tennessee’s beautiful countryside.
Different artists each week play non-vocal jazz Fridays and Saturdays 5:00-9:00pm, and Sundays 2:00-6:00pm. Register on arrival for a free wine-tasting, but expect up to a two-hour wait before your name is called. Arrington’s award-winning wines are available for sale, so pick up a bottle, purchase cheese, crackers or snacks if you didn’t bring your own, and settle in for a pleasant picnic on the hillside or the tasting lodge deck.
Summer concerts at Sumner Crest Winery open with the popular Margarita Beach Band on Saturday, May 19, at 6:30-9:30pm, when the lawn will be transformed into a tropical paradise. Located in Portland, 35 miles north of Nashville, Sumner Crest follows a different theme with its monthly concerts. Lively bands encourage dancing and singing, while crowds sip on locally produced Sumner Crest wines, meet up with old friends, or make new ones.
The Classic Car Cruise In, September 15, is a favorite with car buffs, followed by an evening of 50’s music with Four on the Floor. If it’s a different style of dancing that starts your engine, come and help crush the next vintage of grapes at the Annual Grape Stomp on August 25. The winery also showcases a collection of antiques and an extensive gift shop.
Jazz on the Lawn has taken on a life of its own at Beachaven Winery in Clarksville. Every other weekend from May-October hundreds of people bring their lawn chairs, blankets and picnics to enjoy regional jazz ensembles, a little dancing, and savor Beachaven’s award winning wines. The first free concert of the season is Saturday, May 12, 6:30-9:30pm. The final October Jazz on the Lawn will feature a Halloween costume contest. As with all wineries, no outside alcohol or pets are allowed. Tasting and tours are free every day.
We have Judge William O. Beach, founder of Beachaven Winery, to thank for pioneering legislation that helped revive Tennessee’s wine industry after decades of Prohibition.Tennessee’s wineries are waiting to welcome you! What’s your favorite?