Belle Meade Winery

The historic Belle Meade Mansion Historic Site and Winery is just in the outskirts of Nashville, Tennessee. While a beautiful house and grounds, I had to try the wine. Pictures at the end. (More on Belle Meade here.) Sadly, there’s not much on how the winery came about…. Beyond that the mistresses of the house made Blackberry wine…

The first up was the Carriage House White, which the server proudly declared was a porch pounder. While I agree with her assessment, I didn’t think the ABC rules allowed you to say that…. But despite the sweetness, perfect for a hot sticky summer day, the Vidal Blanc tasted like apples, pears and something that made my mouth pucker… like a salty bit of seaweed.

Next up was the Race Day Red, a blend (no elaboration on varietals) that was dry, but not too dry and fruity. No surprise, “for consistency we use Lodi Grapes.” Great California grapes making Tennessee wine… I didn’t get any of the fennel notes the tasting sheet said I should, but I got the stewed strawberry and blackberry. The server described this as a “supper sipper” as she likes it better with food… something hearty or tomato based. I can see it… perfect to jazz up store bought lasagna at $45/bottle.

The next two were described as Traditional Tennessee wines… first up was the Red Muscadine. Sweet… I got homemade grape sherbet on my grandmother’s porch in the summertime… no raspberry or cranberry. Good, but if you’re going to call the first a porch pounder… call this one that too.

Last up was the BlackBerry Wine…full of the natural sweetness of Southern Blackberries. Need I say more?

I opted for a glass of Soirée, a sparkling Grenache Rosè, that was sweeter than Texas Grenache rosès I’ve had and yet had a tart finish. My partner in wine opted for the Iroquois Red, their Cabernet Sauvignon that was very dry and a bit harsh.

Final Thoughts

I didn’t know what to expect when we stopped, and it was not a planned part of the road trip, but it was disappointing to find out the grapes were grown in California. Still worth an afternoon if you’re near Nashville… great walking trail, historic site, and dog friendly. I would advise upgrading beyond the tiny tasting at the end of the grounds tour, which was all we could do since we had not planned ahead. Maybe next trip…

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