A recent trip to Tennessee had two separate charms. On one hand, we were visiting my great-aunt, to hear stories of her life on a farm in Tennessee growing up during the Great Depression and dating and marrying during World War II. In addition, we also found a winery in Ripley Tennessee, that we could visit along the way! We based ourselves in Memphis, and took a Saturday to head up to the winery.
After about an hour of driving we hit the small town of Ripley, apparently (from the signs we'd been seeing) the tomato capital of the area. The winery was immediately on the right of the road. Lauderdale Winery. The grapes were all nice and plump, and I enjoyed walking in the vineyards a bit. The weather was hot and a bit humid, but there was a nice breeze blowing at least.
We went in to the elaborate gift shop and tasted some wines with Angela, the hostess. The wines all come from grapes and fruits they grow themselves, and range from merlot and cabernet to cayuga and vidal to even berries and tomatoes. All of the wines have sugar added to them, so where some of these grapes normally make wines that are tart and harsh, all of the wines we tasted were smooth and easy to drink. They get quite a draw of visitors from all over the region, so their flavors are being appreciated!
The berry blend was pretty tasty - we took a bottle of that home and enjoyed it with friends. It's a blend of local berries, including raspberry, blackberry and others.
Now, for the pride of Ripley. The tomato wasn't half bad! It didn't taste much like tomato, just a hint, with a nice, ice-cube-in-the-summer picnic appeal. It was a clear wine - apparently once you take off the skin, the inside pulp creates a clear liquid.
A great spot to stop in, enjoy the view, and sample some great wines! The also have winemaking equipment and quite a large selection of gifts as well.
Visited in July 2002
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All content on the WineIntro website is personally written by author and wine enthusiast Lisa Shea. WineIntro explores the delicious variety and beautiful history which makes up our world of wine! Lisa loves supporting local wineries and encouraging people to drink whatever they like. We all have different taste buds, and that makes our world wonderful. Always drink responsibly.