The brunch alternative.

Our verdict? 🍷🍷🍷

Another great find in Northeast Tennessee. With a couple of day’s notice and reservation, one is treated to a full tasting, a brief tour of the winemaking room, and a catered picnic with selections from the vineyard menu. Plus, the vineyard welcomes doggos.

Though the autumn colors are not peaking quite yet, once off the interstate and on the country lanes the scenery was still to my delight.

The tasting menu covered their Chardonnay, a red varietal, and a handful of Muscadines. To our surprise we rather enjoyed a red Muscadine, but the fruit wines were still a no bueno. In the end we selected the Chardonnay and “Rebecca’s Red,” a French oak red named for one of the owner’s moms. The production facility was shiny with its steel barrels and a fancy-schmancy device that has replaced hand turning of the bottles during the aging.

On their property the owners constructed a pagoda-like gazebo that sits on an island in their pond (in season, when the pond is filled.) Following our tour, we ambled over the bridge where our picnic was delivered and arranged by the wife and the two adorable children, who were naturally a little more interested in Cletus than in helping set a table. Entirely lovely.

The view from our table over the vines.

When he wasn’t begging for morsels, Cletus remained ever vigilant of the bovines (more likely, their aroma that was wafting in his direction.)

From the menu we selected the Curried Chicken Salad, Tomato Pie, and the Beef Negamaki, a fun 60’s dish that originated in NYC to appeal to Americans. Tomato Pie is fussy about snapping well, but I can assure you that the taste was anything but. An unexpected combination that paired well with the mild weather and the landscape.

 

We joke, for better or for worse, that it is not an official road trip if we do not spot the Stars and Bars. Today we had not one, but two sightings, though one household has divided loyalties.

Along with a highway sign that around here is, to borrow a phrase, preaching to the choir.