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Wandering Belle Meade Plantation And Winery In Nashville Tennessee

Drinking TOO MUCH WINE at Belle Meade Winery & Plantation | Nashville Travel Vlog!

We forgot about being sick for a few hours.

I would highly recommend taking a tour of the mansion here, especially if you are a history nut. It was fascinating and I only wish I could have finished the 45 minute tour! My little one seemed to think her babbling sounds were way more interesting than whatever the tour guide had to say. We had to excuse ourselves 20 minutes into the tour because of her constant BA BA BAs.

The mansion tour ended eventually and the tour guide led us to this fun little building for some tasting!

We got to sample four of the most popular wines here and they were all fantasticeven the sweeter ones. Harper thought she might like a taste of Zinfandel.;

How Do You Serve Dessert And Fortified Wines

Because of the typically higher sugar and alcohol content, the recommended serving size for most dessert, Sherry & Port wines is three ounces, which is smaller than for regular table wine. In general dessert wines should be served colda very sweet Tokaji is served at 40F; Sauternes are best at 50F. Fino and Manzanilla Sherries are best served at 45-50F, while the Amontillados, Olorosos and beyond, are best at 55F. Tawny Ports have a recommended serving temperature of 50-55F, whereas Ruby and Vintage Ports have a recommended serving temperature of 65F.

Wine Tasting At Belle Meade Plantation In Nashville

Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville is a must-see attraction. The museum here is anything but boring! Instead, they convey the rich history of the building through plenty of interactive activities you can join. When I visited, there was so much to do that I would need an entire day to do it all.;

The Greek-revival mansion is just a few minutes outside of downtown Nashville. The plantation used to be famous for thoroughbred horses, so youll see plenty of references to horses around the estate.;;

As so much of life at the plantation was tied to entertaining, there are several unique classes you can take related to food and drink.

There is a brand new cooking school that will open in 2020, where you can learn how to make southern classics like biscuits. There is also an icebox where you can try Belle Meade Bourbon and learn how to make mint julep cocktails.

Meanwhile, if you have a sweet tooth, youll want to visit the fudge house , which as an incredible spread of different flavours of desserts. Each piece is $4.25, but you can get a box of 6 types for $20.00

One secret thing many people dont realize when visiting Belle Meade is the $24 mansion tour also includes a free wine tasting! If you prefer a food and wine tasting, that is also an option for an extra fee too.

The estate has its winery, and within the gift shop, you can sample several of the wines for free .;

Interested in signing up for one of the tours I mentioned, you can do so on the Belle Meade Plantations website.

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Explore The Grounds At Belle Meade

The history of Belle Meade dates back to 1807 when John Harding started out with just a single log cabin before becoming a 5,400-acre thoroughbred horse farm. The Greek Revival inspired mansion was constructed by Harding in 1853 and is undoubtedly the focal point of Belle Meade but;what about all of the other structures that played such a vital role in the development of this farm?

A stroll around the grounds of Belle Meade today offers visitors the opportunity to explore many of the other historic buildings that played an integral role in the upkeep of Belle Meade, at least during the years when this was a flourishing thoroughbred horse farm.

Whether you want to take a peek inside the;dairy, horse stable, carriage house or slave cabin, I am sure there are a number of stories related to each of these locations throughout the grounds of Belle Meade.

Walking around outside before heading inside the mansion is a great way to gain a better understanding of the business that played such a pivotal role in shaping the horse racing industry.

I will openly admit that I had no idea how crucial Belle Meade was in training so many thoroughbred horses that would compete in iconic races such as the Epsom Derby in the UK and of course, the Kentucky Derby.

How Long Do Dessert And Fortified Wines Last

The Belle Meade Winery in Nashville, TN

High quality dessert wines such as Sauternes and Tokaji can often improve up to 10 to 20 years from bottling. Fino and Manzanilla Sherries should be consumed within a year or two of bottling since they are most appreciated for their freshness. Once opened, these are best consumed within a week. Store Amontillado Sherry up to about three years; once opened and refrigerated, these last two to three weeks before they decline. Store Oloro Sherry up to five years; once opened and refrigerated, these last a few weeks or longer. Cream Sherries are best consumed in their youth. Pedro Ximénez Sherry is a special case. It wont necessarily improve with age, but is known to remain unchanged after many years of age. The two basic styles of Port can be further separated into an almost dizzying list of styles, but in general the only ones meant to age longer once bottled are crusted ports and vintage ports . Aside from those, LBV ports should age about 4-6 years from the release date and the rest are ready to drink upon release. Fruit wines are not meant to age; the fresh fruit qualities of these wines are most prominent in their youth.

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Over The Course Of The Day The Staff Will Dress Over 4000 Bottles For Nashvilles First And Only Winery

Its a family effort, Kelley says. This is how most wineries operate, with everyone pitching in. Were no different, he says. This dedicated crew started at 7 a.m. from the winerys ground control, a cramped 10 x 30 room with a minimum of seven folks packed in and laboring. It takes both man and machine to produce the four inaugural bottlings. A quarter of a million dollars worth of new filtering and bottling equipment, including two 1200-gallon holding tanks, are housed here to aide in the vinification. Over the course of the day the staff will dress over 4000 bottles for Nashvilles first and only winery.

The addition of a local winery adds an air of sophistication to the city recently named Americas Friendliest by Travel + Leisure magazine. Its a natural fit for Nashville, says the plantations vintner Brian Hamm, because simply put, Wine is fun.

Hamm, a decorated winemaker with over 40 international awards to his credit, was tapped to help develop the winerys signature wines: Carriage House White, Bramble Blush, Muscadine and Blackberry. Hamm describes his personal philosophy of winemaking with community in mind: I make wines to share with family and friends, and for people to enjoy and drink now, he says.

The Belle Meade Plantation staff made the initial trip out to Keg Springs to harvest the berries by hand. Additionally, Kelley says they selected Tennessee-grown fruits to accent the wines flavor and support the states farmers.

Belle Meade Blackberry Wine Jam Cake Recipe

This recipe for Belle Meade Blackberry Wine Jam Cake, by , is from The Fosnaugh Family Cookbook Project, one of the cookbooks created at We’ll help you start your own personal cookbook! It’s easy and fun.

1/2 c. Belle Meade Plantation Blackberry Wine3/4 c. buttermilk1 1/2 c. blackberry jam 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325º. Grease and flour three 9″ round cake pans. In a small bowl, stir together flour and next 7 ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, oil, wine, buttermilk, eggs and blackberry jam; mix well. Gradually add flour mixture to wet ingredients. Beat on low speed until blended. Scrape bowl, add vanilla and beat 4 minutes on medium speed. Stir in nuts if desired. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove to wire racks; cool completely. Prepare blackberry wine filling.

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Experience A Unique Piece Of History

“Belle Meade Plantation was a perfect outing for our small group of neighbors and friends. The educational tour of the Mansion followed by a casual, but informative, stroll of the grounds gave our group of six a perfect day of history, learning, and conversation. A delightful lunch in the on-sight restaurant capped off the day.”

“This was the home to thoroughbred racehorses such as Secretariat, Seattle Slew, Seabiscuit, and many others. It was interesting to learn the history as well as tour the beautiful grounds. There is an ice cream shop, bocce ball area, and croquet, too. I would recommend this tour for older children and adults.”

“Belle Meade Plantation was a horse plantation and a great find only 5 miles from our downtown hotel. Beautiful mansion, very informative 45 minute guided tour and free wine tastings after the tour. Rocking chairs on the porch while you wait for your tour. 5 stars!”

“This plantation is breathtaking and the tour guides were phenomenal. All of the different guides were very knowledgable and engaging, and the self-guided tour of the grounds was easy and informative. We were lucky enough to see the horses outside, explored the grounds along the stream, and shared a bottle of their delicious wine after the tasting post-tour. Such beautiful grounds with so much information!”

Belle Meade Cask Strength Reserve

Tasting at The Winery at Belle Meade Plantation
  • Rank: 10
  • Style: Bourbon
  • Place of Origin: Indiana

Swirls with the smells of a county faircandy apples, peanuts, caramel, spiced cookies, and old barn boards, redolent with maturity and complexity. More childhood favorites appear on the palate: cinnamon Red Hots, grape soda, blackberry candy, chocolate-covered caramels, candy apple, and roasted corn, with lush oak rounding out into a peppery finish of cherry cola and roasted pecans. Given the barrel proof, this takes water well. Nelsons Green Brier Distillery bottles the Belle Meade line of bourbons, sourced from MGP Distillery. Each batch of Cask Strength Reserve averages around 1,000 bottles; ABV varies between 55% and 60%. Susannah Skiver Barton

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What Gives Dessert And Fortified Wines Their Color

The different colors of most dessert wines come from the type of grape used and varying levels of oxidation during the winemaking process. The colors of Sherry and Port are mainly the result of oxidation, or lack thereof. Fino and Manzanilla styles are clear to pale gold because of the benevolent film-forming yeasts, called flor, that make a floating seal on the surface of the wine. This layer protects the wine from oxidation, and thus any browning. The other styles of Sherry use various levels of controlled oxidation, resulting in various hues of amber. The two basic styles of Port, Ruby and Tawny, also come in two basic colors, as noted by their names. Both styles are made from the same blend of Douro red varieties, but Tawny ports are tawny in color because they are made from a blend of vintages that have been aged in barrels and gradually exposed to oxygen. Ruby Ports retain their bright color because these wines are aged in barrel only for two to three years before bottling, thus minimizing any color change from oxidation.

The Winery At Belle Meade Plantation

Belle Meade Plantation was the premier breeding farm for American Thoroughbreds in the South for over a century. The Harding and Jackson families hosted US Presidents, fabled American frontiersman, and our nations foremost business tycoons. They were renown for their hospitality and celebrated as architects of the American racehorse. Today Belle Meade welcomes guests from all over the world, carrying on the family tradition as a monument to Southern culture and a steward of the lessons of history.

The Belle Meade Winery was founded in 2009 as a non-profit fundraiser for the continuing preservation of the site. We honor the legacy of winemaking in the American South with traditional Muscadine and Blackberry wines, as well as produce a full library of red, white, and sparkling wines inspired by Europes rich winemaking culture.

For more on the history of Belle Meade Plantation please visit;

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What Are The Types And Styles Of Fortified Wine

Fortified wines include Sherry, Port, Madeira, Banyuls, Rutherglen and other very small-scale styles. Sherry comes in completely dry styles and also in a range of sweetness levels. Madeira is typically sweet but can be made into a dry style. Port can be most simply separated into Tawny and Ruby styles. Vermouth, an herb-infused fine wine, is today popular among mixologists and other dessert wines are derived, not from wine grapes, but from different fruits.

Tennessees Winery At Belle Meade Plantation

Winery At Belle Meade Plantation

May 19, 2011 by Alleigh

As you may know, particularly if you , Ive spent the last few months training for my first half marathon.; Admittedly, as my training got more intense, I had less time to blog because I was either running or recovering from running.; During that time, I missed sharing with you what Ive been opening, particularly as I was still drinking wine.; All of that is about to change, though.; On April 30, I finished the Country Music Half-Marathon in Nashville, TN!; So, Im backand Im ready to share with you the first wines tasted after finishing the race.

While Hubby and I were in Nashville, we had the chance to do some sightseeing.; One of our last stops was the Belle Meade Plantation.; You can imagine my excitement when I realized that included in the mansion tour was a wine tasting.; The Winery at Belle Meade Plantation had five wines to taste: Carriage House White, Bramble Blush, Muscadine, Racing Silk Red, and Belle Meade Blackberry.

All of their wines sell for $19.50, and the wines were not my style, with the exception of the Carriage House White.

Bramble Blusha slightly sweet rose, with good acidity but otherwise, fairly non-descript.

Muscadinea sweet wine that tasted like smoked cotton candy.

Racing Silk Redmade with concord grapes, this wine had very low acidity and tasted like drinking alcoholic Welchs grape juice.

Belle Meade BlackberryMade with 80% blackberries and 20% grapes, this wine is very sweet, but has a light body.

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Belle Meade Plantation Tour

Visitors to Belle Meade have a variety of tour options available, though many of these tend to sell out pretty quickly so you would be well advised to plan ahead especially if you are interested in the incredibly popular segway tour.

Alternatively, if you are only interested in touring the grounds on foot or even the mansion tour, simply showing up on the day will be sufficient to guarantee a spot.

Admission Prices

Here are the tour options along with the latest prices at the time of publication.

Segway TourAdults $50

Mansion Tour


Blackberry Wine Yes Please

Touring historic homes is one of our favorite things to do and this one really impressed. First of all, the house is done up beautifully with lots of family photos, paintings and memorabilia. They did a great job recreating what was lost and bringing back items that were original to the house. You feel like you’re taken back in time. The guide we had was so great! Dressed for the period and very knowledgeable. The grounds were nicely kept and it was fun walking around and seeing the estate after the tour. The wine was great! We bought four bottles of the blackberry wine and yes, they ship! Don’t skip this one. It was a lovely tour and the kids learned a lot.

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How Are Dessert And Fortified Wines Made

As mentioned above, many wines in this categorylike Sauternes and Tokajiare produced by leaving the grapes on the vine long after the rest of the harvest has been processed in order to accumulate very high sugar levels. Often, a form of noble rot called botrytis plays a role, desiccating the grapes until only the very flavorful solids and sugars remain. These late-picked wines are, accordingly, often referred to as late-harvest wines. In colder climates, the grapes may be allowed to freeze on the vine for the production of ice wine. Other styles are made by letting the harvested grapes dry out . Fortified wines are fortified with neutral spirits to increase the level of alcohol, and, depending on the final style of wine desired, arrest fermentation while some level, high to low , residual sugar remains.

Belle Meade Guided Mansion Tour With Complimentary Wine Tasting

Blackberry Mead Tasting
  • Within 24 hoursNo refund
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experiences start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experiences start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experiences start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experiences local time.
  • This experience requires good weather. If its canceled due to poor weather, youll be offered a different date or a full refund.

Vaccine? Quarantine? Masking?;

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Why The Belle Meade Plantation Tour Is Amazing Value

Did you know that Nashville was once home to one of the worlds most prestigious thoroughbred stud farms? Its true, Belle Meade Plantation is today a historic mansion that offers visitors the opportunity to learn about the history of these grounds and how during the 19th century, Nashville was a renowned location for breeding and training iconic horses that dominated some of the worlds top racing events. A Belle Meade Plantation tour is more than just a history lesson though because there is a myriad of experiences waiting for you inside this gorgeous Nashville location.

Wandering around the grounds of Belle Meade Plantation is an eye-opening experience because its obvious that this was once a prime location in Nashville. Throughout our guided tour of the mansion, we heard stories about how Belle Meade Plantation was a well-recognized location given that it was one of the first places to have light and people would walk along the street and admire the spectacular mansion and grounds.

The Belle Meade Plantation tour offers a look into all of this history but even if you have no interest in this, your time will come at the very end of the tour! Why do we think the Belle Meade Plantation is a cool experience for visitors enjoying a weekend in Nashville? Lets head inside the grounds and explore!

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