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by Jayne

photos by Jayne © 2006(Middle Tennessee) - I know it sounds like a religious retreat of some form, but it really is a tour of the distilleries and a couple of wineries in Middle Tennessee. The Spirits and Wine Trail is a joint venture. I found out today that our own Three Star Tourism Community (mainly Susie McEacharn, Margaret Cunningham and Tom Brown) were the creators and the driving force of this wonderful adventure. Once it was a reality the Tennessee Backroads Heritage joined in to help promote the Spirits and Wine Trail adventure. The combining of the three main distilleries in Tennessee and two of our wineries make this our most unique adventure. This is the first time I can remember George Dickle and Jack Daniels making a joint effort. Even though they are in the same family, they are like most brothers - different. It’s a difference in taste. One likes the Hill the other the Holler.

photos by Jayne © 2006We all know Jack. Jack Daniels is our nations oldest registered distillery. Registered in 1866 in anticipation of government taxes. Today, this simple Black label is known all over the world and breaks all language barriers.

Jack Daniels was only 5’2 but he sure had big dreams and big ideas. He won his fist award at the 1904 Worlds Fair in St Louis. In 1905 he won his first award outside of the states. The way they make whiskey has stayed the same and, as far as I know, the town has changed with the times. The welcome center is one of the finest you will ever see. I know a distillery isn’t the first place you think of to take a kid but this is a part of our history and remember, Moore County is a dry county.

You can always count on two things in Lynchburg, the people being friendly and the whiskey being made the exact same way.

As you no doubt already know, Jack Daniels has more than the Black Label. True Jack fans know this. Gentleman Jack is aged differently and has a Green Label.

photos by Jayne © 2006Then there is my favorite. It’s where each barrel is aged and kept seperate so that each has it's own distinct taste. Jack Select. If you are opening a Hotel or Conference center this is for you. Since Jack Select comes from one barrel, the barrel you pick becomes your own, custom Jack Daniels. You do have to buy the whole barrel so most private individuals don’t choose to do so. You can have your own Custom Label made for any occasion. For instance, the Trumps or Hiltons can have their logos. Then for lighter occasions The Donald could have “You're Fired” or Paris “You're Hot”. Each with a slightly different taste because, even thou the process is the same, the barrel will lend a different taste.

I hope that you can enjoy the welcome center, seen here in a quieter time by choice. I wanted you to see the Welcome Center then take the walking tour of Lynchburg and while you are down there enjoy the shops. There is always something different and fun. Saturday nights Red’s Caboose plays music. (See if he will play his spoons.) Jack Daniels has 'Barbecue on the Hill', where you might see the Barrel House boys playing. Even if there isn’t much going on in the Barrel shop and hardware store. For more information go to www.jackdaniels.com and take a free tour. The story on the 'Barbecue on the Hill' is an up coming story and it is so much fun. Remember, 'Barbecue on the Hill' has got to be one of the most fun things to do. Music, food, and fun in the most wonderful setting you can imagine.

photos by Jayne © 2006The first thing you need for your trip to George Dickel Distillery is a Map. All though it is one of the most beautiful places in Tennessee and close to two major towns and two small towns you still need a map. We are not so well acquainted with George Dickel and Cascade Hollow. Located in Middle Tennessee it is one of our best kept secrets. To this day the Distillery still uses water from a local spring to cool the tank. There used to be a river that was close, but in 1976 it became Normandy Lake. The lake and rolling hills of the land gives the area a more laid back feel. They once had a lot of Fish Fries in the area. George goes well with Fish Fries. There is even a trout recipe on the Dickel web site.

Want to know my take on Jack and George?

They are like brothers in the same family, but very different. One every one knows and well the other quiet and laid back. There is only about 20 miles between the two which is maybe a thirty minute drive.

Well let’s talk about George Dickel. He came from Nashville in 1867 with his wife Augusta. He had an interest in Spirits his entire life selling them in Nashville. Did you notice the ‘e’ is left out of whisky? To tell you the truth I thought the man couldn’t spell. I didn’t know he was trying to make a statement! He left it out on purpose. It is how the Scottish traditionally spell whisky.

He chose Cascade because his brother in-law lived there. The Name George Dickel wasn’t used ‘til after George’s death in 1864, only his recipe. After his death Augusta tried to carry on, but probation shut them down in Tennessee. In 1958 Ralph Dupps took the opportunity and restored the distillery. The Distillery shut down again in 1999 leaving the George Dickel Distillery sitting quietly all this time. It’s only recently reopened making about 80 to 100 barrels of whisky a day and loving it.

Daily tours are available each weekday and everyone who takes the tour gets a hat. You have to take the tour and find out why. It is so much fun. It is located in one of the most beautiful places in Tennessee and is only about 10 miles from Shelbyville (walking Hours Capital of the world) and 5 mile from Tullahoma.

photos by Jayne © 2006They have opened their welcome center and are also sponsoring the Darryl-'n-Dickel tour this summer featuring Darryl Worley.

This is an amazing young man. He's talented and his show being full of energy you would expect. That smile on his face isn’t from sippin’ whisky; it’s because he truly loves what he does. It is easy to capture the crowd when you are singing but in that moment of silence and the crowd roars, that’s when you know you are seeing someone special. He captures the audience from the time he walks on stage ‘til he finally has to leave . If you can’t catch him in concert they do have his CD’s in the Welcome Center. For more information about George Dicklel Distillery and The Darrel Worley Tour click www.dickel.com

This would be the time for me to throw in the responsible drinking thing. No matter what you do this summer. Remember, seeing a Lady or Gentleman sip his drink (Jack or George, Rum or Wine) is sexier or more sultry that seeing a person puking in the parking lot.) Enjoy the Spirits and Wines of Tennessee responsibly. That was my public announcement.

photos by Jayne © 2006Lets talk about Prichard’s Rum down in Kelso, TN. We are still in Middle TN, close to Fayetteville. Prichards’ Distillery is the third largest distillery in Tennessee, Jack and George being first and second. Prichards’ represents the first legal distillery built in the last 50 years. Prichards’ Distillery has been a featured story on Tennessee Crossroads. I have not seen the story, but I am sure the uniqueness of making rum in Tennessee is enough. I would have never thought I would like the taste of rum at all. For one thing, I am not a pirate! Well guess what, this isn’t pirate rum. A pirates rum uses black strap molasses from the Caribbean while Prichards’ Rum uses only the finest grade “A” fancy table molasses. Prichards’ Rum isn’t stored in the traditional large barrels that we have come to know and love around here. They use the smaller 15 gallon barrels for a better taste. We have to take the tour to find out why. The one thing we know is the barrel is very important part of a distilling process, no matter if the barrels are big or small.

photos by Jayne © 2006His Crystal Clear is amazingly smooth. It is distilled five times in their own copper pot still. I can see why Phil Prichard has won so many awards. He has come up with a Cranberry Rum that is perfect for any occasion. Light enough for summer and festive enough for the holidays. Made with pure Ocean Spray it was the favorite rum at the recent tasting.

Prichards’ also has a Mango Rum Liquor. And Prichard’s Fine Rum has been quoted as being one of the finest in the world.

I'am going to let you read more about Prichard’s and take the free virtual tour on line at www.prichardsdistillery.com. I have not made it on the tour yet.

Let’s talk wineries -

I would like nothing better than to show you the vineyards full of leafy vines with rich full grapes ready to be harvested. But it isn’t the season for such photos. Although Beans Creek and Tri–Star have both graciously given me permission to come during harvest time to get such photos.

photos by Jayne © 2006TRI-STAR
To share in the future. Lets talks about Tri- Star. It is in Tennessee's Walking Horse Country, Bedford County. A short trip either way you go, it is only about 37 miles south of Nashville or 7 miles North of Shelbyville. Over the years Tri-Star has become an important part of the Annual Walking Horse Celebration. Tri-Star Winery is the First and currently the only licensed Winery in Bedford County. Owned and operated by Perry & Elaine Casteel, they began the vineyard in 1993 starting with 300 hundred wine grape vines and 100 Muscadine, the South’s own Native Grape. The first 3 years they committed to take care of the vines and to build the winery. Perry and Elaine Casteel officially opened the winery in February of 1995 selling wine made with fruit purchased from local grape growers.

photos by Jayne © 2006The Casteels have over 60 years combined experience in wine making and their goal is to produce wines that taste like the fruit from which it came. Tri-Star Wineries offer a wide variety of grape, Muscdine fruit wines. Until I did this story I didn’t realize that the wineries depended so much on local growers for fruit crops. Here are a few of the wines you can taste at Tri-Star Winery when you take the tour.

  • Aurora Borealis – Light wheat color – DRY
  • Baco Noir - Barrel aged deep garnet red - DRY
  • Foch – deep red, wild taste - DRY
  • Bedford Red - blend of red grapes from own vineyard - SEMI-DRY
  • Catawba - Pinkish gold, fruity hint of spiciness - SEMI-SWEET
  • Cayuga - clean refreshing fruity white - SEMI-SWEET
  • Foch - deep red color with a rich, wild but fruity taste – SEMI-SWEET
  • Chancellor – blue/red color that starts out sweet but leaves a tingle - SEMI-SWEET
  • Faux Muscadine - light golden second formation imparts a light Muscadine flavor - SEMI-SWEET
  • Faux Muscadine – garnet red fermented twice for a lighter Muscadine flavor - SWEET

The Gift shop offers a varity of items from wine jellies, gift baskets to amateur wine making supplies, to the latest in Wine Glasses with the etched logo engraved on them. “Wine In Walking Horse Country”.

For more in for information on Tri-Star Winery go to www.tristarwinery.com

photos by Jayne © 2006Beans Creek might be the last one the list but not the least. Beans Creek is owned by Tom and Becky Brown. We are still in Middle Tennessee just off Interstate 24 outside of Manchester.

Beans Creek is the creation of Tom Brown. About 30 years ago he made his first bottle of wine in his mother's kitchen. (I think just to see if he could do it.) He did and he did it very well, with the help of his friends Joe and Dan Lester. He worked on this idea for 27 years perfecting his award winning wine style using grapes and fruit that grow well in Tennessee. In 2003 with the help of other wine growing families, the dream which was, in Tom’s words, “No Larger Than A Grape” became a reality. Beans Creek offers the following selection of wine:
Best Sellers!
  • Dry
    Tennessee Cardonel Reserve
    Chabourcin Reserve
  • Off-Dry
    Stone Fort White
  • Semi-Sweet
    Mountain Red
  • Sweet
    Nanna's White
    Red Muscadine
    White Muscadine
  • Fruit
    Peach Pizzazz
    Tennessee Valley Home Strawberry
    Black Raspberry Rapture
    Wild Mountain Blackberry

  • photos by Jayne © 2006Remember Beans Creek is just off the interstate out side of Manchester. If you don’t have time for the tour enjoy the Gift shop full of Tennessee products.

    There is one time of the year I don’t recommend you visit the winery and that is during the Bonnaroo Music Festival held in June of each year. After the initial traffic gets in to the festival, then it is OK but the week before and the week after there is a little bit more activity on the road.

    This is the end of out tour on Beans Creek if you would like more information www.beanscreekwinery.com

    This has been quite and adventure form beginning to the end. I want to thank a lot of people who have helped, especially
    The Tennessee Backroads Heritage for helping promote this joint venture. The distilleries, starting with the largest,
    Jack Daniels in Lynchburg, Tennessee. www.jackdaniels.com,
    George Dicklel newly reopened and our biggest secret. www.dickel.com Look for Darryl Worley in his Darryl-'n-Dickel Concerts this summer.
    The Prichard‘s Distillery, makers of what we now know is Tennessee’s Finest rum. (Personally I thought the World’s Finest, but no-one could verify) www.prichardsdistillery.com.

    Our Wineries - I am so proud of
    Tri-star www.tristarwinery.com and
    Beans Creek www.beanscreekwinery.com
    Thanks to Susie McEacharn Executive Director of the Manchester Area Chamber Of Commerce, Manchester-Coffee County Conference Center.

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