Nashville Scene had some kind words to share about our wine debut!
“Since opening a little less than a year ago, City Winery has positioned itself as a premiere performance venue offering some excellent dining and drinking opportunities thanks to its restaurant, its bar program and a tremendous wine list. But what it wasn’t was a winery. In addition to a vast selection of fine wines from around the world, City Winery has offered several private label wines under its own name, products that have actually been crafted at other City Winery facilities and partner vintners.
But that’s beginning to change. Recently, City Winery has actually been making wine in the large room at the back of the showroom, and two of their offerings are now available to sample and purchase in the new Tasting Bar, which is open Fridays and Saturdays from 5 p.m. until closing, as well as during major performances. You can also order the wines along with a meal in their restaurant.
Their first two local offerings also carry Nashville-inspired names. Roundabout Red is a 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon made with juice sourced from Mendocino County in Northern California. This wine has been aged in a mixture of French oak and neutral for a year and then blended by the winemakers at Nashville’s City Winery facility. Medium-bodied and food-friendly thanks to its balanced tannic structure, Roundabout Red is available for $23 per bottle.
City Winery’s first local white wine release is their 2014 Two Rivers Chardonnay, sourced from grapes grown in California’s Russian River Valley. So the two rivers are the Russian and the Cumberland in this case, though fortunately the water source from the vineyards does not come from our local waterway. Two Rivers Chard sells for $18 in City Winery’s Tasting Bar.
Until now, City Winery has been taking delivery of aged wine and blending it in their local facility for bottling and serving from kegs as part of their wine-on-tap system at the restaurant and bar. However, by the end of August, they’ll actually be crushing grapes at City Winery, making it a fully operational production winery. Grapes will be sourced from California, Washington, New York and other prime grape-growing regions and then transported in refrigerated trucks to Nashville for destemming and crushing. Maceration and fermentation will take place in stainless-steel tanks before the wine is transferred to a mix of new and used French and American barrels for aging, where it will rest in repose for 12 to 18 months before selling.
Now that it is a working winery, City Winery will have even more ambiance, especially for those who rent out the barrel room for private events. If your timing is right, you’ll actually be able to see the winemakers practicing their craft during a lunch visit of perhaps an afternoon happy hour. While I do respect the various Tennessee wineries that are doing their best with indigenous grapes, I personally feel that City Winery has made the right choice by sourcing most of their grapes from vineyards that benefit from environments that are simply much more conducive to growing vitis vinifera grapes.
It should be quite interesting to see what comes out of the winery as they continue to expand their portfolio of locally produced wines. Drop by some weekend soon and let us know what you think of the new City Winery wines.”
609 Lafayette St.