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Pickers Creek Winery

Let The Wine Flow

If you find yourself burned out on the day-in, day-out of city life, Pickers Creek Winery in Lewisburg is calling your name. As they are about to round the corner on ten years of business, they know just what you need to recharge from the grind – wine, music and
atmosphere. If you haven’t stumbled upon it yet, it’s time to take a short, scenic drive down Highway 431 and check it out.

Phil and Lydia George were living normal, everyday lives in Smyrna where Phil practiced law for thirty-five years when they formed a group made up of six couples that enjoyed tasting and learning about six different wines each month. “I’ve always been into wine,”
said Phil. Eventually, Phil and Lydia began visiting places like Sonoma and Napa, California and expanding their knowledge of wine. While visiting a local winery here in middle Tennessee, Phil became inspired. “We were there one day, and I looked around and thought, ‘I can do this,’” said Phil. They bought the land in Lewisburg from Phil’s parents, Elinor and Macklin “Mack” George, a local musician and farmer for whom one of the winery’s most popular reds is named.

They started small with a little bottling in their shed on weekends and slowly worked their way up, finally transitioning into retirement and running Pickers Creek Winery full-time. What was once just a hay field is now home to the grapes, to the winery itself and home to the Georges and their dog, Bella. The winery is completely family-operated. Phil’s brother, Kenneth George, who also lives on the property is the vineyard manager and music director. He even plays a little music himself some nights.

While visiting the winery, folks can taste the fabulous wines while enjoying Lydia’s and the family’s artwork from paintings to mosaics to a beautiful stained glass window that is displayed as soon as you enter the tasting room. You can make yourself at home as you relax in the swing on the spacious porch or take a stroll through the grapevines and soak up the beauty of middle Tennessee.

From spring to fall, you can enjoy live music on Saturday nights as you sip wine by the bonfire or around a table with your friends and loved ones. People come from far and wide to enjoy Pickers Creek Winery. “We have a lady that drives up here from Louisiana, buys three cases of Blackberry Blues, and drives back to Louisiana,” said Phil. Kenneth described a night when there were visitors from France, Haiti, Panama, Finland and the Netherlands all at the same time. That’s easy to believe once you’ve enjoyed the warm, inviting Pickers Creek experience for yourself.

Made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Chambourcin, and Muscadine grapes which thrive in middle Tennessee, Pickers Creek wines are second to none. Their selection ranges from white to reds, semi-sweets, blushes, and fruit wines. One of the most popular bottles is Mack’s Band, a Cabernet Sauvignon named after Phil and Kenneth’s father and his band, the Tennessee Variety Boys. Not only do their wines embody terrific flavors, but many of them have clever names related to classic rock songs which is a nod to the Georges’ love for music and fun. Some of those include Three Dog White which is a lovely white wine represented on the label by their white dog, Bella, In-A-Gadda-Da-Vino which is a dry, Tennessee Table red wine named after the 1968 hit by Iron Butterfly, and Proud Berry, a strawberry table wine which features a painted strawberry on the label that strongly resembles a leggy Tina Turner singing into a microphone. “It’s all about the music here,” Lydia said who happens to make all the label art herself. Blackberry Blues is another favorite that is so delectable, Lydia recommends topping ice cream or other desserts with it.

When it’s time to bottle, Pickers Creek makes a party out of that too. “We strictly use volunteers to help us bottle,” said Lydia. Many of the winery’s regulars come, set up an assembly line, and bottle away. “We’ve got one couple that has come and helped us bottle ten times now. If we bottled without them, they’d be mad at us!” Phil joked. It usually takes around four hours depending on the day and how much they have to bottle, and it sounds like every minute of it makes for a good time.

Saturday night’s live music is what really makes the winery special. Bands, some bluegrass, some Americana, set up in the pavilion and play out across the grounds for visitors to enjoy along with their wine and their loved ones. Some Saturdays, crowds get pretty big, and an extra wine tasting table is set up outside to accommodate everyone who wants a taste. If you forget to bring snacks that evening, don’t worry. The winery sells light snacks such as cheese and crackers. They also feature Chef Joe Love’s Crepes on Saturday nights that Phil says are to die for.

Pickers Creek Winery is one of the best outings you can have this side of Middle Tennessee. If you can’t make it this weekend, be sure to mark your calendars for the winery’s tenth anniversary celebration on November 19th . “We’re pulling out all the stops,” said Phil. As usual, the party will host fabulous live music to set the festive mood. Food trucks will be on site including Chef Joe Love’s Crepes, Cousins Maine Lobster, and more. Good music, good food, and a bottle of your favorite Pickers Creek wines is all you need for a perfect, southern, Saturday night.