Lisa and Bob in
Memphis and Ripley Tennessee

Saturday: The Ripley Winery

Saturday we woke up relatively early. My goal was to leave the hotel by 10am so we could get up to Ripley by 11am. I'd discovered a winery in Ripley! I thought it would be great to try the wines of the region that my relatives came from.

Off we went. The trip was almost all on Highway 51, which was really just 2 lanes in each direction through small towns. We passed a number of little restaurants and lots of flat land and trees. We grabbed one of my favorite breakfasts, Egg McMuffin with sausage and cheese. We drove a little while with a pair of motorcyclists who were out for a morning drive - they turned around about halfway up and headed home again.

After about an hour of driving we hit the small town of Ripley, apparently (from the signs we'd been seeing) the tomato capital of the area. The winery was immediately on the right of the road. Lauderdale Winery. The grapes were all nice and plump, and I enjoyed walking in the vineyards a bit. The weather was hot and a bit humid, but there was a nice breeze blowing at least.

We went in to the elaborate gift shop and tasted some wines with Angela, the hostess. The wines all come from grapes and fruits they grow themselves, and range from merlot and cabernet to cayuga and vidal to even berries and tomatoes. All of the wines have sugar added to them, so where some of these grapes normally make wines that are tart and harsh, all of the wines we tasted were smooth and easy to drink. They get quite a draw of visitors from all over the region, so their flavors are being appreciated!

The berry blend was pretty tasty, and the tomato wasn't half bad! It didn't taste much like tomato, just a hint, with a nice, ice-cube-in-the-summer picnic appeal. It was a clear wine - apparently once you take off the skin, the inside pulp creates a clear liquid.

I grabbed a bottle of the berry wine to bring home with us, and a glass for our collection. Then we were off again.

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