A Taster's Journey is a newsletter on food, wine and travel. After 15 years of studying, tasting, teaching, and selling wine, I created this newsletter to not only share my passion about wine, but of food and travel as well. Each month I hope to share wines that I am drinking, food that is in season, restaurants that I have enjoyed, and places I have traveled. Enjoy!"


Blackberry Farm

October 6th, 2003

If you have plans to visit Graceland or the Grand Ole Opry, then you must spend a couple days at Blackberry Farm. It is a charming country inn located at the foot of the Smokey Mountains about 30 minutes from Knoxville Tn.

Blackberry Farm has 44 rooms majestically situated on 2500 acres of rolling hills. There are two main guest houses perched high on the hill with rocking chairs on the back veranda. Perfectly manicured lawns roll down to a beautiful fishing pond framed by acres of magnificent mountains. In addition to the two main guest houses, there are 18 cottage suites all beautifully appointed with antique furniture, fine linens and fireplaces. A walk around the property reveals horse stables, trout streams, 2 fishing ponds, and beautiful open meadows.

The Inn has won numerous awards; and recently was selected by Zagat as the #1 small hotel in America. It provides an excellent mix of relaxation and invigoration. To chill out you can lounge by the pool, or read a book in those great rocking chairs. Also an approved Aveda Concept Spa is available in an 1870s farmhouse offering full massages, facials and other forms of pampering. For more vigorous activity, take fly fishing lessons, go horseback riding, or hike through the miles of mountainous trails.

To make this truly a 5 star experience, the restaurant is absolutely spectacular. When you sit for breakfast and the chef sends a tasting plate with 2 buttermilk biscuits the size of a dime, covered in homemade strawberry preserves, you know the food is going to be extraordinary. Chef Fleer, a CIA graduate, utilizes the bounty of the season, combined with some of the mainstays of Southern cooking to offer a simple, yet elegant cuisine. Tea smoked rack of lamb with sweet garlic wilted watercress and red pepper grits was just one of the outstanding meals I had. A very comprehensive wine list is available, including a large selection of half bottles.


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