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This blog is authored by Mark Hinesley, Chamber President/CEO
3 minutes reading time (560 words)

Cheers to 11 Years!

It’s hard to believe but this Saturday we will be celebrating our 11th Annual “A Toast to Tennessee” Wine Festival. It seems like it was just yesterday that a small group of folks were sitting around the office trying to come up with an event that would appeal to the rapidly growing and increasingly diverse population of our small community. We wanted an event that was unlike anything previously done and that would be something that people would look forward to year after year. That meeting was in early 2003. As the ideas were kicked around and future meetings were held, we began to look into hosting some type of Wine Tasting event. From that point on it quickly mushroomed into what would soon become the largest wine festival in the entire state of Tennessee featuring only Tennessee Wines.

It took a lot of planning and dozens of volunteers, sponsors, and assistance from the TN Department of Agriculture to pull it off, but in May of 2004 our first one was held under the giant grandstands at what was then the brand new Nashville Superspeedway out off of 840. Jumping ahead 11 years brings us to this Saturday, May 3rd. At beautiful Nashville Shores just down the road, 22 wineries, dozens of artisans and specialty food vendors will be showcasing their products. By state law there can only be 8 such events per year which allows TN wineries to actually sell their product someplace other than at their place of business. By bringing them all together, those who have a favorite wine (or 2 or 3 or more) can get them all in one place. The modest ticket price allows attendees to sample from over 200 different selections.

This event is made possible by our generous Title Sponsors; TDS Telecom and Waddell & Reed. As our Media Sponsor, the MJ News / Lebanon Democrat has provided all of our guests with a complete event program. There will be seminars held throughout the afternoon and concessions will be provided by Nashville Shores. For a complete list of our sponsors, vendors, seminar schedule, ticket information, and overnight travel packages please be and visit In addition to all of that, the parking is free and complimentary shuttle service will be provided to help get you to and from your car and the front gate.

And for those who are still looking for that perfect (in most cases) Mother’s Day gift, there is still time to get her the April Shower’s Package so all four of you can have a day of fun and relaxation. To the countless folks who have supported this event and who have worked so hard over the years to make this event so special, I want to say “Thank You” very much; we owe it all to you! I hope you will join me right here next week! Follow Mark on Twitter @MJChamber #mjchamber or Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  and be sure to visit us 24/7 at

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