about beans creek winery

The Winery
Beans Creek Winery, located in Manchester, TN, opened its doors in October of 2004 with Hillsboro native Tom Brown at the helm. Beans Creek offers an extensive list of award-winning wines, many made from local grapes. The winery began and still operates as a family business, and remains thankful for the opportunity to be part of the small business community in southern middle Tennessee.

To understand the winery today, it is important to know our history. Tom Brown made his first batch of wine in 1976 in his mother's kitchen. That year, his parents' vines were heavy with grapes, and his mother (Nana of our Nana's White sweet wine) was going to "leave the grapes to the birds." Instead, Tom decided to put the grapes to better use and took his first step toward the excellent wines we produce today. Winemaking was his hobby until 2004, when Tom opened the winery with the help of nine local families.

Tom Brown passed away in Summer 2016. Today, the Brown family is proud to be continuing his dream that began no larger than a grape. Tom's wife, Becky, and their children (Josh, Ella & Jacob) all work in some capacity with the Winery. As is the true nature of a family business, Tom's daughter-in-law and son-in-law (Susan & Josh) and all five of his grandchildren (ages 2-13) support and contribute to Beans Creek Winery as well. Over the years, we have welcomed countless others into our family - employees, customers and industry friends. We are thankful for all who have enjoyed a taste of Beans Creek.

The Winemaker
Beans Creek Winery was the dream and vision of Tom Brown, and he enjoyed involving his family every step o the way. Josh Brown, Tom's oldest son, was part of the Winery staff from the beginning. He began an apprenticeship of sorts - watching, learning and, of course, tasting. He took over as Wine Maker in 2013 and Manager in 2015, and continues those roles today.

Josh, 38, is married to Dr. Susan Brown (a chiropractor in Tullahoma) and has one son (Tucker, 13). Before working full-time at Beans Creek Winery, Josh served with the Manchester Fire Department for 13 years and also enjoyed some time on the Tour Guide staff at Jack Daniels Distillery. Similar to his father, Josh is a hobby basement brewmaster, supporter of agriculture, and proud operator of the family business. He is passionate about using an agricultural product grown right here in Tennessee to create something that people from all over the world can enjoy. Josh's favorite Beans Creek wines are Traminette, an off-dry white, and Apropos, our sweet, port style wine.

Grape-Growing Locations
To make Beans Creek wine, the winemaker uses primarily grapes grown in Tennessee. The majority of the grapes come from the following counties: 
o    Overton County
o    Coffee County
o    Warren County
o    McMinn County
o    Bedford County

Grape Varieties
The winemaker uses grape varieties that grow well in Tennessee: 
o    Chardonel
o    Vidal Blanc
o    Traminette
o    Cayuga
o    Noiret
o    Cynthiana
o    Chambourcin
o    Concord
o    Muscadine

The Process
The entire process of the winemaking, from crushing to bottling, is completed at the winery.

Capacity
23,000 gallons of wine can be stored in the tank-room and the warehouse of the winery.

Wine List
The wine list consists of 30 wines. The winery offers dry, off-dry, semi-sweet and sweet wines. The winery also offers sparkling wines, as well as a port-style wine. The wines cost from $12.95 to $34.95.

Beans Creek Winery also offers wine classes, dinners, winery tours and music events.

 

Q&A

Q: How long does a bottle of wine last after it has been opened?
A: Generally, the sweeter the wine and the higher the alcohol content, the longer it will last. Most dry wines are good for about three to four days. Sweet wines, however, can last three to four weeks. A port-style wine, which is higher in alcohol content, can taste great even months after it has been opened.  We never have to worry about wine going bad (it usually is drank within a day or 2!). Wine usually lasts only about 30 minutes in my house. 

Q: What is the perfect temperature for serving wine?
A: White wines and all sweet wines are usually served chilled. The best temperature for these wines is 50-55 degrees. Red wines show off their best characteristics served at 60-70 degrees. Whatever the temperature of your wine, remember that the atmosphere is what’s important and it should always be warm and fuzzy.

Q: What determines the color of the wine? 
A: The color of the wine comes from the skin of the grapes. If the skins are separated from the juice before fermentation, the juice from both red and white grapes is white. Red wine is made from red grapes fermented with the skins.

Q: What is fermentation anyway?
A: Yeast and sugars are naturally present in grapes. When we crush the grapes, yeast begins to convert sugars into alcohol. This is when the magic starts happening.

Q: Is it true that white wine is better with chicken, and red wine is better with beef?
A: Pairing food with wine is all about matching or contrasting characteristics of your wine with those of your food. Light-bodied wines, which are usually white, pair well with white meats, like chicken. And, red, heavy-bodied wines pair well with red meats, like steak. You can also match flavors. Pick a spicy wine for spicy food, or fruity wine for a fruity desert. Contrasting flavors is even more fun. Try sweet wine with a very spicy dish. Experiment, have fun and remember, wine is always better with friends.

Q: Is it true that age is very important when it comes to wine?
A: Definitely. The older I get, the better I like wine. Oh, you mean aging the wine? Not every wine benefits from aging. Some wines taste best soon after they have been bottled. Some wines improve when they age. These are usually dry red wines that have a lot of tannins. 

Q: What are tannins?
A: Tannins occur naturally in grape skin. Because red wines ferment with the skins, red wines have tannins. Tannins don’t really have a taste. They create a unique mouth-feel when they are present in the wine you’re tasting. Imagine you’re drinking strong, unsweetened tea. In a way it ‘dries out” your mouth. You’ll experience the same thing if you taste a wine with a lot of tannins.

Q: Do you also produce Champagne?
A: We make sparkling wine, which we produce via the Methode Champenoise, the way it is made in Champagne, France. We just can’t legally call it Champagne, because it’s not made there.

Q: Is it true that wine is good for your health?
A: There is an antioxidant in wine, called resveratrol. Research shows that resveratrol helps prevent damage to blood vessels, improves heart function, and increases the body’s ability to use insulin. Furthermore, wine makes your life more interesting, brings people together and enhances your dining experience. I would say that’s definitely healthy. 

Q: How can I become a wine connoisseur?
A: It’s easy. Just be true to yourself, try wine and be honest about what you like. True connoisseurs know what they like and don’t let anybody tell them what they should like.

 

Brief HIstory

Brown first made wine at his parents’ house in 1976 after he got out of the Air Force. After a fishing trip with friends, Brown and his buddies came back to the grape vines at his parents’ house, and a friend’s father asked Brown’s mama, “Helen, what are you going to do with all those grapes?” “Leave them for the birds!” she said. Instead of leaving them for the birds, Brown used those grapes for his first batch of wine. And the wine was drinkable. He continued making wine this way for about five years until he met a group of people from the Tennessee Viticulture and Oenological Society (TVOS).  With the support and information provided by the TVOS, Brown learned how to make wines that won regional, national and international awards. With the support of family and friends, Beans Creek Winery opened its doors in 2004, and a legacy of family and friends began. The winery has nine member families, seven of which grow grapes.