There’s No Place Like Home
In December of 2009, Phil and Lydia Butler George, two active empty-nesters, decided it was time to go home. Both daughters, Alli and Abby, had gone to college and started lives of their own. With aspirations of turning their love for great wine into the reality of a vineyard and winery for all to enjoy, what better place to make this happen than the heart of Middle Tennessee where the wine industry was beginning to make great strides in producing quality, award-winning wines. So they came home to the place where they both were raised – Lewisburg, Tennessee.
Back in the spring of 1950, Phil’s parents, Macklin and Elinor George, bought a small farm on South Berlin Road outside of Lewisburg. These gently rolling hills with two meandering creeks, woodlots of oak, hickory, and cedar trees, and some pasture and crop land were a fine place to raise a family. The most unique feature of this farm was the old abandoned railroad bed running east to west across the property. Some sixty years later, that farm which had once been tended for corn, tobacco, and hay, is now the home of Pickers Creek Winery.
Their vision for Pickers Creek was to combine elements of things that make life more enjoyable – great music, art, and wine. They purchased the remaining acreage from Phil’s parents, who still make their home on the south end of the original property. They built a venue for tasting delicious wines while showcasing Lydia’s mosaics and paintings along with paintings by Phil’s sister, Janet White, and art from other local artists. Phil’s brother David created the stained glass that is the centerpiece of the tasting room. Phil’s brother, Kenneth, who also lives on the farm in the original homeplace, is the vineyard manager, music director, and a vital part of the every-day activities at the winery. Kenneth is also a “picker” and I am sure on any given night you can hear him pick and sing a few tunes.
A visit to Pickers Creek will provide the opportunity to listen to plenty of great live music while sampling wines produced from Cabernet Sauvignon, Chambourcin, Muscadine, and other grapes that flourish in the Tennessee climate. With names like “Harmony” (a Chambourcin and Cabernet Sauvignon blend), “Tennessee Twang” (made from southern Muscadine grapes ) and Blackberry Blues (a sweet berry wine), a tasting at Pickers Creek is like reliving the popular, old Volunteer Jam (without the smell or taste of reefer, whiskers, or fiddle bow rosin).
Come sit on the wide porches or under the trees, or sit by the bonfire on a cool evening, listen to music and sip your favorite wines. Bring a picnic and lots of friends for a relaxing afternoon or evening overlooking the vineyard, the old rock wall, Pickers Creek or even take a stroll through the vineyard and down the abandoned railroad track. Spend a while in the gift shop looking at the art, pottery and many gift items. Wine, Art, Music – the best life has to offer.