In the company of some of the world’s most distinguished wine connoisseurs and enthusiasts, Proprietor Sam Beall accepted for Blackberry Farm Wine Spectator magazine’s Grand Award at the California Wine Experience in San Francisco, Calif., where the Wine Experience and Grand Award program began in 1981. Presented by Marvin Shankin, owner of Wine Spectator, at the San Francisco Marriott on October 21, the Grand Award is the highest award given by Wine Spectator to restaurants each year who demonstrate the highest level of range, presentation and organization of wines.
“A trove of mature vintages and showcase the world’s best producers while providing superior service and cuisine,” Wine Spectator’s James Molesworth said of these award recipients. Seventy-seven restaurants throughout the world have been awarded to date.
Currently Blackberry Farm is the only Grand Award restaurant in Tennessee. “We are humbled and honored to receive this recognition. It provides another guarantee and draw for guests around the world to venture to the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee,” Beall said.
Through the passion of Sam Beall, Blackberry Farm’s wine list has 4,200 selections and has grown from 17,000 to 120,000 bottles since 2002. During the acceptance, Beall gave credit to lead sommelier Andy Chabot manages the wine program and nightly experience. Of Chabot, Sam Beall said, “His meticulous management of our 120,000 bottles, accurate presentation of the list, unparalleled level of overall service, is the reason we have been awarded this incredible recognition.”
Molesworth’s said of Blackberry’s assortment of wines offered, “The result is a list that features the best of modern, small-production wines from California, Washington and Oregon along with an impressive breadth of offerings from Burgundy, the Rhone, Alsace, Australia, Germany, Spain and Italy.” This accreditation of the wine selection, especially its “eye-popping” menu of California Pinot Noir according to Molesworth, has gained the interest of wine enthusiasts from across the world in search of the assortment of wines that Blackberry Farm has accumulated.
“Hospitality is a hallmark of Blackberry Farm, and that theme runs through the wine program,” per Wine Spectator, and this distinguished recognition adds to the quality of Blackberry Farm as a Relais and Chateaux and Relais Gourmand destination for food and wine fans. In order to continue moving forward in their attempts to improve the already Grand Award quality of the Blackberry Farm Wine Cellar, Blackberry Farm will be opening its sixth and most spectacular cellar, the Barn Cellar in May 2007. This 8,000-square foot venue will be used for guest cellar tours and special events.
Restaurant Latour in New Jersey and Sona in Los Angeles also received the Grand Award recognition this year.
Blackberry Farm (blackberryfarm.com) – often described as “Easy to get to. Hard to leave.” is located in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee. This 51-room Relais and Chateaux and Relais Gourmand property offers some of the world’s finest wines, cuisine, fly fishing, horseback riding, hiking, cycling, sporting clay and mountain biking opportunities. In addition to an abundance of outdoor activities, Blackberry Farm offers an Aveda-Destination Spa and a series of annual cooking schools and culinary events featuring Chef John Fleer along with other world-renowned guest chefs and vintners. For reservations and information, please call (800) 993 7824 or visit our website.