Ninth Annual Wine and Food Tasting Benefits Big Brothers Big Sisters

FRANKLIN, TN (October 16, 2013) – Friday evening, there was much to celebrate at the Franklin Wine Festival presented by Cool Springs Wines & Spirits and supported by Nissan to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters.  Attendees from far and wide enjoyed delicious vintages from the more than 300 wines, savory tastings from the more than 35 restaurants, a fun “King and Queen of the Vines” contest was held, and at the conclusion of the live auction – the event’s nine year fundraising totals hit the $1 million mark on behalf of Big Brothers Big Sisters.
The Franklin Wine Festival is perhaps a bit different from other wine tastings in the area in that the event footprint encompasses the entire venue of the Factory at Franklin.  Sponsors and guests began their evening in either Jamison Hall or Liberty Hall, and tables featuring the food and wine are continuous through the venue hallways, common rooms, and even a previous art gallery space.
“Big Brothers Big Sisters is so blessed to have had very forward-thinking supporters like James and Jackie Woodard of Cool Springs Wines & Spirits to envision the possibilities of the Franklin Wine Festival,” commented Carlyle Carroll, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters.  He continued, “And to couple that dedication with the tremendous support of our friends with Nissan, our many other cash and in-kind sponsors, and the ticket-buying public… we are humbled at what this celebration of food and wine has become on behalf of the children.”
The funds raised by the Franklin Wine Festival are used to serve more children with a mentor throughout Middle Tennessee through Big Brothers Big Sisters programs.  Specifically, proceeds pay for screening and background checks, volunteer training, and ongoing program support and coaching by professional social work staff.  Children with a mentor make a better, safer choice which in turn reduces crime, improves graduation rates, and lays the groundwork for an overall economic benefit to the Middle Tennessee community.  The Franklin Wine Festival proceeds have enabled 1,000 Middle Tennessee children to be poised for a brighter future.

“We are grateful to all those who, year after year, help make this event the premier wine festival in the state,” said James “Woody” Woodard, owner of Cool Springs Wines & Spirits. “We were able to offer an extensive selection of more than 300 wines thanks to our distributors – Ajax Turner Beverages, Athens Distributing, Best Brands, Boonedocks Distributing, Horizon Wine and Spirits, and Omni Beverages.  It’s very satisfying to see so many people enjoying our wines and at the same time know that we are supporting a worthy cause.”  These generous folks provide sampling from more than 300 wines for guests to enjoy while taking in the sights and sounds.
Friday featured live musical entertainment was provided by The Wannabeatles, the Diane Marino Quartet, Gary Pailer, The Road Crew, and The Storm Kings on three different stages for guests to enjoy while contemplating their next tasting.
2013 “King of the Vines” Brooks Parker was crowned with a fundraising total of $3,050 – defeating Duke of the Vines Matt Ollis and Prince Ryan Carter.  The 2013 “Queen of the Vines” is Sonya Hairston who narrowly defeated Duchess Donna Robinson.  The fun-loving contestants vying for the crown raise pledges in advance and collect donations from other attendees to have the top fundraising total and capture the crown.
Event sponsors for 2013 included Nissan, Cool Springs Wines & Spirits, Fifth Third Bank, Jackson National, Visit South Walton, Whole Foods Market, Wirtgen America, Bass Berry & Sims, Burr Forman, Delta Dental, ICON International, Star Distributing, Southwest Airlines, and Sperry’s Restaurant among others.  For a full list of sponsors, visit www.FranklinWineFestival.com.
Participating culinary exhibitors offering tasty samplings throughout were 1808 Grille, Aquarium Café, Bosco’s, Café Fontanel, Colt’s Chocolates, Cool Café, Dad’s Favorites Cheeses, Dan’s Gourmet Mac and Cheese, Eorthe Coffee, Fiestas by Lisa, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse, Frothy Monkey, Kayne Prime, Kohana Japanese Restaurant, Kroger Chef Shoppes, Legato Gelato, Music City Flats, Noshville
Deli, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Olive & Sinclair Chocolate, Papa Boudreaux’s Cajun Cafe, Popcorn Village, Rainforest Café, Randy’s Famous Cheesecakes, Rodizio Grill, Romano’s Macaroni Grill, Sperry’s, Stoveworks, Swanky’s Taco Shop, Taziki’s Mediterranean Café, The Melting Pot, Virago, Watermark Restaurant, Whole Foods Market, and Wholy Crepe.
The 2014 rendition of the event is scheduled for Friday, October 17, 2014.  Tickets will go on sale late summer.

For more information about Big Brothers Big Sisters, visit www.mentorakid.org or call (615) 329-9191.



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