White Squirrel Winery


Contact: Bill Sanderson, Owner and Operator, White Squirrel Winery

White Squirrel Winery Earns Silver and Bronze Medals at International Wine Competition

White Squirrel Winery recently participated in the Finger Lakes, NY-International Wine Competition. White Squirrel Winery entered three wines using the family name, Sanderson Family Winery –  Enchantment (dry red), Opportunity (dry white) and Chardonel (dry white, oaked). The Enchantment earned a Silver award, while the Opportunity and Chardonel both earned a Bronze.

Over 1,700 wines from the United States, Canada and Australia were judged in the blind competition and placed by class with only non-specific information such as grape varietal, vintage, residual sugar and percent alcohol. The 50 judges are organized into panels of three or four that represent a mix of professions and geographic regions. The judges were diverse with sommeliers, wine makers, wine writers and wine educators evaluating the wines. 

Considering the competition, this is a significant achievement for White Squirrel Winery. 

“We are thrilled to receive this honor, ” said Bill Sanderson, owner of White Squirrel Winery. “While our sweet wines are great, I want folks to know Tennessee is more than sweet wine. We grow grapes and produce dry wines that can win competitions.”

“We ship truckloads of grapes to east and middle Tennessee wineries and we keep about 30% for ourselves. It’s my goal to grow grapes and produce a wine that will compete with the rest of the world.” Sanderson said. 

The wines were produced by Garrett Sanderson, Bill’s son and the winemaker at White Squirrel Winery. “This was my first wine competition and we received a silver and 2-bronze ribbons. It’s only going to get better.”

White Squirrel Winery

White Squirrel Winery was founded in 2014 by the Sanderson family to bring high quality wines to the northwest Tennessee region. Today, Sanderson and his wife, Marjie, own and operate White Squirrel Winery in his northwest Tennessee hometown of Kenton. Under his direction, three generations of Sandersons oversee the production and maintenance of the approximately 20-acre family vineyard.

White Squirrel Winery is the largest grower of high-quality Tennessee hybrid and vinifera wine grapes, producing 90-tons per year. The winery is best known for its success with “Enchantment” and “Opportunity” grape varieties developed at the University of Arkansas Fruit Research Station through the University of Arkansas System, Division of Agriculture. Because of its dedication to research and continuing education, White Squirrel Winery is the largest producer in the world of these two new varietals. Not only are the grapes grown locally but the wines are also made locally in a facility in downtown Kenton, Tenn. From Syrah to Cayuga wines, White Squirrel Winery creates bold tasting wines in small batches for maximum quality.