• Brad Keating

Belle Meade Historic Site & Winery: A Tennessee Treasure

The Belle Meade plantation was once one of the premier thoroughbred horse breeding farms in the United States. The Belle Meade mansion and grounds are now public for tours and events. They offer a variety of wines made from grapes grown on the property. Visitors can enjoy a tasting tour, purchase wine by the glass or bottle, and take home a souvenir wine glass. Belle Meade Historic Site & Winery is a great place to visit for history buffs, horse lovers, and anyone who enjoys a good glass of wine. Learn more here.


Belle Meade Plantation was founded in 1807 by John Harding. He named it after Belle Meade Island in the Hudson River. Belle Meade Plantation became a working farm in 1820 and began breeding thoroughbred horses in 1825. The plantation's first racehorse, Bonnie Scotland, won the Kentucky Derby in 1832. Belle Meade eventually became known as the "cradle of the American turf." Many of the greatest racehorses in history were bred at Belle Meade, including Ben Hur, America's first Triple Crown winner. Learn more about A Guide to the Best Country Bars: Honky Tonk Highway in Nashville, TN.



In 1861, Belle Meade was occupied by Union troops during the Civil War. The plantation was badly damaged and never fully recovered. In 1906, Belle Meade was sold to Percy Warner, who used it as a private residence. In 1953, Belle Meade was donated to the Association for the Preservation of Tennessee Antiquities. Belle Meade Historic Site & Winery is owned and operated by the State of Tennessee.