Wine Over Water returns for 21st year

Authored By seanphippster

It may be the largest annual fundraiser for Cornerstones Inc.-which focuses on the preservation of historical buildings in downtown Chattanooga-but Wine Over Water has also grown to be one of the marquee events in the city.

Here’s how it works: Hundreds of wineries will offer tasting samples at tents along the historic Walnut Street Bridge on Oct. 3. In addition, guests may also purchase tasting plates from area restaurants while enjoying local music. Gates open at 3:30 p.m., and guests can enjoy wine and mingling through sunset and into the evening. 

Tickets are on sale now for the event. Prices are $65 per person through Sept. 19. Ticket prices increase to $70 on Sept. 19 and are $75 the day of the event. All proceeds will benefit Cornerstones Inc. and their efforts to preserve important historical buildings in Chattanooga.

An additional component of the weekend includes an event called Best Cellars on Oct. 2 at The Chattanoogan Hotel. This exclusive wine tasting event features 150 premium wines and heavy hors d’oeuvres. Tickets are $100 per person and are extremely limited. Click here for more information. 

“Over the past 21 years, we have been fortunate to raise close to $3 million that has been directly reinvested in the community for historical preservation,” said Ann Gray, executive director at Cornerstones Inc. “Our organization started at the waterfront and has played a vital role in making it the center of Chattanooga and preservation. We want to continue to maintain that by celebrating the event where the Chattanooga renaissance began.”

A list of wine vendors will be available soon. Participating local restaurants will include, among others, 212 Market, Bluewater Grille, Bluff View Bakery, Easy Bistro & Bar, Food Works, St. John’s Restaurant, Root Kitchen and Wine Bar, the Walden Club, Two Ten Jack, Acropolis Mediterranean Grill and 1885 Grill.

Music will be provided by Lon Eldridge and Friends, Nick Lutsko, Birds With Fleas, Dana Rogers and selections from Jazzanooga.

Over two decades, Cornerstones Inc. has worked to save a number of endangered properties throughout the city. Most recently, the organization announced they are under contract to purchase Brown’s Tavern. The building is thought to have been built in 1803, years before the founding of the city of Chattanooga. It is the oldest-known property in Hamilton County. 

This marks only the second outright purchase for the organization and the first outside downtown Chattanooga. 

“The architectural and historical significance was too important to lose,” Gray said. “Initially, there was a very real threat as to whether this historic, two-story log structure would be saved from demolition. Thankfully, it was privately owned and maintained for almost 50 years.”

Cornerstones Inc. will secure the property, and negotiations are currently underway to sell the property to an owner who will appreciate and understand the significance of the building. 

John Brown-half-Cherokee and brother-in-law to Chattanooga founder John Ross-owned the tavern. He later joined the Trail of Tears with his family and returned to Chattanooga before his death. 

Updated @ 7:41 a.m. on 9/4/15.