Tennessee is home to great wineries and the native Muscadine grape. Wineries on the Rocky Top Wine Trail offer free tastings.
Focusing their efforts on making some of the best sweet fruit wines to be had anywhere in the U.S, Don Collier in 1991 founded Mountain Valley Winery as one of the largest in the state, producing well over 500 award-winning wines, as well as many traditional German and French style wines. Striving to achieve excellence in sweet wine, especially their Muscadine wines, they’ve partnered with over 50 local vineyards bringing in the best Tennessee-grown grapes. Their large Wine Cellar is open to the public on their guided tours every day of the week.
The Great Smoky Mountain’s rich history is showcased on the labels from Sugarland Cellars Winery, located at the Gatlinburg entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Sugarland Cellars offers daily tours and complimentary wine tasting, great for small to large groups! The gift shop is filled with plenty of wine-related gifts and Smoky Mountain memories. Visitors enjoy carefully selected fine wines crafted on site from pure passion and a rich mountain history. They are a part of the Rocky Top Wine Trail, so if you want to start a Passport, this is a good place to start. They offer dry, semi-sweet, sweet, and specialty wines. If you want to see how wines are made, they offer free tours Monday through Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 1:00-5:00 PM every half hour. If you have a group, just call ahead. Tastings are always free.
Located on the banks of the Little Pigeon River in the Apple Barn Village, the Apple Barn Winery is next door to the world-famous Apple Barn General Store & Cider Mill, two fantastic restaurants, a bakery, a candy store, ice cream shops, and Christmas shop. Handcrafted from the very same succulent apples you’ll see hanging outside the shop, The Apple Barn Winery offers a unique twist on a winery experience. Also open daily for tastings and sales, watch the winemakers at work through the glass viewing area. There’s something for everyone in your group including a gift shop full of unique souvenirs and wine accessories.
Check out Tennessee Homemade Wines for sweet wines made from local fruits like blueberries, blackberries, Muscadine grapes, and strawberries. They even have a wine called Old Apple that is made from a 100-year-old recipe using local apples. If you miss out on a tasting from their location in downtown Gatlinburg, you can always grab a few bottles from their online shop and make your own tasting party at home (delivery restricted by state).
If you’re interested in specialized Italian style or bubbly wines, the Hillside Winery is a stop not to miss in your visit through Sevierville. Learn about the process in the guided tour and shop in a wide selection of specialty wine décor and accessories plus enjoy tasty souvenirs to take home! Added bonus, you can buy wine on Sunday here in the Smokies at Hillside Winery! They offer free daily tastings and samples of their Sweetwater Valley Cheese selections, summer sausages, homemade wine jellies, and other handcrafted Tennessee products.