Most often when you think of wineries, Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee aren’t the first locations that come to mind. But, if you look beneath the mist of the Smoky Mountains fog, you will find they are making wine with a southern twist. The Gatlinburg Pigeon Forge area has four charming wineries that welcome the whole family: Smoky Mountain Winery (Gatlinburg), Mountain Valley Winery (Pigeon Forge), Apple Barn Winery (Sevierville) and the newest addition, Hillside Winery (Sevierville).
The Smoky Mountain Winery located in Winery Square on HWY 321 (East Parkway) in Gatlinburg, started bottling its wine in 1981. The skilled staff awaits your visit with open arms and is ready to share their knowledge of wine making. You can sample over 20 wines and tour their production area on one of their free tours. Characteristic of many wines found in the south, the Smoky Mountain Winery produces many wines that are on the sweeter side of the spectrum. Be prepared to let them dazzle your taste buds with wines such as: Mountain Memories—a light and fruity Cabernet Sauvignon aged in American oak with a big berry finish or a Muscadine White—a sweet, fruity and nutty tasting wine made from Southern White Muscadine grapes.
In Pigeon Forge, at the Mountain Valley Winery, you can find a wine tasting bar where you can sample about 15 varieties of wine. Their wine selection varies from dry wines to semi-sweet wines and dessert wines. This is just one stop on the Rocky Top Wine Trail, where you can visit 3 wineries all within 3 miles of one another.
The Apple Barn Winery is another stop along the trail that produces distinct flavor using apple cider as the base for many of their sweeter wines. It all started with the orchards that were planted in 1976 and the passion for apples. The Apple Barn is actually just that, a barn that was built in 1910 and renovated in 1981. Next door to the winery you can further your taste exploration at two of their restaurants: Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant and Applewood Farmhouse Grill.
The Hillside Winery is the newest in the area. Located off of the parkway in Sevierville they are only minutes from other numerous attractions the area has to offer. They position themselves apart by specializing in sparkling wines and Italian style wine ranging from dry to sweet. An exclusive and beautiful feature of Hillside wines is the label which was created from the photography of Patricia Ferguson, a Tennessee native.
In the Smoky Mountains, wine connoisseurs and novices can appreciate an out of the norm experience. The wineries in the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge area welcome you to experience what they have been carefully crafting—wine southern style. Just like the people, you’ll find the wine a bit sweeter leaving you with a lingering impression that is pleasurable.