Gatlinburg is well known for unique shops, museums, and decadent eateries, but did you know there is a bit of wine country snuggled into the hustle and bustle of town? The Smoky Mountain Winery opened their cellar door in 1981, making it Gatlinburg’s oldest winery. Just as wine improves in maturation, so the Smoky Mountain Winery has procured hundreds of awards, nationally and internationally, throughout the years. The winery prides itself on quality and the tasting experience and guarantees taste and structure by not shipping or delivering their product. Be sure to plan a visit while you are in the Smoky Mountains!
The old mountain architecture, cobblestone drive, and exposed wood beams make Smoky Mountain Winery quaint and inviting. Enter through the large, rounded door frame and head to the tasting bar for free tastings all day and free tours from noon to 5. You and your companions have over 20 wines to choose from and taste, and the dedicated, passionate staff loves talking about their wines – so ask away!
The Smoky Mountain Winery has a range of wines to taste, but crowd favorites are consistently the winery’s Muscadine and sweet blackberry wine. Muscadine, if you are a recreational wine drinker and not-so-much a connoisseur, is a grape native to the Southeast region of the United States and praised for its beneficial health properties. These big, sweet Southern grapes are packed with antioxidants and retain a good amount during fermentation. So, raise a glass of Smoky Mountain Winery’s award-winning Muscadine wine to good health! Blackberry wines are recognized as one of the few fruit wines to mature well. Smoky Mountain Winery takes care to create a wine that keeps the blackberry taste well-structured and balanced to deliver another consistently award-winning wine you won’t want to miss out on.
Gifts & More
The Smoky Mountain Winery also houses a gift shop where guests can find commemorative souvenirs or novelties to add to a bottle you’re gifting someone. Impress a special someone with beautiful stemware, bottle bag, or décor, along with a bottle of Smoky Mountain Winery’s best Muscadine or Blackberry wine. If you are looking for a perfect addition to your dinner date out on the town or a perfect, affordable wine experience while you and your friends are strolling through Gatlinburg, Smoky Mountain Winery is an excellent stop you will be glad you made!
More Sips Along the Rocky Top Wine Trail
Was Smoky Mountain Winery just the beginning of your wine curiosity in the Appalachian region of Tennessee? There are many wineries to experience in this area, and sometimes too many choices make a route of action more complicated. No need to fear; the Rocky Top Wine Trail partners together 5 unique wineries and 1 distillery – spanning from Gatlinburg to Sevierville – to create a fun, self-guided wine tour through the mountains. Each spot has its own specialties and personalities to provide your party with all that East Tennessee wine country has to offer. The collaborating wineries and distillery include:
Sugarland Cellars, Gatlinburg
This down-home winery prides itself on a local’s experience for everyone they welcome through the cellar doors. The homey feel of this Rocky Top Wine Trail stop will have you forgetting that you are not, originally, part of this Tennessee family!
Doc Collier Moonshine Distillery, Gatlinburg
Doc Collier adds a little unexpected flair for your Rocky Top Wine Trail experience. Not usually a moonshine drinker? Step outside the box at Doc Collier, where they produce a wide range of moonshine recipes passed down for generations. Try their one-of-a-kind collection ranging from ‘Shined Cherries and Peach to Blue Ridge Lemonade and Root Beer Float.
Mountain Valley Winery, Pigeon Forge
Along with Smoky Mountain Winery, Mountain Valley Winery has received many awards for their quality sweet wines! Their wine cellar is open daily to the public and features free tours from noon to 5. Mountain Valley also specializes in French and German-style wines in addition to the Southern sweeter collections and rhubarb wine!
Mill Bridge Winery, Pigeon Forge
Located in the Old Mill District along the Little Pigeon River, Mill Bridge Winery offers a wide range of reds, whites, and even ciders. Getting hungry along your Rocky Top Wine Trail tour? The winery is located next to the The Old Mill Restaurant. You can also take your time here at Mill Bridge Winery while sipping out of your stemmed glass as you sit on the patio overlooking the serene stream.
Hillside Winery, Sevierville
Out on the Rocky Top Trail and want some more variety? Stop by Hillside Winery, where they specialize in Italian and bubbly wines. Hillside’s quaint front porch and rocking chairs overlook Sevierville and the rolling Tennessee foothills. It may be hard to leave with views this great, but there is still one more winery to be experienced on the Rocky Top Wine Trail!
Apple Barn Winery, Sevierville
Apple Barn Winery is definitely not a stop you want to skip. Just outside of their doors are the big apple trees that are the source of their products. Apple Barn shines a light on a wine you may not have known existed: apple wine! The winery is on the banks of the Little Pigeon River in Apple Barn Village, along with 2 very popular restaurants, the Apple General Store and Cider Mill, and an ice cream shop! So maybe you couldn’t make the whole wine tour with the kids along on this vacation, but they are sure not to mind if you brought them to Apple Barn Village!
Tours along the Trail
Customize your tour to fit your plans! Be sure to download and print your wine “passport” to be stamped as you enter each winery; once you have visited 3 locations, receive a FREE gift. Visit all 6 wineries and receive a second gift, too! Every post in the Rocky Top Wine Trail offers free tastings. There are also free informative winery tours in each respective city; all tours are available daily from 12p.m. to 5 p.m. at Hillside Winery, Mountain Valley Winery, and Sugarland Cellars.
This is a perfect day trip for your bachelorette party, parent escape, or couples’ outing. Gather your Smoky Mountain wine passports and have Uber ready so everyone can participate! Want to make it an even bigger day out for your group? Reserve a limo and enjoy a safe and fun day out!
New Tastes on the Tennessee Whiskey Trail
Not that into wine or want to give your palate a little change? Tennessee has a Whiskey Trail, too! There are several whiskey trails throughout the state; Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg each have their own, so there are plenty of distilleries to choose from. The Tennessee Whiskey Trail Passport is acquired a little differently, however. The passport can be picked up at any of the specified distillery locations, or you can download the passport application for iOS and Android (instructions are here). The Tennessee Whiskey Trail is much like the Rocky Top Wine Trail, with free tastings, tours, and hours of beautiful sights and awesome memories to be made! Once you have completed your Whiskey Tour in Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge, you will be sent a free t-shirt!
While the locations are family friendly, tastings are only for guests 21 and over. Please drink responsibly. Get your fill of Tennessee Wine Country amidst the natural beauty of the Smoky Mountains. Take a bottle home, or snag more than one because you may want to enjoy more Tennessee wine as you sit in a rocking chair on the porch of your cabin and watch the sun set over the mountains.