February 2, 2013
The Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee are the perfect place for hiking, enjoying the panoramic scenery and hitting the theme parks such as Dollywood. However, the wine connoisseur and those who enjoy sipping fine whiskey can also enjoy a palate-pleasing experience while in Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge with a visit to one of the many Smoky Mountain Winery options or distilleries.
Get a dose of local history, learn about the art of winemaking and enjoy complimentary wine tastings at Sugarland Cellars. Choices range from their Baskins Creek Blanc, named for a nearby creek, featuring citrus and honey flavors; to the rich taste of the Muscadine grapes found in their southern inspired Mountain Laurel sweet wine. Incorporating the local history right onto the bottle labels, Sugarland Cellars honors the traditions of this picturesque region while sharing their passion for the craft. Open year-round, free tours are available daily and the on-site gift shop offers a variety of wine themed items along with locally inspired gifts.
The Scots-Irish people who settled in this area of Tennessee quickly realized that the land was good for corn growing, but if they utilized the whiskey-making skills they brought from their homeland they could make more money with the corn in its liquid form. Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine in Gatlinburg carries on a family tradition of distilling the finest whiskey from corn grown on area farms. A visit to Ole Smoky includes watching the process of making moonshine, or corn whiskey, and even smelling the aroma of the fermenting grain. Free samples of their original whiskeys as well as seasonal varieties such as lemon drop and strawberry bring sipping pleasure to any whiskey fan. The store where you can purchase merchandise and moonshine is open every day, but state law prohibits liquor sales on Sundays and certain holidays.
Located right in downtown Gatlinburg, Davy Crockett’s Tennessee Whiskey will show you just how they distill their brand of whiskey. Free samples of their signature 90 Proof, Fire Tower Cinnamon Whiskey and Salty Caramel Whiskey are all offered during store hours. They also produce their own vodka, whimsically named Chokin’ Chicken, for those looking for something different. Wine aficionados visiting the Mountain Valley Winery in Pigeon Forge will enjoy sampling the German and French style wines produced by this award-winning winery. During September and October guests can watch the wine bottling and crushing of the grapes, and enjoy free tastings during the tour. A full range of wines are available for purchase including port, sweet, dry and bubbly varieties.