Think you’ve got to go to the West Coast for great American wine? Well, as it happens, Tennessee has its fair share of wonderful wineries, and the perfect opportunity for sampling their labels is coming up this spring right at the doorstep of the Great Smokies.
We’re talking about Gatlinburg Wine Weekend 2020, which falls Friday, May 1st and Saturday, May 2nd. It’s an epicurean bonanza that’s not to be missed, going down at Gatlinburg’s Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts and elsewhere in this beloved Smoky Mountain gateway.
Gatlinburg Wine Weekend: A Vino-centric Double Header in the Shadow of the Great Smoky Mountains
Gatlinburg Wine Weekend consists of two different events sharing an oenophilic focus. On Friday, there’s the Gatlinburg Wine Tour, which kicks off at 6 PM. This is an awesome survey of the town’s tasting rooms and other wine hotspots, for which advance tickets are highly recommended.
The next day, the Gatlinburg Smoky Mountain Wine Fest draws winemakers from all across the state of Tennessee, who’ll be on hand pouring a lineup of 1-oz. tastings. Those samples will come complemented, meanwhile, by tasty bites from top local restaurants.
General Admission for the Gatlinburg Smoky Mountain Wine Fest is $25 in advance and $30 at the door. You can also spring for the VIP Pass, which affords you early entry to the proceedings, some exclusive tastings, a handcrafted souvenir wine goblet, and access to a VIP Hospitality Room. Those with VIP Passes also get the chance to help out with a blending session to produce a signature wine for next year’s Wine Fest!
We don’t yet know the specific roster of wineries to be featured at the Gatlinburg Smoky Mountain Wine Fest this May, but the 2019 edition featured more than a dozen fab ones. They included Apple Barn Winery, located in Sevierville on the Little Pigeon River, an outfit that instead of grapes uses apples to produce its tasty wines. Sugarland Cellars, situated right in Gatlinburg, also participated; it’s known for not only traditional reds and whites but also such offerings as the completely cherry-based “Cherry-Kee” wine as well as the much-loved Elkmont loganberry wine.
Other wineries on hand for the Wine Fest last year included Cades Cove Cellars, a Townsend-based winemaker producing everything from Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Riesling to various fruit wines, and known for its beautiful labels celebrating the places and wildlife of the Great Smokies. Pigeon Forge’s Mountain Valley Wine, which focuses on French- and German-style wines as well as sweet fruit versions such as the Mountain Muscadine, also took part. So did Goodwater Vineyards, which has tasting rooms in both Gatlinburg and Mosheim and whose most popular creation is the Everything Peachy wine, which combines peach with white Seyval Blanc grapes.
From Tennessee Homemade Wines, Highland Manor Winery, and Spout Springs Winery to Trazo Meadowy, DelMonaco Winery & Vineyard, and Grinder’s Switch Winery, there are many other great businesses that have been featured at past Wine Fests. Needless to say, rest assured that you’ll have plenty of great grape—not to mention other fermented fruits—to sip on!
Gatlinburg Smoky Mountain Wine Fest Restaurants
Previous Gatlinburg-area restaurants that have taken part in the Gatlinburg Smoky Mountain Wine Fest, meantime, have included Willa’s Shortbread, The Park Grill, and Zi Olive.
Get to Know Tennessee-Made Vino at Gatlinburg Wine Weekend 2020
Whether you’re opting for the Gatlinburg Wine Tour, the Smoky Mountain Wine Fest, or both, come experience how gloriously drinkable Tennessee wine can be this May at Gatlinburg Wine Weekend 2020! Here’s a hearty “Chin, chin!” to you in the meantime.