Galinburg’s location in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains makes it a place of unique natural beauty that also holds a ton of exciting outdoor activities. When people think of those outdoor opportunities, they most often gravitate to things like hiking to see local waterfalls and ziplining across valleys, however, not every great outdoor activity in this area has to be a physical activity. Sometimes, the best memories are made when relaxing with good company and enjoying a good atmosphere… and maybe sipping some good wine.
If you are looking for a place to enjoy a delicious wine tasting (for free) while likewise enjoying the beautiful scenery and culture Gatlinburg is so well-known for, then consider the following top five places to go, sip, and relax:
1. Tennessee Homemade Wines
Tennessee Homemade Wines boasts a location right in the heart of Gatlinburg’s cozy and walkable downtown. They have a bustling corner location within a two-story log cabin-style building. During warmer weather, this wine seller throws open its doors and guests can enjoy sipping on some delicious local wine as they lean back and people watch. TN Homemade Wines offers free sips of select Southern Sweet wines every day. Once you find one (or more) of your favorite flavors, this business makes it easy to check out and take home their bottles. All of the wines available for tasting and sale at TN Homemade Wines were made at the company’s winery just outside of town. They are best known for their sweetened flavors, of which they have over fifty distinct wines and ciders available at any time, including specialty seasonal options.
2. Smoky Mountain Winery
Smoky Mountain Winery looks and feels like a very traditional winery. The business is located on a side street, within a European-styled building. They are best known for their classical, cozy ambiance that features walls lined with wine bottles after wine bottles and very knowledgeable staff members. This is the place you want to go to learn more about Gatlinburg’s viticulture and enjoy a sampling of every style of wine, from crisp whites to richer reds. Smoky Mountain Winery offers a free sampling from a selection of twenty of their award-winning wines that are served within their tasting room. Here, you’ll also catch sight of the hundreds of regional, national, and international awards they have put on display, showcasing their company’s expertise in the business of winemaking. Make sure to also peruse their Winery Gift Shop for some unique souvenirs.
3. Sugarland Cellars
Sugarland Cellars is located on the southern end of Downtown Gatlinburg and offers one of the most social environments on this list of best places to go for a wine tasting. They have a massive tasting room with a comfortable bar and table seating where guests can enjoy free samplings. As their name suggests, they do have a wine cellar that is part of their on-site wine-making operations. You can tour this cellar as well as other parts of their business for free as you likewise enjoy your free sampling of wine–not a bad way to enjoy an afternoon in Gatlinburg! We also love that Sugarland Cellars is located just two blocks away from the Gatlinburg Trail Trailhead, which offers a nice hiking path that’s ideal for an early morning or late afternoon stroll. Consider sipping some of Sugarland Cellars’s best wines and then enjoying that late afternoon promenade through Gatlinburg’s gorgeous forested areas.
One other unique thing about Sugarland Cellars is that they have a long-standing partnership with local artist Robert A. Tino and the non-profit group Friends of the Smokies, who work to preserve the natural beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Each year, Tino creates a unique piece of art each year for the group and Sugarland Cellars releases a limited-edition wine featuring that art. For each bottle sold, $5 is donated to the non-profit group. Be sure to check out their displays of previous years’ bottles and consider purchasing this year’s for a truly unique Gatlinburg wine experience.
4. Little Bear Winery
Little Bear Winery is a newer addition to Gatlinburg’s wine scene but has already become quite a popular location. You’ll find them located right in the heart of the downtown area with a sizable tasting room that features outdoor seating and a nice food menu. They are notably pet-friendly on the outdoor patio, making this a great choice for those traveling with dogs. Little Bear Winery produces some great wine, but we would say that the thing that really draws people here is the friendly environment they offer. The bartenders here are very attentive with wine samplers and most will find their humor and engaging conversation about pairings to be the highlight of the stop.
5. Goodwater Vineyard
The business side of Goodwater Vineyards is located in the pedestrian area called Marketplace Mall while their 30-acre vineyard is located in East Tennessee. This Gatlinburg side of the business offers free wine samplings in a comfortable tasting room that features comfortable lounge chairs, an extended bar area, and cute gift shop items all along the store’s walls. If you find yourself really falling in love with the Goodwater wines, we recommend asking about tours at their country location. The large Goodwater Vineyards has its own bed and breakfast at the farm and offers a number of events like vineyard tours and catered picnics which feature menu items prepared by the company’s own professional chef and their best paired wines.
Learn More About Gatlinburg and its Other Attractions
Gatlinburg has really grown as a beautiful community with a ton of amenities. This is a paradise for wine enthusiasts, nature lovers, and general explorers. Learn more about what this Tennessee mountain town has to offer by checking our other pages and enjoy building up that perfect travel itinerary for you and your family or friends.