The Smoky Mountains region is slowly becoming quite the wine-lover’s paradise with all the specialty wineries popping up throughout the Smokies. That’s partial reason for Gatlinburg’s latest initiative: the Gatlinburg Smoky Mountain Winefest, taking place Saturday, April 27 from 1-6 pm on the plaza at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies.
At the winefest, guests can sample wines from local Tennessee wineries along with small dish fare from some of the top Smoky Mountain restaurants. Not only will you hear from some of the most knowledgeable area wine connoisseurs, you’ll also witness food pairing demonstrations in the aquarium’s Jules Verne Room.
Over the years Gatlinburg, TN has come to be known for many things – a multitude of family attractions, skiing Ober Gatlinburg, for the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains, a thriving arts and crafts community, and for the town’s growing wine tastes. In fact, Gatlinburg is home to three very different wineries: the Smoky Mountain Winery, Sugarland Cellars and Bootleggers Homemade Wine.
Located on Cherry Street in Gatlinburg, the Smoky Mountain Winery is East Tennessee’s oldest producer of premium wines, including the very popular Blackberry wine. Stop by Winery Square and try a sample in their tasting room while you’re in town!
Meanwhile, Sugarland Cellars is located near the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You’ll find wine-related gifts in the store’s gift shop, as well as their handcrafted wines that are produced on site. Some of their most popular wines include sweet, semi-sweet and dry wines. Like the Smoky Mountain Winery, Sugarland Cellars also offers tours and free samples.
The newest wine locale, Bootleggers Homemade Wine, is an offshoot of the Olde Smoky Moonshine Distillery also located downtown right off the Parkway. Bootleggers Homemade Wine only uses all-natural ingredients in order to create their unique wine. Their wine is made in small batches, from local fruit, following the very same recipes that have been used in the East Tennessee Mountains for generations. Here, wine bottled by hand, which means no machinery or other complicated equipment. Popular wines include Blackberry, Scuppernong, Muscadine Blush, Peach, Strawberry and Redneck Reserve.