If you’re curious about what Tennessee has to offer for a memorable wine experience, Rocky Top Wine Trail is the perfect place to start. Longevity in the wine industry is no easy feat, but Rocky Top Wine Trail is proud to still be going strong as Tennessee’s first and most visited wine trail. Here are just a few reasons people near and far love to visit year after year.
Five Unique Wineries
The wine trail was established in 2008 after the third local winery opened in the Sevierville-Pigeon Forge area. The popular tourist attraction now consists of five wineries that each have their own unique atmosphere and wine flavors.
Located in the heart of Tennessee wine country, Hillside Winery features Italian-style and sparkling wines. The winery partners with local grape farms that annually provide more than 856,000 pounds of the best picks from their vines to be crushed for wine production. One of the handcrafted wines Hillside makes from this process is its award-winning, sweet and bubbly Muscadine Mist.
Within the Apple Barn Village complex in Sevierville is Apple Barn Winery, which is known for its variety of apple-based wines. The barn was once a cattle barn in the early 1900s and then a general store in the 1980s. The property now has an orchard next to the winery where freshly picked apples are used to make flavors like Apple Raspberry and Apple Peach.
Next door to the apple winery is Apple Barn Cider House, which offers hard cider. Cider and wine are similar in terms of both being fermented drinks made from fruit. Three ways cider differs from wine are that the fermentation process is shorter, the alcohol content is lower, and the sugar content is higher. The cider house uses a sterile filtration method instead of a full pasteurization process to maintain that fresh apple taste and crisp flavor. A few hard cider options visitors love are Berry Patch, Hop Zen, and Sip Gingerly.
As one of the oldest wineries in the state, Mountain Valley Winery has crafted more than 200 exclusive wines and won more than 1,000 medals from several competitions. The winery features the popular French-style wines Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. However, Mountain Valley specializes in sweet, fruit wines with best-selling selections like Rhubarb and Red Velvet, which tastes like a cupcake in a glass!
Pigeon Forge’s historic Old Mill District is home to Mill Bridge Winery, offering both local wines and hard ciders. Visitors enjoy savoring their glass of wine while seated on the outdoor patio with a relaxing view of Little Pigeon River right below. The winery crafts a range of sweet to dry wines. Its selections include the award-winning Water Wheel that has Bartlett pear and fruit cocktail flavors with goldenfruit and floral aromas as well as Grindstone that has a velvety taste with plum and violet aromas.
Friendly and Knowledgeable Staff
A memorable wine tour is more than high-quality wine and enjoyable amenities. The people you meet from management to your tour guide, to the production team, to tasting room staff are key in whether your experience is one to remember and worth having again. The Rocky Top staff continues to excel in providing top-notch Southern hospitality to visitors who travel from all over Tennessee and beyond. Here are just a few examples of the wonderful feedback the staff is always grateful to receive.
Trip Advisor Reviews
Had a great time! Learned a lot about wine. We had an OUTSTANDING instructor in Mr. Randy. Very knowledgeable about every stop we visited. Every winery was filled with super friendly people. We had an awesome group. Would definitely do it again.
– Mike H. [January 2021]
Randy was our guide on the wine tour. It was fun and informative! Enjoyed some great wines. [Hillside] had the best poured. Would definitely go again!
– Dawn M. [January 2021]
My mother, sisters and I had such an amazing time. Ron, our trail guide, was great! We loved each of the 3 wineries but also loved learning more about Sevierville, as none of us have been there before. All of the employees we encountered were outstanding. We felt so welcome. We will DEFINITELY return and let everyone we know to visit!
– G.T. [one month ago]
Aly was wonderful!! Super friendly and helpful! We enjoyed our wine tasting and the product is great! A beautiful selection!
– Miriam H. [three months ago]
We went on the [Rocky Top Wine Trail] tour today, and our guide was Ken. The tour was amazing!! We had the best time! Ken was so awesome and made the tour so much fun. The wine was so good and the experience was even better. Would definitely recommend, and we would totally do it again!
– Kaitlyn B. [last year]
Scenic and Fun Location
People often think of traveling out west to states like California, Oregon, and Washington or going east to New York for a gratifying wine vacation. But wine lovers can also visit some of the best wine destinations the U.S. has to offer here in Tennessee. Rock Top Wine Trail is in the East Tennessee region, which is proudly called Tennessee wine country. With a variety of fruit provided by numerous farms in the region, Tennessee wineries primarily use homegrown produce to create their great tasting wines.
Right along the border of East Tennessee, you can discover the beauty of nature and new adventures in the Great Smoky Mountains. The Smokies are spread across more than 500,000 acres that are home to many species of wildlife and more than 100 species of trees. Be prepared with comfortable shoes and clothes to explore several sightseeing spots including waterfalls and trails like Laurel Falls Trail and Rainbow Falls Trail and valleys like Cades Cove.
Last but definitely not least are the many options for dining, shopping, and other attractions in the towns of Gatlingburg, Pigeon Forge, and Sevierville. You’ll be sure to find delicious food at places like Puckett’s Gro. & Restaurant and Holston’s and fun times at attractions like the Titanic Museum, WonderWorks, the Hollywood Wax Museum, and Foxfire Mountain.