A Guide to Wine Tasting in Tennessee

Tennessee is one of the most exciting places to visit and if you’ve never been, I highly recommend it. Second to my hometown, which is my favorite place to be, Nashville simply can’t be beaten.

Downtown is home to the Grand Ole Opry and the Ryman Auditorium. The Parthenon is close by, and The Hermitage is just a short jaunt. Don’t forget to stop in for some Nashville hot chicken at Hattie B’s and walk around the majestic Gaylord Opryland Resort.

Memphis has Graceland, Beale Street, jazz, barbecue, and The Peabody. There are the Great Smoky Mountains, the U.S. Civil Rights Trail, Gatlinburg, and way too many other things than I have time to mention. It really is one of the most beautiful states you’ll see.

But, we’re all really here for the wine, right? Let’s take a look at what “The Volunteer State” has to offer and explore the best places for wine tasting in Tennessee.

Wine Tasting in Tennessee

  1. White Squirrel Winery
  2. Crown Winery
  3. Highland Manor Winery
  4. Stonehaus Winery
  5. Grinder’s Switch Winery
  6. Sugarland Cellars
  7. Goodwater Vineyards
  8. Cades Cove Cellars

1. White Squirrel Winery

white squirrel winery
Image: whitesquirrelwinery

I can’t get enough of wineries with ridiculous names, so you know I stopped here. It’s a romantic getaway and a family-owned operation.

Winding through the backroads of the Tennessee countryside will bring you to 90 acres of rolling hills and vineyards.

The tasting room includes an outdoor patio and a romantic loft. in case you need a place to stay, the Loft Airbnb is available. Included in your stay are a White Squirrel bottle of your choice, a private tour of the grounds, and a homemade breakfast with fresh fruit from the orchard.

The winery gets its name from one of the largest populations of white squirrels anywhere in the world. They’re extremely rare, but for some reason, they really like Kenton, Tennessee.

The White Squirrel offers three levels of membership, too. So if you like what you try, you can have it shipped to you at home quarterly.

2. Crown Winery

crown winery
Image: crownwinery

A Tuscan-style villa sits atop 18 acres of some of the most fertile soil in Tennessee. It mimics the vineyards of the Italian countryside and lends itself well; to both old and new world wines.

Be whisked away in the afternoon with a glass of your favorite and a breathtaking view. Take a tour, wine down, or enjoy a second Sunday brunch.

There are 17 wines from which you can choose, and if you like any of them, you can join their wine club for quarterly shipments of your favorites.

Crown Winery also has an award-winning brewery with excellent pub food when you’re in the mood for a different atmosphere.

They host an annual grape stomp and Oktoberfest every year, among other public events for everyone to enjoy.

3. Highland Manor Winery

highland manor winery
Image: highlandmanorwinery

This winery calls to every oenophile with its claim to fame – the oldest winery in Tennessee. It’s been in operation since before prohibition and is owned and operated now by a third-generation master winemaker.

This family farm on the Cumberland Plateau is home to many different microclimates, soil types, exposures, and elevations, which means they have the freedom to grow many different types of grapes, and they do.

There are currently 15 different varietals to try as the vineyards continue to grow.

However, the most important thing to the Moody family is keeping true to the winemaking tradition while modernizing the processes to adapt to an ever-changing culture.

In addition to their wines, the Moodys have a beef cattle operation, a large apiary, and a shop with jams and jellies made from the fruits they grow.

Enjoy a free tasting, a picnic in the cellar, or a tour of the grounds. Horse trailers and RVs are welcome!

4. Stonehaus Winery

stonehaus winery
Image: stonehauswinery

Not to be confused with Stonehaus Farms in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, Stonehouse Winery in Crossville, Tennessee resides on the Cumberland Plateau.

Their huge selection granted them the honor of being the official wine of the Grand Ole Opry.

Complimentary tastings will help you find your favorites, at which point you can sign up for the wine club to have them shipped to your door. You can also find these wines in liquor stores across the state, thanks to statewide distribution.

While this winery feels more commercial than family-owned, the primary draw is that tastings are free and there’s a bigger selection than you’ll find anywhere else.

The prices are also insanely affordable, allowing you to buy more than just a few bottles.

5. Grinder’s Switch Winery

grinder's switch winery
Image: gswinery

For a huge helping of southern charm, don’t pass up Grinder’s Switch. The story behind Joey and Gail’s “out-of-control hobby” is a sweet one.

In 1982, they built their own log cabin for raising a family. As their interest in grapes continued to grow, they soon realized that they had a large enough vineyard to do something with.

Nestled in the middle of 110 acres, their 7-acre vineyard is now the reason why they turned their hand-built log cabin into a tasting room.

The tank room can hold over 15,000 gallons of wine and this working winery is a dream come true for a small town couple.

The wines are delicious and approachable, so everyone can find something they like. They currently have 9 production wines to choose from, but the real draw is the view and the hospitality here.

6. Sugarland Cellars

sugarland cellars
Image: sugarlandcellars

Passing through Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains, I happened upon this winery with the promise of a lot of sugar.

The whole winery is built from repurposed barn wood, taken from local barns that were falling apart. This tribute to the history of the area is what promises a quaint and cozy experience.

It’s part of the Rocky Top Wine Trail with sister wineries Hillside Winery, Apple Barn Winery, Mill Bridge Winery, Mountain Valley, and Little Bear Winery, all of which are one of a kind.

The Rocky Top Wine Club offers shipments of your favorite wines from any of these wineries. Some fan favorites of Sugarland Cellars are the 1802 Dry Red, Loganberry Elkmont wine, and Cherry-Kee dark cherry wine.

Tastings are free, wine slushies are available for purchase, and you can enjoy a cheese try while you sample.

7. Goodwater Vineyards

goodwater vineyards
Image: goodwatervineyards

The Goodwater Pond Venue is the perfect place to be wined and dined. The staff will cater to your every whim while you enjoy the scenery. Tastings are free and come with a complementary Goodwater Glass.

This vineyard really is a family affair. Parents, children, husbands, wives, aunts, and uncles all take part in caring for the vines, harvesting the grapes, and operating the winery.

While they don’t have acres and acres of grapes, and they only have a few varietals, they still manage to operate two tasting room locations with 8-10 wines you can try.

They also have a winery in Gatlinburg that is worth checking out if you are in the area!

8. Cades Cove Cellars

cades cove cellars
Image: cadescovecellars

This winery sits in a cove in The Great Smoky Mountains and is packed with wildlife and rich history.

The buildings, which are from the 1800s, are part of the National Park System, which means that when you step foot onto the property, you may feel just like a pioneer.

The family is passionate about preserving the historical integrity of the winemaking that happens here, and they have a combined 80 years of experience in the industry. They’re inspired by their connection with nature and believe that making wine is just as much of an art as it is a science.

Tastings are free every day. You can enjoy them with a view of the production room or take them outside and enjoy the nature and history. Bald eagle and white-tail deer sightings are common.

They also have seasonal selections like wine slushies in the summer along with plenty of public events.

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