Although it may not be as well-known as Northern California’s Wine Country, the Great Smoky Mountain area is a wonderful destination for anyone who enjoys a nice glass of red, white, or rosé. Gatlinburg, TN and the surrounding cities are home to the Rocky Top Wine Trail, a collection of five wineries that offer complimentary samples and tours to visitors.
To take advantage of the Wine Trail, you can simply stop by any of the participating wineries during their normal operating hours; no special reservations are required. Be sure to get your Rocky Top Wine Trail Passport stamped at each location because you’ll receive free gifts as you complete the tour! To help you make the most of your next vacation, the Bearskin Lodge has put together a guide to the Rocky Top wineries in Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains with free tastings.
Mountain Valley Vineyards has been a can’t-miss destination in the Smokies since 1991. This excellent winery specializes in French and German-style wines and also features a superb selection of sweet fruit wines, such as muscadine. Mountain Valley is a great place to learn about the winemaking process, as guests can see the barrel room, where the wines are matured, and the bottling operation. If you visit during the fall, you might even see locally grown grapes being crushed at the winery!
Sugarland Cellars is another one of the best wineries in Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains. All of the wines at Sugarland Cellars have a fascinating story about the history of the Smokies printed on their label. For instance, the Century Red (1802) wine tells the story of the Ogle family, who built the first log cabin in Gatlinburg.
As you may have guessed by its name, the Apple Barn Winery is famous for its apple-based wines. Located in the Apple Barn Village, this winery makes its wines from the apples grown in the orchard next door. Some of the most popular varieties sold at the Apple Barn Winery include the Orchard White, Apple-Raspberry, Apple-Peach, and the Apple-Pomegranate.
If you’re a fan of Italian-style and sparkling wines, you’ll love Hillside Winery. Visitors to Hillside will find spectacular Pinot Grigio, Sangria, Sauvignon Blanc, and Raspberry Blush. This winery gets 80% of its fruit from Tennessee farmers, mostly from within a hundred miles of Sevier County. In an average year, Hillside presses nearly 1.4 million pounds of grapes!
Mill Bridge Winery is situated steps away from The Old Mill, a historic gristmill in the Smokies that has been grinding grain into flour for over 187 years. The winery boasts a lovely patio where guests can enjoy a glass of wine on the banks of the Little Pigeon River. In addition to its fantastic wines, Mill Bridge Winery also offers local cheeses, imported cheeses, salami, jams, and other tasty foods.
When you stay at the Bearskin Lodge, you will be near all of these phenomenal wineries in Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains. Located right on River Road, our hotel is just minutes away from all of the fun in town and the spectacular scenery in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. With garage parking, private balconies with lovely views, an outdoor pool, a lazy river, and the comfiest beds in town, Bearskin Lodge has everything you need for an unforgettable vacation. To start planning your getaway, browse our selection of Gatlinburg hotel rooms!