The Rocky Top Wine Trail – Great Smoky Mountains
Photo Credit: @rockytopwinetrail

Discover The Rocky Top Wine Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains

The Rocky Top Wine Trail consists of wineries serving up sweet and dry wines sourced with Tennessee grapes and served with shining hospitality.

Featured in this Article:

Rocky Top Wine Trail Tennessee Wineries
Additional Tennessee Wineries in the Smokies
Restaurants near the Rocky Top Wine Trail

While in the Smoky Mountain region, fill up your car to visit the wineries along the Rocky Top Wine Trail. Along the way, you can taste sparkling wines, white and reds and blueberry wines with many of the grapes sources right here in Tennessee. Couple your trip with a few dining destinations and you’ll find this stretch of road will fill your vacation with plenty of memories for years to come. Read along to find what you can experience along the way.  

Rocky Top Wine Trail Tennessee Wineries

Hillside Winery - Sevierville

Hillside Winery is the perfect way to start your Smoky Mountain adventure. Its red roof and wrap-around porch are a sure giveaway that fun is about to commence. Once inside, you’ll notice a large retail space to sip and shop or for your designated driver to peruse while you head back to the tasting room to savor. Banked by a bird’s eye view of the wine making process, the tasting room offers limited free tastings seven days a week. Make sure to try the bubbly sweet Muscadine Spumante wine which is made with 100% Tennessee Muscadine and sports a beautiful Pipevine Swallowtail on its label. On top of it all, they buy nearly 80% of their fruit locally. “The passion we have for Tennessee and making Tennessee products is evident in our wines, says Katie Collier, wine operations manager. “We could buy cheaper fruit elsewhere, but we believe in Tennessee farmers and their hard work.”

Apple Barn Winery - Sevierville

Producing apple-based wines onsite since 1994, Apple Barn Winery is just across the road from the Little Pigeon River and is part of a whole apple mecca of sorts. On the hill behind the winery, there is a trellised orchard of four apple varieties – Jonathan, Macintosh, Granny Smith and Winesap. After crushing the apples and blending them with juice and yeast, the fermentation process begins. The dry apple wines are aged up to a year in American, Hungarian and French oak barrels, while the sweet ones are fermented in stainless tanks up to 60 days prior to bottling. Unlike grape-based wines, apple wines do not require lengthy periods of aging. “We’re in the South where all the sugar is. Go up north and experience the sugar-fraught,” says Assistant Manager Mack Ford with a wink. There are a plethora of goodies to choose from in the gift shop and the displayed bottles dripping with awards from which you can sample their latest incarnations. 

Mountain Valley Vineyards - Pigeon Forge

Mountain Valley Vineyards opened in 1991 and is Tennessee’s largest winery. Just beyond the Titanic Museum headed toward Gatlinburg on the right, you can’t miss the flagstone rotunda from the road. Scoot on in to the tasting room to sample a host of French and German-style sweet wines where tour guide Angel Bradley says, “The more you go, the better this is going to be.” Try the Mountain Valley Red which has been their most popular wine since the winery’s inception and is made with 100% Tennessee concord grapes and other native varieties. They offer several gift baskets filled with wine and cheese for purchase or you can select your favorite combo to be enjoyed out back on their patio. Free tours of the production facility are available noon to 5 p.m. every day.

Mill Bridge Winery: Winery & Cidery - Pigeon Forge

Photo Credit: @rockytopwinetrail

The Little Pigeon River weaves her way through this area and can be seen in all of her glory as you cross the bridge into an area of Pigeon Forge called the Old Mill District established in 1830. While exploring this area, stop in at the inviting little yellow cottage known as Mill Bridge Winery. It opened in 2016 and soon added a line of ciders upon its debut. You may come for the wine, but you’ll stay for the ciders. Start your tasting off with a bit of the bubbly Sonata that’s perfect for mimosas or Indian Summer, a sparkling blueberry wine. Or, you may just want to go ahead and grab a flight of ciders to enjoy out on the intimate back deck overlooking the river. Either way, you can’t go wrong as this simple respite is a peaceful way to sip your way through the afternoon. 

Additional Tennessee Wineries in the Smokies

Sugarland Cellars - Gatlinburg

This full-scale winery is situated adjacent to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park entrance in a plaza of several lodge-style establishments. Upon entering Sugarland Cellars, lift your gaze to the chandelier completely made from sparkling wine glasses. Make your way further in and you’ll see the tasting room cozied up among wine barrels well within sight of the production facility. The wine portfolio here ranges from dry to sweet paying homage to the Smokies with names like Hellbender, Elkmont and Mountain Laurel. Most of the Sugarland Cellars staff are from the area which can come in handy, especially if you’re interested in learning about extra shortcuts to where the locals go. They’re also ready to share the stories of those gorgeous peaks calling your name.

Gatlinburg Winery - Gatlinburg

Photo Credit: @gatlinburgwinery

Home of the unique and world-famous cotton candy wine, Gatlinburg Winery creates sweet wine flavors you won't find anywhere else. Cotton candy wine comes in original (a sweet grape wine with a push of vanilla), blueberry and peach flavors. The winery also has a white wine Mountaingria that has splashes of mango, peach and lemon flavors; Key lime cheesecake that is sweet, creamy and refreshing; a muscadine Great Smoky Red and the sparkling Mystic Moonlight with a hint of honeysuckle. 

Tennessee Mountain View Winery - Sevierville

Enjoy some time on the patio and sipping local wine at the family owned and family grown winery, Tennessee Mountain View Winery. Set against the Great Smoky Mountains, you'll find one of the largest selections of wines including sweet, semi-sweet and dry wines. Try an assortment of four wines paired with local cheeses or savor a local cheese board with your wine of choice, featuring three different cheeses, three salamis, sweet fig spread and a variety of crackers. It's a great way to spend a long afternoon in the mountains.

Restaurants near the Rocky Top Wine Trail

Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant - Sevierville

While traveling the Rocky Top Wine Trail, you may want to stop for a bite to eat. There is Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant, conveniently down the road from Apple Barn Winery. Housed in an expanded 1870s farmhouse, the restaurant was started in 1986 and still retains its home-sweet-home charm to this day. It’s why so many folks have made frequent returns for more than 30 years in an attempt to relive fond childhood memories. 
The restaurant is divided into several rooms much like the old house, but with two special tables outfitted with porch swings on the original porch. There’s always a wait for these, but folks don’t seem to mind. No matter where you sit, apple fritters are served with apple butter sourced from next door at the Apple Barn and Cider Mill along with non-alcoholic juleps as complimentary starters all day, every day. Don’t miss the Famous Fried Chicken or maybe Momma’s Country Meatloaf is more your jam. Regardless, save room for apple cobbler.

Clifftop Restaurant at Anakeesta - Gatlinburg

A great way to end your day is with dinner at Anakeesta. Escape the hustle and bustle of downtown Gatlinburg by hopping aboard the world’s only chondola which is half chair lift, half gondola. You’ll ride up the mountain for about 20 minutes before experiencing what can only be called nature’s ultimate theme park and a first-rate, open-air dining hall, Cliff Top Grill and Bar. Sip on a local beer paired with perhaps a burger sourced from farms in the area, all while soaking up those stunning panoramic views.

Find even more Tennessee wineries with these articles:

Your Guide to Some of Tennessee's Wineries & Vineyards

Cheers to the Country: Four Tennessee Wine Trails You Don’t Want to Miss

Wineries in and around Nashville

Among the Vineyards in West Tennessee

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