Tennessee’s most visited wine trail is right here in the Smoky Mountains! As you plan your vacation to Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, or Gatlinburg, you may be looking for something new and interesting to do during your trip. How about touring the wineries and cider houses along the Rocky Top Wine Trail?
Imagine learning about the wine and cider-making process, sampling local wines and ciders, and then taking home bottles of your favorites. The Smokies are known for world-class attractions, delicious restaurants, impressive scenery, and epic retail therapy. Find all that and more at the wineries and cider houses along the Rocky Top Wine Trail.
Take time to savor the flavors of local grapes and apples as you visit award-winning wineries. The Rocky Top Wine Trail consists of these Smoky Mountain area wineries:
Producing Italian-style and celebratory wines with Tennessee grapes, Hillside Winery has something to satisfy every taste and for every occasion. Don’t miss the opportunity to try a Southern classic, the Muscadine Mist. This winery in Sevierville serves wine by the glass and cheese trays to enjoy as you sip. Plan to linger in the outdoor seating area after enjoying your complimentary wine tasting. Guests at Hillside Winery can also take part in family-friendly winery tours. Bonus – snap a souvenir photo with the butterfly mural!
Apple Barn Winery
This winery is unlike any you’ve ever visited. A true gem in the Smoky Mountains, the Apple Barn Winery uses locally grown apples instead of grapes. Your time spent at the Apple Barn Village will be a highlight of your trip. The beautiful winery sits on the Little Pigeon River adjacent to the famous Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant, Applewood Farmhouse Grill, and the Apple Barn General Store. While you’re there, don’t miss the other shops and eateries too.
Apple Barn Cider House
Vintners use unique filtration and pasteurization methods to craft the hard ciders at Apple Barn Cider House. These processes result in clean and crisp flavors. They use locally grown apples to craft the ciders on site, and a bottle (or case) makes for a sweet Smoky Mountain souvenir. Sample a variety of ciders to find your favorites. The Apple Barn Cider House is adjacent to the Apple Barn Winery and the other charming Apple Barn businesses.
Mountain Valley Winery
One of the oldest wineries in the state, Mountain Valley Winery is a must-visit for wine enthusiasts. This award-winning winery has earned more than 1,000 medals, and during your visit, you will see why. Specializing in sweet and fruit flavors, Mountain Valley Winery offers a carefully curated selection of wines. Be sure to try the Red Velvet with notes of cocoa and vanilla, leaving you with the sense of savoring a sweet confection! Plan to visit between noon and 5 pm to enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour.
Mill Bridge Hard Cider Company
Located in Pigeon Forge’s Old Mill Historic District, Mill Bridge Hard Cider Company is a charming destination. Sample ciders during your visit, and then linger with a glass of your favorite as you relax on the outdoor patio. The patio overlooks the Little Pigeon River, and the breathtaking scene is one you’ll remember forever. Mill Bridge Hard Cider Company offers a variety of flavors so there is something for everyone to enjoy. Plus, the cidery has a yummy selection of meats, cheeses, and other snacks. Have a charcuterie-style picnic al fresco as you take in the views of the river. Make a day of it and visit the other shops, boutiques, and restaurants in the Old Mill Historic District.
Self-Guided Tour of the Rocky Top Wine Trail
To travel the trail yourself, simply get a Rocky Top Wine Trail passport and tour it at your own pace. No reservations are necessary to take your own journey through the Rocky Top Wine Trail. Download a passport or pick one up at any of the participating locations. Get your passport stamped at each winery because guests earn a free gift at the third and fifth stops. The self-guided tour is a romantic and memorable thing to do while celebrating an anniversary or honeymoon.
The best part about the self-guided tour is that you can complete the trail in one day, over a span of days, or throughout several trips. This gives you the flexibility to fit your winery and cider house visits into your Smoky Mountain vacation itinerary. Three of the wineries are in Sevierville, and two are in Pigeon Forge. Plan a day in each city to sample wines, and then savor everything else that Sevierville and Pigeon Forge have to offer.
For example, the Apple Barn Winery and Apple Barn Cider House are both in Sevierville at the Apple Barn’s inviting property of shops and restaurants. Take advantage of being at the Apple Barn by lingering around the property and immersing yourself in this historic destination. Plan your Apple Barn visit here.
Each property along this trail is open daily. Learn more about the self-guided tour here.
VIP Shuttle Tour
For the ultimate Smoky Mountain wine experience, make reservations for a VIP shuttle tour along the Rocky Top Wine Trail! You won’t need to worry about having a designated driver; your knowledgeable guide will safely transport you as you visit three wineries. Your tasting extravaganza will include Mountain Valley Winery, Mill Bridge Hard Cider Company, and Hillside Winery. At each location, guests will enjoy six samples and a 15% discount on purchases.
Planning a bachelorette party in the Smoky Mountains? The VIP shuttle tour is an excellent choice for celebrating with your girlfriends! For your next girlfriend’s getaway, women’s weekend, or other celebration with your best friends, schedule a VIP shuttle tour of the Rocky Top Wine Trail.
At Hillside Winery, guests on the VIP shuttle tour will enjoy a complimentary cheese plate. Plus, guests will receive a swag bag filled with goodies and souvenirs from your memorable day. Learn more about the Rocky Top Wine Trail VIP Shuttle Tour here.
Additional Winery and Cider House Tours in the Smoky Mountains
The same great folks at the Rocky Top Wine Trail offer other experiences. Try a new tour every time you visit the Smoky Mountains!
For example, those looking to expand their horizons will enjoy the Shots and Glasses Tour. This incredible tour will lead you to two wineries, a cider house, and a distillery! This tour also includes lunch at Quaker Steak & Lube in Sevierville.
Click here to see all available wine tours in the Smoky Mountains.
Touring the Rocky Top Wine Trail
The Rocky Top Wine Trail is a treasured piece of the beloved Smoky Mountain tourism industry. There are endless things to do in Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, and surrounding areas. Customizing each vacation is what makes coming to the Smokies so exciting. No two trips are the same, and each one seems to be more memorable than the last. As you create your perfect trip, carve out some time to spend on the Rocky Top Wine Trail.
Read more about each winery here:
Join the Rocky Top Wine Trail Wine Club to keep your vacation vibes fresh all year! Members receive exclusive perks such as discounts on purchases, premium tastings, and wine shipped straight to your front door. Learn more about the Wine Club here. If you like wine and hard cider, then you will love your time at these Smoky Mountain wineries.
Authored in Appalachia || Amy Morton