The Stories Behind The Wines

Here on the Gatlinburg Wine Trail, we want to provide you with more than just delicious wine tastings – although those are pretty important, too! We know that we’re privileged to live in the Great Smoky Mountain region, with gorgeous natural beauty and endless history. This is why we try to connect our wines to and teach our visitors about the place where we make the wines as much as possible.

When you visit the Gatlinburg Wine Trail, you’ll find that many of our wines have names with a story behind them. Whether you’re a history buff or a wine enthusiast, read on to learn more about how some of the wines from two of our wineries – Cades Cove Cellars and Sugarland Cellars – got their names.

Cades Cove Cellars: Inspired by the Smokies

When you visit Cades Cove Cellars, with two locations in Wears Valley and Townsend, you’ll notice that a lot of the wines are named after landmarks in East Tennessee and the Smokies. In fact, the winery itself is named after one of the local landmarks. Cades Cove is a valley in the Smokies that is known as being one of the best places to spot local wildlife, especially the white-tailed deer. 

Some of the other local places of natural beauty that have wines named after them at Cades Cove Cellars include:

  • Abrams Falls. Named after a Cherokee chief from the area, Abrams Falls is a picturesque trail from Cades Cove that takes you to one of the Smokies’ many iconic waterfalls. The falls are significant as they are the site of one of the area’s river otters! At the winery, you can enjoy the Abrams Falls wine, a refreshing white wine.
  • Roaring Fork. If you’ve visited Cades Cove Winery before, you know that our Roaring Fork wine is a white wine that tastes like summer and makes the perfect sangria. However, you might not have hiked the Roaring Fork Trail, one of the Smokies’ most popular loop trails. Take a step back in time and explore old farmsteads and log cabins, as well as other historic buildings. Walking along the Roaring Fork Trail, you’ll get a taste of what life was like for early settlers in Tennessee.
  • Porters Creek. Known as one of the best places to see the explosion of wildflowers in the Spring, the Porters Creek trail treats visitors and locals alike to old-growth forests, traditional farmsteads, and exceptional flowers. This trail inspired the delightful Porters Creek Peach wine, which is just as vibrant on the palate as the violets, yellow trilliums and geraniums are on the eyes.

Next time you’re in Townsend, stop by Cades Creek Winery and ask more about the places these Smokies-inspired wines are named after. If you want to try these wines for yourself, you can buy them here.

Sugarland Cellars: A Taste of History

Located in Gatlinburg, Sugarland Cellars Winery prides itself in its connections to the history of the Great Smoky Mountains and surrounding area. Preserving the natural beauty and carrying on the stories of the region is important to Sugarland Cellars. That’s why, every year, they partner with Friends of the Smokies to release a wine that raises money for the preservation of the national park.

The passion for history is reflected in their wines, each of which is named after something of historical significance in the region. Some of our favorites include:

  • 1802. A beloved wine, 1802 is a dry red with notes of cherry and blackcurrant. This wine is named after the year wherein some of the first settlements in Tennessee were established. To get a taste of what life was like in 1802, you can visit the Isaac Anderson cabin in Townsend, which was relocated from Knoxville in an effort to preserve one of the oldest buildings in the area. 
  • Wiley Oakley. Those who love a deep, flavorful wine will enjoy sipping on Wiley Oakley, dubbed the “Roaming Wine of the Mountains”, crafted with grapes and blueberries. This wine is named after Wiley Oakley, “the Roaming Man of the Mountains” (hence the nickname), a legendary figure who lived in Gatlinburg in the first half of the 20th century. He was known for his storytelling and his love for the Great Smoky Mountains, imparting his knowledge of the backcountry of the park to people throughout the United States. A local celebrity, Wiley Oakley met Presidents and other icons like John D. Rockefeller and charmed them with his zest for adventure.
  • Martha Jane Rose. Who doesn’t love a good rose? This sweet, refreshing wine is more than just a pretty name. The Martha Jane Rose is named after Martha Jane Huskey, the first person to settle in the town of Gatlinburg. Martha Jane was a widow with seven children and is admired for maintaining a farm herself after her husband, Billy, passed away.

Sugarland Cellars is a must-visit in Gatlinburg for any history lover. See where you can visit them here, or order some of their wines to enjoy at home.

We love how we get to share all of the things that make Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains remarkable, from both the past and present, at our five wineries along the Gatlinburg Wine Trail. We can’t wait to see you soon and tell you more about this amazing place where we make wine.

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