The city of Loudon is in East Tennessee, an area that is home to many wineries so if you are a tourist in the area and would like to take a winery tour you may find yourself spoilt for choices. Across the state, there are 37 wineries alone that belong to the Tennessee Farm Winegrowers Alliance and it is a popular industry that has some laws specific to this state that affect operations rather differently than in other parts of the country. According to Tennessee law, the Farm Wineries – which offer tours and tastings as well as wine for sale – can only do so with wine made from at least 95% of the fruit produced on the property but they cannot bottle their own wine. This is contracted to a standard winery instead and this type of operation is often referred to in others states as “Estate Wineries.” In short, these generally grow grapes but do not make or bottle the wine, as this is done elsewhere but they do offer tours of their vineyards where the produce is grown plus tastings and sales of the end product.
The closest winery to Loudon is the Tennessee Valley Winery which is owned by John Smook and located on the Hotchkiss Valley Road East, within the city itself. If you take this road in an easterly direction then turn right and drive for around 100 yards before turning left. It is way to find as it is just a few hundred yards from the interstate and up the hill so it is clearly visible as you approach it. Some of the wines of offer here include Cabernet Sauvignon, Concord, Country Red, Cynthiana, Golden Muscat, Mountain Blush and some seasonal fruity wines such as blackberry, strawberry, apricot honey or sweet peach based wine. There are over twenty varieties of award winning wines to choose from and this winery is open Monday to Saturday all day from 9am to 6pm and from noon to 5pm on Sundays. Regular events including wine festivals are held here throughout the year. These include Music on the Mountain a free event with live music for all ages so bring a picnic and enjoy dancing among the vines with your friends and family.
The Blue Slip Winery is located on West Jackson Avenue in Knoxville and was the first winery in the area as well as being the state’s first urban winery. All of the wines are produced here from grapes and fruit grown in the fertile Tennessee soil and is processed, fermented and bottled here on site. Wines available include a selection of red and white varieties such as southern favorites White Muscadine, Cayuga White, Chambourcin and Syrah as well as more unusual variations like their Apple Table Wine and “Big Blue” Blueberry. This winery is easy to find as it is situated in the heart of the historic old city district of downtown Knoxville in the well-known Hewgley Building.