Mother Earth Meats stocks groceries picked with care, including dry goods, produce, and craft beers, alongside a lunch menu of meals cooked onsite. Try the grassfed burger or lobster bisque for a nutritious bite between scouring the aisles for the perfect tomato.
Nestled in the mountains of East Tennessee, Hillside Winery presses and ferments its catalog of Italian-style and sparkling wines on site, often using fruit sourced from local farms. A rustic tasting room puts visitors in relaxation mode, while they sip sangiovese, pinot grigio, and Asti-style spumante from complimentary tasting glasses or prepare to engage the gift shop’s stuffed bear in staring contests. Behind the scenes, guests can see the polished, stainless-steel drums that press the grapes and store the wines, and observe as each bottle is capped, not corked. Butterflies captured by nature photographer Patricia Ferguson grace Hillside’s wine labels, adding a delicate note to each wine’s flavor profile.
Nestled between Little Pigeon River and the myriad attractions of Apple Barn Village, Apple Barn Winery dispenses bottles of its handcrafted orchard wines. Within the pastoral building, tasting glasses stand sentinel on a polished wood bar as servers pour dry, semisweet, and sweet wines. Some varietals are matured in French, Hungarian, and American oak barrels with toasted interiors that create drier wines and exude a strong aroma of Paul Bunyan. The winery offers a wide variety of apple wines with flavors complicated by the inclusion of such fruits as pomegranate, raspberry, and strawberry.
Cuisine Type: Muscadines
Most popular offering: Muscadine wine, juice, jelly
Delivery / Take-out Available: No
Alcohol: Wine Only
Outdoor Seating: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Pro Tip: Come try our wines and stay for the view.
The lush greenery seems to extend in every direction at Tsali Notch Vineyard, the horizon broken only by views of the mountains within the Cherokee National Forest and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Here, most of the 6,435 vines are home to five varieties of ripening muscadine grapes. Stretching more than 21 miles, these plants yield a harvest that is transformed into handcrafted wines, jams, jellies, and salsas. On weekends, the tasting room is open to visitors, who are welcome to sample the fermented and cultivated fruits of the farmers' labors.
Tim Mercier grew up beneath the shade of apple trees at Mercier Orchards, helping his father tend the fertile mountain soil while snacking on juicy winesaps plucked straight from the branch. To this day, Tim continues to run his family's 50-year-old farm, where he harvests apples by hand, wears John Appleseed’s cooking pot hat, and manages the market alongside his wife, children, and grandchildren. At the 200-acre farm, tree branches sprout dozens of kinds of apples, including sweet ambrosias, tart dandee reds, and crisp pink ladies. Beyond the apple groves lie stretches of cherry trees, peach trees, and blueberry bushes, as well as strawberry fields blossoming with chandler, camerosa, and sweet charlie varieties.
The Mercier family opens their farm to visitors year-round, inviting guests to stroll the verdant grounds and pick their own berries and apples. Afterwards, guests pop into Mercier Orchards’ rustic shop to survey jugs of fresh cider, colorful jams, and caramel-coated candy apples. In the bakery, they sample apple cider donuts, pecan breads, and the farm's famous fried pies, which can now be found on the shelves of local Whole Foods.
On any given day, visitors to the tasting room at Blue Ridge Cellars can explore the world through their taste buds. Here, oenophiles pour glasses and curated flights of wines crafted locally on the North Georgia Wine Trail or internationally in Europe, South America, or South Africa. Meanwhile, a simple menu of artisanal small plates helps guests discover their own perfect pairings for the wine.
And yet the selection doesn't end there: an adjacent boutique houses shelves of local reds and whites, including organic and sulfite-free vintages, as well as a deli counter stocked with Boar's Head cheeses and Columbus cured meats. Because they know that tasting wine should be a true experience, Blue Ridge Cellars also hosts live music and organizes its own tours of the North Georgia Wine Trail. These tours may include visits to several wineries, stops for taking pictures and eating a picnic lunch, and the chance to spend the night in an old wine barrel.