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.
Boutier Wine & Design owners James and Laura Cawthern oversee a collection of award-winning, locally produced red, white, and fruit wines. Inside their facility, the couple casts casual vibes across a variety of special events, including Ladies Night on the first Thursday of every month and Wine Down Fridays, when visitors can celebrate the weekend by sipping wine instead of by fervidly burning their work clothes. In addition to their potables, the Cawtherns help lift spirits with personalized gift baskets and custom labels that outfit bottles with personal photos.
Adam Dalton Distillery's namesake aims to concoct craft liquor with a special distillation method that increases quality and decreases hangovers, according to Mountain Xpress. The spirited establishment's handcrafted rum pours as freely as the sky every time Fred Astaire performed his rain dance, along with an expansive roster of other drinks at a full-service bar, including beer, wine, and whiskey. As guests sip, their minds are free to wander to football games broadcast from televisions, warm paninis that complement cold brews, and regular live music or open-mic nights. Beer caps stud the corrugated-metal bar's surface, stretching out with colorful logos like a racecar driver's sleeve of corporate tattoos.
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.
Spotlights glint off a floor-to-ceiling, curved fishbowl wall, where cavernous steel pots house Lexington Avenue Brewery’s signature beers and the 92-foot adjoining bar seats patrons busy imagining the effervescent hops nearby. Locally sourced ingredients and beef raised on the brewery’s private farm complement head brewer Chris Whitted's unfiltered, additive-free pours, which pair up with burgers, tacos, and noodle dishes inspired by Italian cuisine. Melodies strummed by live musicians ricochet across the eatery’s exposed-brick walls from the special performance venue, where tables and a private bar seat up to 100 people and the chattering ventriloquist dummies they carry with them.
Modeled after an Old World wine cellar, WineStyles's shelves are lined with rare bottles accrued by its staff of in-house experts hailing from quality vineyards across the globe. The shop's bounty includes handcrafted gift boxes and baskets and merchandise, such as guidebooks for translating secret codes etched in cork. If a specific bottle is missing from the selection, the quaff gurus place an order that often arrives within 24 hours. Along with retailing wine and imbibing gear, WineStyles's crew grants guests the opportunity to sample new pours at frequent events and two-hour tastings three nights a week. For dedicated aficionados, the chief wine taster chooses two bottles to send to wine-club members along with tasting notes that detail their origins, a winery description, and suggested food pairings.