Just outside of Polk County alongside the mountains on Highway 411 in Delano, TN sits Savannah Oaks Winery, located just across from the beautiful Hiwassee river on Delano Road. Set in an old Cantilever Barn built in 1861, the winery's tasting room and gift shop adds rustic charm. The owner, Betty Davis said "I wanted to create a place with a classic Southern atmosphere that would also have a homey feel that would allow people to relax and enjoy their time here." The winery's 11,000 acres which include a thriving vineyard makes a beautiful setting for weddings and special events. Savannah Oaks Wine list include some interesting local names like; Hiwassee Red Huzzy, Ocoee Gold Sunset, Etowah Derailer and Savannah Red, as well as Moonlight Merlot, Royal Reserve, Baco Noir, White Muscadine, Red Muscadine, Catawba, Niagara. Their fruit wines include; Peach, Blackberry, Blueberry, Strawberry, Cherry and Razzle Dazzle. For more information call (423) 263-2762 or visit their website www.Savannah-Oaks-Winery.com.
Just a little further afield in Athens, TN is Striker's Premium Winery owned by Stanley Striker and Shannon Miller. Striker's Premium Winery and Tasting Room located at 480 County Road 172, Athens, TN offer a variety of sweet, semi-sweet, and dry wines. The winery which has been in operation for over 20 years, is nestled among the scenic views of McMinn County and enhanced by a flowing stream. Strikers wine list includes; Athenian Red, Baco Noir, Seyval Blanc, Ravat 51, Catawba, Niagara, Scuppernong, Cherry and Blueberry. For more information call (423) 507-8816.
For those who wish to try wine for the first time, it is recommended you start with a semi-sweet grape variety. Once you have acquired the taste, experiment with a sweeter or drier wine to suit your own personal preference.
Wine tasting is simple and just as it implies, a small amount of wine 1-2 mouthfuls is poured into a small glass or cup, just like when you taste a new ice cream flavor. Unlike the wine tasting done by professional wine connoisseurs, you do not have to swill it around your mouth, stick your nose in the glass to inhale its bouquet then spit it out. That is unless you really want to of course, but out of courtesy, I suggest you let the winery staff know in advance.
A toast to your health - "Cheers."