Six East Tennessee Wineries Win at Two Major Wine Competitions

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Four wineries from Nine Lakes Wine Country, members of Appalachian Region Wine Producers Association.

two bottles of wine, both award winning

Chambourcin Barrel #1, left, by Cellar 53 Winery in Brush Creek, Tennessee, won a gold medal at the Indy International Wine Competition recently.

“Look for more Chambourcin to be planted here in East Tennessee,” said James Riddle, President of the Appalachian Region Wine Producers Association.

Six East Tennessee wineries, including four from Nine Lakes Wine Country in East Tennessee, have earned honors at two major wine competitions recently: Indy International Wine Competition, and the Asheville Wine & Food Festival International Wine Competition.

Nine Lakes refers to the nine Tennessee Valley Authority-made lakes in East Tennessee within an hour’s drive of Knoxville. The region has been called Tennessee’s wine country, because its gentle hills are ideal for growing many varieties of wine grapes.

One of those varietals, Chambourcin, won a gold medal at the Indy International Wine Competition. Chambourcin 2014, Reserve Barrel No. 1, is a dry red wine crafted by the boutique winery Cellar 53 Winery in Brush Creek, Tennessee. It opened in 2015 on a family farm owned by Scott and Rebecca Paschal.

“All of the Chambourcin grapes used in this wine were grown on our farm,” said Rebecca Paschal, winemaker at Cellar 53. “This was the first harvest that we kept ourselves, to make into wine.”

Chambourcin is a French-American hybrid grape that is starting to make a mark in East Tennessee. Chambourcin is popular in France’s Loire Valley, with over 9,000 acres planted. Like Cabernet Franc, Chambourcin can produce big, rich red wines, and light, fruity rosé wines.

Chambourcin is extremely vigorous and disease-resistant, which makes it a good choice for vineyards in the humid mid-Atlantic region of North America.

“Look for more Chambourcin to be planted here in East Tennessee,” said James Riddle, President of the Appalachian Region Wine Producers Association.

“Many of the grapes grown in Tennessee are used to make off-dry and sweeter wines, but varieties like Chambourcin, Chancellor, Seyval and Traminette, used for dry wines, are gaining in popularity. Customers who prefer dryer wines are choosing these over traditional California wines when given the opportunity. With such versatility Chambourcin should have a prominent place in the future of the Nine Lakes wine industry,” said Riddle.

Cellar 53 also won a bronze medal for its Cayuga White at the Indy Competition. Two other East Tennessee wineries also won awards at the Indy competition as well: Cades Cove Cellars in Townsend, TN, won a silver medal for its Blackberry wine, and three bronze medals for its Chambourcin, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon selections. Spout Spring Estates in Blaine, TN, received a bronze medal for its 2016 Riesling.

At the Asheville Wine Competition a number of East Tennessee wineries won impressive medals:

Goodwater Winery and Vineyards in Mosheim, TN, earned a double gold medal for its Corot Noir; gold medals for Everything's Peachy and Goodwater Raz; and silver medals for Blackberry and Seyval Blanc.

The Winery at Seven Springs Farm received double gold medals for its Riesling, Moscato and Southern Belle wines; gold medals for its Farmhouse White, Heritage Red, Vineyard White, Royal Blue and Muscadine wines; and silver medals for its James's Peach and Red Muscadine wines.

Watauga Lake Winery in Butler, TN, won a double gold medal for its Duncan Hollow wine; a gold for Barely Peach; and silver for Tart 'N Blue.

Cades Cove Winery in Townsend, TN, won a gold medal for its Firefly wine; and silver medals for its Chardonnay, Fall Bounty, Riesling and Blackberry wines.

Spout Springs Estates and Winery in Blaine, TN, won silver medals for its Smoky Mountain Rose, Blackberry, Cabernet France, and Chardonnay wines.

The Appalachian Region Wine Producers Association is working toward establishing the first single-state American Viticultural Area in the Nine Lakes region of Tennessee.

“An AVA would help establish a sense of place and identity for our Nine Lakes Wines, which is so important in the wine industry,” said Riddle.

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Rebecca Williams

James R. Riddle
Nine Lakes Wine Festival
since: 11/2016
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