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Hillside Winery
by
Kathy Sullivan

Hillside WinerySummary: Hillside Winery is located in Sevierville, Tennessee, near the Smoky Mountains. The winery is set back from the busy tourist/resort Route 441 that runs between Sevierville and Gatlinburg. Hillside Winery focuses on sparkling and Italian-style wines.

Springtime at Hillside Winery is particularly beautiful with the landscaping around the white building, an array of red and white flowers. Inside the winery is divided into three sections. The first section is filled with an enormous number of gift items to browse including a large assortment of wine bottle holders. Other potential gifts available include ceramics, wine glasses, wine-related books and so much more. In one corner of the room a large grizzly is surrounded with numerous stuffed bears. A note says, “Please don’t feed the bear.”

Hillside WineryThe next area of the facility is the tasting room where wine enthusiasts can taste wines and purchase wine by the bottle. Behind the wood tasting counters large windows allow visitors to see into the third area of the facility where the winemaking takes place.

Hillside WineryOn the day of our visit, Doug Seitz, executive winemaker, was actively involved in bottling the Raspberry Frizzante. For sparkling wines, a special machine is used to bottle the wine. A metal plate covers each bottle as it is being filled.

Hillside Winery is the third winery started by executive, Don Collier. Jonathan Ball is vice-president of operations. Jonathan is an enthusiastic individual who derives much satisfaction from working with the public. His enthusiasm for Hillside Winery and the Tennessee wine industry is genuine and engaging.

Currently Hillside Winery produces 10,000 cases of wine using 80 percent Tennessee fruit. In 2010 Hillside Winery crushed 650,000 pounds of fruit for the Hillside Winery, Apple Barn Winery and Mountain Valley Winery. In 2011 the winemaker expects to surpass 1,000,000 pounds of fruit. Don promotes the use of Tennessee grapes at the winery. He also pushes the growers to grow quality grapes.

Hillside WineryHillside Wines

Hillside Winery focuses on Italian style wines and sparkling wines. Doug uses 80 percent Tennessee fruit. Other fruit is sourced from Washington. Wine labels feature photographs of colorful butterflies. The photography is by Patricia Ferguson.

Raspberry Frizzante was a dark red produced from 100 percent Washington raspberries. The aroma and taste were very raspberryish. The sparkling wine was slightly sweet. This wine is CO2 infused. Black & Blue with 10 percent residual sugar was produced with blackberries and blueberries. It is the top selling wine at Hillside Winery. There were aromas and tastes of blueberries and blackberries. The finish was sweet and fruity.

Sonata sparkling wine was produced with Chardonnay and Cayuga grapes. There were floral and fruity notes on the taste. Muscadine Frizzante was produced with the Muscadine grapes Magnolia and Carlos. The straw colored wine was sweet and sparkling. The wine was reminiscent of grapes at Grandmother’s house.

 

Rocky Top Wine Trail

Hillside Winery participates with two other wineries in the Rocky Top Wine Trail. All three wineries are within three miles of each other. Pick up a passport at one winery and have it stamped at each winery. At the third winery, receive a free wine glass.

Hillside WineryThe winery tasting room section is large with a remarkable array of gift items. Tourists will enjoy browsing the gifts before leaving the winery. Be sure to try the Hillside Spumante and the Raspberry Frizzante when you visit.

Hillside Winery
229 Collier Drive
Sevierville, TN 37862

GPS: N35º 50.263’ W83º 33.672’

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