The logo for Cades Cove Cellars is a black bear with a wine glass for a snout. The winery in Townsend opened last month.


When it comes to adult beverages, East Tennessee has been better known for moonshine than fine wine.

But we do have some local wineries including one that just opened.

Winery in Townsend embraces East Tennessee. Emily Stroud and Jerry Owens

It's a place where sophisticated machinery bottles a beverage with a lot of history.

"I've had a love affair with wine for a long time. I've made wine since back in the early 1960s. Started out as a hobby. Outgrew my basement, outgrew my massage, then I finally had to go legal," Jerry Reed said.

The owner of the winery in Townsend first opened a winery in Loudon County in 1984 then sold it about a year ago and moved.

"Had a chance at a piece of property over here and so we took it and started from there," he said.

Jerry Reed and his family started Cades Cove Cellars. It opened about a month ago.

"One of the things in Cades Cove obviously is the wildlife so that's why we chose the bear," he explained.

A black bear is their logo. The bear's snout is a wine glass.

"While we were under construction we had bears back here on the crush pad back here. We even had one bear that tried to get in to our glycol chiller. You can still see his claw marks on the back of the chiller," Jerry Reed said.

Visitors are welcome to step up to the tasting bar and try some of the wines. Just don't expect any high brow discussion.

"I try to demystify wine. I'm not one who launches off and goes into a big direction of taste this and smell that and do all this other stuff. It's all about what you like," he said.

You may like to see the actual bottling. That sophisticated machinery produced 1,200 bottles an hour. That's 100 cases an hour.

"Very few moving parts in it. It's all done by compressed air. We don't have any gears and all this other kind of stuff that usually gum up and go bad or whatever. It's really a sweet piece of equipment," he explained. "It will keep two of three people hustling I'll tell you that. At the end of the day you know you've done some work."

At the end of the day Cades Cove Cellars plans to be a thriving business as well as a good neighbor.

"We're trying to keep everything local. We're trying to fit in with the area and fit in with the mountains and the greenery and everything else," he said.

They even used trees cut down on the property to make a large custom wine rack.

"There's about 1,100 bottles of wine in there," he said.

That's a lot of wine. You're welcome to taste it in Townsend.

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