Grape growing in Tennessee went from being a major cash crop in the late 1800s to being virtually non-existent from prohibition until the early 1980s.
As winegrowers have transitioned from tobacco and learned how to better deal with Tennessee's hot and humid climate, grape growing is once again becoming a major cash crop.
There are now more than forty Tennessee wineries and nearly all provide wine tasting opportunities. Wineries are primarily concentrated in the northern part of the state extending in an arc from Memphis, through Nashville, to Knoxville.
Tours typically last from 30 to 60 minutes per tour and they are well worth your time to check out the different ones. Each one has their own flavors, beauty, and charm to experience.
What is even more awesome is that most wineries offer free samples of their wines when you go through a tour as well. Some do more formal tasting events as well. The tours are extremely interesting and fun to do too. They aren't just there to sample the wine that you're looking forward to but are actually very informative and you get to meet a lot of like-minded people usually that are also doing the tour. It's always nice to a fellow wine lover! - Be sure to call ahead if you are planning on doing a tour at one of the wineries or vineyards though to check on availability since many of them get very busy during season.