Great wines start with great grapes

Award Winning Wines from Tsali Notch Vineyard

Award Winning Wines from Tsali Notch Vineyard, Madisonville, TN.

Nine Lakes Wine Country has some of the best wineries in Tennessee!

Our wineries focus on varietals that thrive in our East Tennessee climate. The muscadine, for example, has been called “America’s Grape.” An East Tennessee vineyard specializing in growing Muscadines has now made Tennessee wine history, producing the most decorated wine of any kind made in Tennessee. Called “Hiwassee,” it is an off-dry white wine produced from Muscadines grown by Tsali Notch Vineyard near Madisonville. It has won five wine medals in 2016-17,  more than any other vintage in Tennessee wine history. Hiwassee won a Concordance Gold Medal at the 2016 Wines of the South Regional Wine Competition in Knoxville, Tennessee, as well as Best of White, Best Muscadine, and Best of Tennessee Fruit. Hiwassee also received a Silver Medal in 2016 and a Gold Medal in 2015 at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, the largest wine competition in the United States.

Wines of Distinction from Nine Lakes Wine Country

Wines from the Nine Lakes Region of East Tennessee have been earning accolades for years. Regional vintners have a proud tradition of growing world-class wine grapes, and continuing award recognition helps winemakers better tell the story of the unique terroir on which their grapes are grown. Awards allow consumers to recognize regions that have truly unique growing conditions that are expressed in the wines. Here are some award winning wines from recent competitions

Latest Competition Results

Wine Competitions – Why they matter

Wine competitions are a good independent assessment of quality of the wines and skills of the vintner. Overall, good wines tend to win medals, but the reverse is usually not true. Multiple awards for the same wine from different competitions are a true gauge of a wine’s quality. Consistent superior performance among all wines is a true gauge of a vintner’s skills.

Wine competitions usually have four judges on a panel evaluating the wines. That creates the checks and balance system of wine judging. All four judges may perceive the wine as a quality wine, but differ in their individual perception of perfection. A wine scoring two Gold and two Silver votes is impressive but it only scores a Silver medal. If three judges give it Gold, clearly an indication of high quality, but the fourth holds out at Bronze, it gets a Silver medal. While good wines tend to rise to the top, Gold Medals are remarkably elusive.

For a wine to be judged a Concordance Gold wine, all four judges would have to award it a Gold medal. That’s why a Concordance Gold, when all four judges vote Gold, is so rare. They all must agree on the highest level, on the same wine, at the same time. For a wine to be judged Best of Show, a larger pool of judges ranks the wine against all the highest awarded wines in that category; truly a wine that is among the finest in the world produced by a highly skilled vintner.

A number of competitions use a point scale to rank wines. A Double Gold wine is one that scores from 94-100 points. These wines are among the finest in the world. A Gold Medal wine is an exceptional wine, scoring from 89-93 points. Near the pinnacle of achievement in their class, these wines set the standard for all others of their type.

Wines awarded a Silver medal are outstanding. Showing refinement, finesse, and complexity, these wines are among the best examples of their class.