A Brief History of
Grape Growing and Winemaking in Tennessee
During the late 1800s, vineyards were flourishing in Tennessee, mostly in areas that were believed to be unsuitable for other agricultural uses. At the time, it appeared that grape-growing would become one of Tennessee's most important cash crops. However, Prohibition all but ended this promise in 1919. It is just within the last quarter of the 20th century that grape growing (and winemaking) has seen a remarkable recovery.
In 1973, seven individuals interested in viticulture and oenology gathered around a kitchen table in Clarksville and organized The Tennessee Viticultural and Oenological Society (TVOS.) From this small beginning, TVOS membership has grown by leaps and bounds and includes both amateur and commercial grape growers and winemakers.
The Tennessee Farm Winegrowers Alliance (TFWA) was formed to promote the sales of Tennessee wine and to facilitate the relationship between Tennessee farmer grape growers and wineries. The result has become a major agri-business in Tennessee.
Now TFWA and TVOS work together to coordinate and advance the efforts of all Tennessee grape interests, including promotion, information, and legislation.