Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN


December 27, 2012

Welcome to Wine Country



Chestnut Hill Winery

At Chestnut Hill Winery, exit 322 on Interstate 40 and just off Peavine Rd., business is booming as guests stop at the "Place to Taste."

The winery currently produces 10 wines, including the popular Hillbilly Shine wine.

"Our winemaker thought we needed something new," explained Darrin Stryker. He and his wife, Trudi, own the winery with his father, Harold.

Hillbilly Shine Wine is a blend of several different wines with a natural watermelon flavor. The label features an outhouse and a still.

"It's a fun wine," Darrin said. "So many of our visitors want to take something home with them from Tennessee."

Other wine varieties are Special Reserve Red Onyx, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Mandolin Blanc, Dulcimer White, Sweet White Muscadine, Sweet Red Muscadine, Volunteer Peach and Blackberry.

Special Reserve Red Onyx is a blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petite Verdot red wines, and it is bursting with fruitiness with a delicate oak after tone. It pairs well with pasta and red sauce, red meats and more.

The full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon is a treat when paired with pork, lamb or beef. Merlot is aged in French oak, which provides smoothness and its distinctive taste.

Mandolin Blanc is a clean, crisp, dry white wine that is similar to Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigo. The Dulcimer White is a semi-dry white wine with a hint of sweetness.

Sweet White Muscadine is made from Southern Muscadine grapes and is a full-bodied dessert wine that pairs well with sliced apples and pears or poured over vanilla ice cream with fresh berries. Sweet Red also pairs well with fruits.

In the coming year, two more wines will be added, a sweet concord wine and a Riesling. Fiddler Red is expected in the spring. It's the latest in a musical line of wines.

"We have plans for several other wines to take on musical names," Darrin said. "We want people to associate those names with us."

Chestnut Hill Winery is a producer, distributor and retailer.

"Everything is done right there at the winery," Darrin said.

Harold added the winery doesn't distribute to liquor stores, restaurants or other retailers.

"We don't rely on wholesalers," Harold explained. "The only place to buy Chestnut Hill Winery wine is at the winery."

The past year has seen a tremendous growth in business, Harold said.

"It's quality and customer service, no question about it," he said.

The winery looks far and wide to find the best quality grapes for its product. The Strykers were happy the state had removed rules regarding Tennessee-grown grapes, allowing wine producers to find the right grape for their product. While winemaking is an agricultural process, Chestnut Hill Winery has elected to stick to wine production and not growing grapes.

"Though there are some wineries that do have vineyards, we decided those were two separate entities and decided not to go that route," said Harold.

Winemaking at Chestnut Hill is overseen by Tom Reed, winemaker. Reed grew up in East Tennessee and has grown up with the wine business, the Strykers said. The winery has a fermenting capacity of 23,000 gallons.

The gift shop features wine-related products, from glasses and wine racks to kits for making wine at home. Those are popular as many families have recipes that have been passed down through generations. Of course, if they'd like to sample the recipes offered at Chestnut Hill, they are happy to oblige.

"People enjoy coming in because this is a happy place," Harold said. "They are greeted, talked to and treated well."

Darrin added, "We had a group of customers spend over an with us just  visiting. If people are not in a hurry, they are welcome to stay and chat."

No charge tastings are offered of all Chestnut Hill wines. Guests can also call ahead to arrange for a tour of the winery and learn more about the wine-making process.

If you're looking for something unique to take home with your wine, the Hillbilly Shine wine glasses, which go hand-in-hand with the popular wine, are a customer favorite.

Grape seed oil is another grape product finding popularity with cooks. Harold explained the grape seed oil is a healthy oil for cooking, offers lots of antioxidants and is good for those watching their cholesterol. It also has no flavor, so the flavor of the food shines, not the oil.

Fresh, homemade fudge is also offered, as well as jams and jellies made by area Mennonites. Chestnut Hill Winery also offers local honey.

One unique item is a wine bottle holder made from the stump of a fir tree in China. Nature makes the bottle holder and no two are alike.

Also found in the gift shop are an assortment of unique, Tennessee-made products. There are locally made wine bottle lights, which offer a beautiful glow, and local artists produce beautiful painted wine bottles to add a special touch to any décor.

The shop offers the Sweetwater Valley Farms cheese line, and "Old Crow Walking Sticks," handmade in Crossville, are also available. The staff is happy to help assemble gift baskets for any occasion.

The family recently lost its gift shop manager and bookkeeper, family matriarch Nancy Stryker, who passed away in October. The family has been filling in where needed following her death.

The Chestnut Hill Winery location also boasts a meeting room perfect for small parties and receptions and the Brass Lantern Restaurant next door.

"It's one of the finest dining experiences in Cumberland County," Darrin said. "We invite everyone to come and check it out."

Chestnut Hill Winery is at 78 Chestnut Hill Rd., with the building facing Peavine Rd. next to the 322 on-ramp for Interstate 40. GPS coordinates are latitude 35.9608 and longitude -84.9829. Call 707-7878 or visit to learn more. Chestnut Hill Winery is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. The winery is closed for all major holidays.

A Salute to Industry series is a project of the Crossville-Cumberland County Chamber of Commerce to feature local industries and businesses.


Text Only
  • FFG Resident Services Painting.jpg FFG Resident Services presents painting to the Pat Summitt Foundation

    A dramatic portrait of Pat Summitt, painted by Chuck Jensen, was presented to the Pat Summitt Foundation by Fairfield Glade Resident Services at its Community Information Event on memory care.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 127 seniors JosephZarolla-W6.jpg Zarola entertains 127 Seniors

    The members of the 127 South Senior Center met Friday, July 25, for bingo and Mexican Train domino game. Conversation, along with coffee and sweets, was enjoyed by all. Helen Lord called the bingo numbers, and the prizes were furnished by Eye Centers of Tennessee. Life Care Center checked everyone's blood pressures.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Marriage licenses (Published July 30, 2014)

    July 29, 2014

  • Habitat-Group photo-Crisp Dedication .jpg Habitat celebrates 55th home dedication

    Anne Crisp is excited that she and her two daughters have a home to call their own. Cumberland County Habitat for Humanity (CCHFH) dedicated the 55th home to be built in partnership with low-income families. Crisp put more than 500 hours of "sweat equity" into her home and has completed 50 hours of self-improvement, where she attended classes on budgeting, home maintenance and good neighbor among others.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • Gypsy Rose to visit Fair Park

    The Cumberland County Playhouse is currently performing the award-winning Broadway play “Gypsy.” A great American story set during the 1920s fading vaudeville circuit, "Gypsy" portrays the rise of famed burlesque performer and stage mother Gypsy Rose Lee as she journeys across the country with her mother and sister during a time when Vaudeville was dying and burlesque was born. The complex character of Rose could be described as bold and brassy, as she steamrolls everyone in her way to turn her daughters June and Louise into child stars.

    July 28, 2014

  • plateau gardening-springBlooms4361.jpg Match August garden tasks to plant biology

    During all seasons in temperate climates like ours the greenery around us is changing. New shoots appear and leaves pop out of swollen buds after spring rains.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pleasant Hill Ramblings.jpg Landis reunites with Japanese teacher

    There is a special lady living in Pleasant Hill who spent 42 years of her life in Sendai, Japan, teaching English at a Japanese Christian school and as a missionary with the United Church of Christ Board for World Ministries.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lion of Year.jpg Lions Club recognizes Lion of the Year

    Charles Loveday, charter member of the Crossville Lions Club, was recognized as the Lion of the Year at the annual installation of officers picnic July 8. Loveday earned this award for his service as first vice president, membership chairman, eye glass chairman and his help with fundraisers and other matters where needed. From left are Loveday and President Gary Laura.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • 8-8 counseling center-play with dolls.jpg Christian Counseling Center celebrating 12 years

    Help the Christian Counseling Center of Cumberland County (C5) celebrate 12 years of community service. Dine at Ruby Tuesday of Crossville Aug. 8, 9 or 10. Print the flyer from the center’s website,, and give it to the server.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • A Time 4 Paws collecting shoes to help Soles4Souls in fight against global poverty

    Attention anyone with a closet! Those shoes no longer wanted are desperately needed to fight the human tragedy of global poverty.

    July 24, 2014