Wine-maker hopes E. Tenn. gets new designation - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Wine-maker hopes E. Tenn. gets new designation

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By JOHN THOMPSON
Johnson City Press

BUTLER, Tenn. (AP) - Wayne Gay is one of a kind. His Watauga Lake Winery is the only commercial producer of wine in the highlands of Carter and Johnson counties.

But Gay does not wish to remain unique. He is hoping a proposed federal wine-producing designation for the region will be approved and more wineries will be attracted to the area. Such designations are officially called an American Viticulture Area and are made by the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.

Gay is not afraid of competition. He said the best wine-producing areas have so many wineries that a thriving tourist industry develops, with wine trails attracting connoisseurs to the region.

Some of the most famous are in Napa County, California, and New York's Finger Lakes region.

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