Tour #13 – Combination of Mushrooms, Cheese, and Wine

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The tour begins with a visit to Monterey Mushroom’s seven-acre production building and five-acre compost facility. Known for popularizing the portabella, Monterey Mushrooms is the largest mushroom grower in North America. They sustain their operation with natural fertilizers and compost much of their waste into soil amendments. Next, participants will travel to Smoky Mountain Farm and Ranch. A tour of Smoky Mountain Farm and Ranch will highlight their beef and club calf herd, including competitive 4H and FFA Angus, Shorthorn, Shorthorn Plus and commercial show heifers and club steers. Participants will also get to view their biodiesel production facility. Smoky Mountain Farm has a respect for their land and use every available resource to improve and protect it for future generations. The next stop will be to Sweetwater Valley Cheese and Farm. Sweetwater Valley Cheese will host lunch and a tour of their cheese production facility and on-farm retail store. Sweetwater Valley Cheese controls the process from cow to consumer to create high-quality cheddar cheeses. The tour will wind down with a visit to Tsali Notch Vineyard and Winery. The vineyard specializes in muscadine grapes, grown on over 6,000 vines on 21 miles of trellis and covering 35 acres of a 202-acre estate. The property has an average elevation of 1,150 feet and is ringed by spectacular views of the Great Smoky Mountains.