History of Nine Lakes

In the 1930s and ’40s, the Tennessee Valley Authority built 32 dams along the Tennessee River system to control flooding, generate hydroelectric power for remote regions, and create a 650-mile navigable route between Knoxville and the Ohio River. Six of those dams created nine lakes within an hour’s drive of Knoxville: Norris, Cherokee, Douglas, Melton Hill, Watts Bar, Fort Loudon, Tellico, Chilhowee and Calderwood Lakes. Today these Nine Lakes and their tributaries, combined with valleys and ridges surrounding them, provide a unique growing region for vineyards, which are flourishing on Tennessee’s gentle hills.