Summer is a nice time to take a stroll through vineyards and enjoy wineries the High Country has to offer.

Grandfather Vineyard and Winery is located in Banner Elk and offers a scenery to visitors that sets it apart from other wineries around, according to Nicole Tatum, the tasting room manager at Grandfather.

Visitors can enjoy sipping on wine offered by Grandfather but a river the strolls through the vineyard. Tatum said the summer months offer a wider selection of wines than any other season.

Tatum said the winery harvests its grapes in the fall. During August through November, Grandfather employees crushing the grapes then pressing and fermenting them. White wines are bottled in late winter and early spring. Red wines are stored in barrels for a year and a half to two years.

Visiting Grandfather in the summer months is a nice way to enjoy the wineries new releases, Tatum said. This summer the winery will stagger new releases of 10 to 20 new wines — including pinot noir rosé, an Appalachia double — which is going to be a dry sparkling white, a sweet sparkling rosé, a vermentino, an oak chardonnay as well as several red wine blends.

Tatum said Grandfather Vineyard plans to have orange and cranberry juice to make mimosas with the sparkling wines.

“We really have something for everyone — from dry whites, dry red, dry rosé, semi-sweet, really sweet, dessert sweet, sparkling, stilled and fortified,” Tatum said.

Any any given time Grandfather Vineyard has close to 30 wines available.

Grandfather’s most popular wines are the dry reds with about 15 to 20 percent of the wineries clientele coming for the sweet wines. Prices for their wines are typically between $19.95 and $26.95. New this year, Grandfather Vineyard is offering wine flights — such as someone would see at a brewery — Tatum said.

The wineries tasting room allows guests to choose from four tasting experiences — eight dry wines for $10, four dry reds for $6, four dry whites for $6 or four sweet wines for $6. Reservations are not needed for the tasting room, and the area is pet friendly.

Grandfather Vineyard — family owned and operated by about 10 employees —opened in May 2011 and currently produces about 5,000 cases a year. The vineyard sits on five and a half acres where pinot grigio, chardonnay and hybrid grapes grow nicely, Tatum said. Some of these grapes are bred to withstand the harsh winters experienced in the High Country and are more disease resistant.

Visitors coming throughout the summer can experience live music in genres such as bluegrass, southern rock, jazz and country on Saturdays and Sundays. A food truck will also be on-site on select weekends listed on the vineyards website at

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