Nothing says summer like strolling through beautiful mountain vineyards and sampling some local wines made on site, right here in the mountains.
Grandfather Vineyard and Winery is a Banner Elk Winery and offers a unique scenery that sets it apart from other local vineyards.
Visitors can imbibe on all of Grandfather’s wine offerings by a river meandering through the vineyard with the widest selection of any season.
Tasting Room Manager Nicole Tatum said the winery harvests its grapes in the fall. During August through November, Grandfather employees crush the grapes then press and ferment them. Whites are bottled in late winter and early spring. Red wines are stored in barrels for anywhere between a year and a half and two years.
“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.
At any given time the 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 customers coming for the sweet wines. Prices for their wines are typically between $19.95 and $26.95. The vineyard also offers wine flights for $15.
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.
The vineyard, owned and operated by about 10 employees, opened in May of 2011 and produces about 5,000 cases a year. The vineyard sits on five and a half acres where pinot grigio, chardonnay and hybrid grapes grow, Tatum said. Some of these grapes are bred to withstand the harsh winters in the High Country and are more disease resistant. The vineyard’s elevation is at 3,300 feet on a 58 degree slope. The Appalachian High Country area was recognized as an American Viticulture Area only three years ago in 2016. The vineyard grows 10 varieties of grapes.
The vineyard first consisted of over five acres of grapes which were planted in 2003 on the Tatum Family’s land.
Visitors coming throughout the summer can experience live music in genres such as bluegrass, southern rock, jazz and country throughout the season.
This year marks the addition of Eleven80 Eatery’s food truck at the vineyard on weekends for the summer. Eleven80 is a popular Boone restaurant and is serving up a varied menu including southern favorites such as pimento cheese fritters and other fare such as Maine lobster rolls and tuna sliders.
For a full schedule of what will be going on at the winery and even for a live view of what his happening at the vineyard., visit their website at grandfathervineyard.com.