For those wanting to relax with a glass of wine while looking out into a beautiful vineyard in the autumn season, Grandfather Vineyard and Winery is your destination.
Grandfather Vineyard is located in Banner Elk and offers five acres of grapevines while producing 5,000 cases a year, according to Assistant Tasting Room Manager Christine Fronzaglia. Whether a visitor wants to sip on wine in the tasting room or take a stroll by the Watauga River, Grandfather offers an enjoyable experience for all.
What sets Grandfather Vineyard apart from other High Country wineries is the variety of products it offers, Fronzaglia said. While others may have eight or 10 wines on the menu, Grandfather will often offer a fair amount more, including dry reds, dry whites, sweet wines and a few ciders.
People can enjoy wine flights with four different tastings, or full wine tastings with a souvenir glass. Full bottles are also offered for purchase. Grandfather Vineyard is child and pet friendly, as long as pets are on leashes. Walk-ins are welcome and reservations are not needed, but the tasting room is first come first serve.
“Our staff are friendly and will answer any questions you have about wine in general, our wine or things to do in the area,” Fronzaglia said.
On site, Grandfather Vineyard grows crisp dry white grapes used to make such as pinot gris and chardonnay, as well as hybrid grapes including vidal blanc, chambourcin, St. croix, chardonelle, marquette and foch. Grapes not grown on site are brought in from other North Carolina locations or California. All of the wine is made at the Grandfather vineyard though. This includes all of the crushing, pressing, fermenting, bottling and labeling processes.
Going into the fall season, Fronzaglia said the vineyard will likely produce a cabernet franc, a cabernet sauvignon, sauvignon blanc and a petit verdot. Autumn also starts the harvesting season for Grandfather.
Fronzaglia said that toward the end of September to early November, vineyard employees will be using their own grown grapes or bringing in grapes for the wine making process. The wine making process takes place on site, and customers can watch the operation to learn how it’s done.
Grandfather is open seven days a week: noon to 6 p.m. during Monday through Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sundays. From December to May the establishment is closed on Tuesdays. From May through October, Grandfather offers music in the vineyard every Saturday and Sunday, Fronzaglia said. She added that food truck by Eleven80 Eatery has offered food to guests during the summer, and may continue through the fall season.
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