High Country Wineries - Grandfather Vineyard

High Country Wineries — Winery Reviews

Today we traveled to the High Country Wineries of North Carolina to visit three unique wineries, each with stunning vistas and delightful wines.  The wineries, Linville Falls Winery, Grandfather Vineyard, and Banner Elk Winery, are located in the western North Carolina mountain area nestled in with the ski resorts and smaller mountain towns.  The journey to get there is full of winding roads, steep inclines and fantastic views.  

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Linville Falls Winery

The first winery we stopped at was Linville Falls Winery in Linville Falls, NC.  The winery is set on a 40 acre plot of land growing Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon.  Since the winery has only been open for a few years, they have arrangements with other local vineyards as well as some in California to buy the fruit and make the wines at their facility on property.  The wines they have are mostly dry with one or two sweeter wines.  Of particular interest are the Cabernet Sauvignon, which displayed deep dark smokey notes as well as a light balance of fruit, and the Syrah which was light and peppery.  An interesting wine they have is the Cherry Bounce.  It is a fortified wine made from fermented sour cherries and apple brandy.  It follows the same recipe that Martha Washington was famous for and it doesn’t disappoint.

Grandfather Vineyard

The next stop on our list was Grandfather Vineyard.  Located at the foot of Grandfather Mountain, this vineyard is in a picturesque setting with the mountain as the backdrop and the Watauga River as a boarder.  The mountain vineyard is stunning and makes for a grand first impression as you park your car in the lot.  They also buy some fruit as well as use their own to produce their wines. Our top pick white wine here was the Pearls of the Vine, a bubbly white blend consisting of Seyval Blanc and Traminette which was crisp and clean with hints of apple.  For the red we picked the 58° Fusion, which is mostly Syrah with a splash of Merlot and it was smooth, smokey and delightful.

Banner Elk Winery

Our last stop lead us to Banner Elk Winery and Villa.  It is one of the highest altitude wineries on the east coast which provides warm days and cool nights, perfect for growing grapes.  The tasting room is cozy inside, much like a mountain lodge with oversized furniture, exposed rafters and a tall vaulted ceiling.  They offer different wines that aren’t always easy to find in the south.  The Seyval Blanc is crisp and clean with notes of citrus.  The rosé they offer is made from the Steuben grape and mostly dry with hints of cranberry.  They also offer a Marechal Foch which is a lighter style red full of berry flavors.  If you’re in the area and are looking for accommodations, they also have a wonderful bed and breakfast on site.

The High Country Wineries are definitely ones to visit when you’re in the mountains.  They’re not too far off the beaten path as they’re just right around the corner from most attractions in the area.   If you’re there, you need to plan a visit and see for yourself.


Check out our other NC Wine Month postings:

Posted by Matt Kemberling

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[…] wineries we reviewed were each unique in their own charming ways.  The High Country Wineries offered a breathtaking view of the mountains in a quaint setting.  The Western North Carolina […]

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