I know that a mountain vineyard and winery is not the first thing that come to mind when you think about the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina. In actuality we stumbled on this Banner Elk, NC spot purely by accident. On our anniversary trip earlier this month we were driving to find a pottery shop to look for some plates that John has had his eye on. When we arrived the shop was closed. Who knows why, but COVID19 sure has brought on the unusual. Spotted out of the corner of his eye when we turned around was a simple sign “Grandfather Vineyard”. Why not! Nothing was beckoning us and the kids weren’t in the backseat groaning, so we turned in. The sweet girl near the entrance waved us toward the overflow parking lot.
As we walked toward the building there were tracks bustling around the backside of a large, beautiful barn. When we rounded the corner we could see that this was THE place to be on a Friday afternoon. Apparently everybody else already knew that! Tents, tables, and outdoor chairs were set up along the banks of the Watauga River and near the barn for people to gather in socially distanced ways.
What to Expect at this Mountain Vineyard & Winery
Stop by this mountain vineyard and winery for a visit Monday-Saturday 12pm to 6pm or Sunday 1pm to 5pm. If you are there on a weekend you may get the enjoy live music and snacks from the Eleven80 Food Truck. We highly recommend the pimento cheese fritters with pepper jelly! Grandfather’s has been growing grapes and making wines since 2003 and offer a selection of dry whites, rose, dry red, sweet and even bubbles. Order your bottle, glass or 4 mini glass wine flight and head on down the river bank to sit back and relax for the afternoon. All types of people will be around enjoying the fresh air and ambience. We saw families with small children climbing out on the river rocks and splashing around. There were friend groups laughing and relaxing after a long hike. A quiet older couple snuggled up next to the river and soaking up their time together could be spotted from afar.
Grandfather Vineyard & Winery was such a pleasant and unexpected surprise. We’ve been telling all our friends to get up there for an afternoon/evening they won’t soon forget. It’s the perfect place to end a day after hiking or biking or driving the Blue Ridge Parkway.