The Appalachian High Country of North Carolina is a beautiful place to visit year round. It is the first region to show signs of Autumn and the last area to experience Spring. It is also, as a general rule, always a little cooler in the summer compared to the lower elevations. This creates a challenging wine growing region but with the right varietals and wine making techniques, there are some great quality wines and beautiful wineries in this exciting area of North Carolina!
While there are a limited number of wineries in the immediate area, there are options for extended trips into Tennessee and the Yadkin Valley that are completely viable for a full day vineyard / winery tour trip. Most tours that we do in the area, however, concentrate on the three North Carolina High Appalachian wineries; Grandfather Vineyard and Winery, Banner Elk Winery and Linville Falls Winery.
The Appalachian High Country Wineries…
While all of our tours are custom for each group, most tours in this region concentrate on the following three wineries:
- Grandfather Vineyard and Winery
- Banner Elk Winery
- Linville Falls Winery
There are also plenty of breweries to visit in the area that can be combined with any of the wineries if you want additional options. In addition, there are a few nice wineries just over the border in Tennessee that we can visit, although it adds some time to any tour. The additional drive time in the local area however, is beautiful and sometimes worth it! It’s part of the experience! There isn’t a road in the region that isn’t scenic! The Yadkin Valley is also about 60 minutes away and can be a destination area for any wine tour but typically isn’t mixed with any of the wineries in the immediate area due to time constraints (vineyard / winery hours of operation).
A Typical Wine Tour…
Since there are only three wineries in this High Appalachian area, a wine tour will generally include visits to all three. We like to start groups at Grandfather Vineyard as seating along the river is the most desired location and you have to get there early in order to get these spots. We try to get there right as they are opening so that our clients can enjoy scenic river views and sounds of moving water with their wine experience. Grandfather Vineyard usually also has a fixed food-truck on site and it is a good spot for lunch or a snack before visiting all of the other wineries. From here, it usually doesn’t matter which order we go, but will normally recommend Banner Elk Winery next and then end at Lineville Falls Winery. We can also mix in a waterfall if people want to add a little scenery into their wine tour or a ride along the Blue Ridge Parkway as we go from one spot to the next. Want to include a short hike with your wine tour? We can do that too. It is your day to enjoy however you want!
A few things to consider/remember about this region:
- Most tours in this area last 5-6 hours as there isn’t a lot of drive time to get to the wineries.
- Most of the wine offered here will be traditional dry styles of wine although sometimes the wine makers may make a particular wine off-dry or semi-sweet (not to be confused with “Sweet Wines” which are generally lusciously sweet).
- The wineries are open year round but this area is going to be affected more by winter weather incidents due to the elevation.
Book your wine tour now with Van in Black and you too can enjoy the wineries in this area without the burden of driving yourself.