EXPERIENCE WINE COUNTRY IN THE SHADOW OF WORLD FAMOUS GRANDFATHER MOUNTAIN
Who says good wine cannot be produced in the mountains of Western North Carolina? Take a close look at our award winning high country vineyards and you’ll soon understand that hiking and biking aside, you have a week’s worth of wine tasting to explore from your vacation home on Sugar Mountain. Last blog we covered Banner Elk and Linville Wineries. Now we take you to nearby Grandfather Mountain Vineyards & Winery.
Grandfather Vineyard & Winery enjoys a coveted home at the base of Grandfather Mountain just off Highway 105, the main corridor between Boone and Linville, North Carolina. This first producing winery in Watauga County has grown in both stature and ambiance over the past few years. Its terraced vineyard and winery, nestled right on the Watauga River, includes a charming tasting room, comfortable lounge chairs and picnic area, perfect to enjoy an afternoon of wine tasting. Grandfather Vineyard & Winery is all about the designing touch and expertise of Sally and Steve Tatum, who began their love affair with Banner Elk years ago as owners of the highly successful Tatum Galleries.
Sally’s talent for design and decoration is evidenced in the quaint tasting room with its covered porch, and the ambiance of the surroundings they have called their own for many years. If you look closely you will see the Tatum’s home of more than 30 years behind the winery. Probably more than any other, this vineyard will remind you of the French countryside. The tasting menu includes nearly a dozen different wines, from a smoky Zinfandel to a honey-sweet Ice wine. The vineyard now produces fifteen different varieties of grapes—Steve describes it as an “experimental vineyard”—and as a result they do a lot of blending. Their Profile Red contains ten different red varieties, making for a very unique flavor.
These days their son Dylan, 29, is the wine maker. Intrigued by wine making in college, he went on to study viticulture (the study of grape production) and enology (the study of winemaking) at Surry Community College. He also received a business degree from Appalachian State University, providing a solid knowledge base for managing the winery. With his insightful and educated hand the Tatum’s have racked up their share of medals. Today the winery produces 1,500 to 1,700 cases of wine annually, most of which is sold at the winery itself, with some bottles being sold at local restaurants and shops. The winery is open summers every afternoon, with music on Sundays.
Visit www.grandfathervineyard.com to see their live video cam. If you sit a spell and enjoy on Sunday afternoon, you’ll be delighted with live mountain music.
Need a base of operations for your wine touring?