Who says good wine cannot be produced in the mountains of Western North Carolina? Take a close look at these high country gems and you’ll soon understand that hiking and biking aside, you have a week’s worth of wine tasting to enjoy from your vacation home or condo on Sugar Mountain. We cover Banner Elk and Linville Falls Wineries in this blog. Next, we’ll take you to Grandfather Mountain Vineyards & Winery. banner elk winery building

In 2006, the age-old tradition of winemaking made its debut in the region with the establishment of Banner Elk Winery, the first commercial winery built in Avery and Watauga counties. This home town winery processes its own as well as other locally grown grapes into prize winning wines. Awards received to date in 2013 include two Gold Medals at the 2013 International Eastern Wine Competition for the 2011 Banner Elk Red and 2011 Marechal Foch. Notable awards received in 2012 include Banner Elk White with a Gold Medal in the “Other Whites” division at the 2012 NextGen Wine Competition in California, and the only Gold in this division. And that’s just “a tasting” of awards for this distinctive winery. Explore all your tasting options and more at

Another distinctive winery in Avery County is at Linville Falls, a 20 minute drive from Sugar Mountain, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway. Owner Jack Wiseman’s first passion was Christmas Trees; his second wine. With more than a million Fraser Firs in cultivation, Jack turned his attention a few years ago to growing grapes and producing wine with the same intensity and commitment. Linville Falls Winery is now a family affair. The picturesque winery features a Tuscan-inspired tasting room where you can enjoy award winning High Country wines and sit back and relax in front of a roaring fire on their stone patio. The winery has recently expanded to include covered outdoor patio tables and chairs, the perfect venue to enjoy live entertainment on Sunday afternoons. Visitors are encouraged to stroll the many trails throughout the 40 acre farm with its staple grapes Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon, blueberries, raspberries and natural spring. Open 7 days a week in the afternoons, this sprawling vineyard is well worth the drive. Learn more at

You’ll need a comfortable base of operations for your wine touring.
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