If you know anything about me, you know that I LOVE wine. I would say my love for wine and visiting vineyards started because I worked at Grandfather Vineyard in college. I was a Public Relations major and was doing an internship at the Watauga Democrat Spring of my Junior year. I wrote articles for the Watauga Democrat, the Mountain Times, the Blowing Rocket and their annual magazine publication. The magazine is kind of a tourist-type publication since Boone is a huge tourist area. I was asked to write an article about wineries in the area. I reached out to the three big wineries in the High Country, and Grandfather Vineyard was the first and only one to reach back out. I went to interview the winemaker, Dylan Tatum. It was so cool to see how they make the wine and do a wine tasting. Dylan and his dad, Steve, the owner, offered me a job to work there. I ended up reaching back out and letting them know I would love to work there. So it began, my love for Grandfather Vineyard, and wine.
I had just turned 21… so I liked sweet wine. They of course taught me to like dry wine, and all wine. My favorite wine now is Pinot Grigio and Dry Rose’. Grandfather Vineyard is so beautiful and was an amazing place for me to work. I worked there that summer of 2014 then continued to work through the school year. I made my classes so I could work multiple days during the week. Not only was it a great place to work, but I learned so much about wine and how it’s made.
Grandfather Vineyard grows their own grapes, but also bring a lot in from California and Oregon. Their vineyard has over 5 acres of grape vines that were planted in 2003 on the Tatum’s private land. Seven years later in May of 2011, the Vineyard, coupled with the quickly growing Winery, opened the Tasting Room to the public.
The vineyard is an amazing family business, and I was so lucky to be a part of it while in college. I made some amazing lifelong friends from working there. Dylan’s now wife, Nicole, is one my favorite people. She moved to the area after college and took an accounting position. She started dating Dylan and we became quick friends. She now runs the tasting room, and I love going back to see her.
I would encourage anyone who likes wine and beautiful views to check the winery out. You can do a wine tasting, a flight, or grab a bottle/glass of wine and head outside to enjoy the scenery. They sell cheese and some snacks—my ALL TIME favorite cheeses from local Ashe County Cheese and English Farmstead. You can also bring in food. You can pack your own charcutterie board or pick up a sandwich from Eat Crow Café just down the street.
The vineyard is goes up the mountain and then you have the Watauga River and a view of Grandfather Mountain as well. It’s seriously the perfect spot. It’s sooo nice during the summer. Kid and dog friendly. I will continue to visit for the rest of my life. And I will encourage you to go and visit if you live in the area. It’s a quick day trip from Charlotte, Wilkesboro, Winston Salem, Greensboro, Asheville, etc. They offer a variety of wines ranging from dry, sweet, sparkling and dessert style. Tell them I sent you 😊
I also worked a lot of weddings there. Perfect place to get married, especially if you went to App State and the mountains hold a special place in your heart.