Banner Elk Winery: A Guide to North Carolina's Premier Vineyard

Banner Elk Winery is a charming destination located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. The family-owned and operated winery offers award-winning wines, scenic views, live music, and special events. Visitors are welcomed to enjoy the rustic elegance of the converted barn while sipping on some of the most acclaimed wines in North Carolina.

The winery has received numerous awards, including two Gold Medals at the 2013 International Eastern Wine Competition for the 2011 Banner Elk Red and 2011 Marechal Foch. The winery also offers daily and yearly memberships, and ships wines from California in first-use barrels. Visitors can enjoy wine tastings, food service, and stunning views of the NC mountains at Eagles Nest Winery, which is located inside the Banner Elk Winery.

Banner Elk Winery is a popular attraction in Banner Elk, NC, offering wine tasting, outdoor seating, and scenic views. Visitors who have rated it 4 out of 5 on TripAdvisor praise the winery for its great selection of wines and beautiful location. Whether you're a wine connoisseur or just looking for a relaxing day in the mountains, Banner Elk Winery is a must-visit destination.

History and Background

Founding of Banner Elk Winery

Banner Elk Winery is a family-owned winery located in the town of Banner Elk, North Carolina. The winery was founded in 2005 by Richard Wolfe, Angelo Accetturo, and Pete and Michelle Gerukos. Wolfe, an engineer, came to the mountains in 2001 to be the director of a new department at Appalachian State University — the Applied Science and Research Program. Wolfe and his partners were inspired by the natural beauty of the area and saw an opportunity to create a winery that would capture the essence of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

The winery is located on a 40-acre vineyard in the Avery and Watauga counties of North Carolina. The vineyard is situated at an elevation of 3,200 feet, making it one of the highest vineyards in the eastern United States. The vineyard is planted with French-American hybrid grapes, which are well-suited to the climate and soil of the area.

Wine Heritage in North Carolina

North Carolina has a long history of winemaking, dating back to the colonial era. The state has a diverse climate and soil, which allows for a wide variety of grape varietals to be grown. The first commercial winery in North Carolina was established in 1835 in the town of Medoc. Today, there are over 200 wineries in the state, producing a wide range of wines.

The Avery and Watauga counties are located in the western part of North Carolina and are known for their scenic beauty and outdoor recreation opportunities. The area is also home to a growing wine industry, with several wineries located in the region. Banner Elk Winery is the first commercial winery to be built in the Avery and Watauga counties, and it has played a key role in promoting the area as a wine destination.

Wine Selection and Tastings

Banner Elk Winery is a popular destination for wine lovers, offering a variety of wine tastings and experiences. The winery produces a range of wines, including reds, whites, and fruit wines, all made from locally grown grapes. Visitors can enjoy tastings of these wines in the winery's tasting room, which is open daily from noon until 6:00 PM.

Wine Varieties Offered

The winery offers a range of wine varieties to suit every taste. Visitors can choose from reds, whites, and fruit wines, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Seyval Blanc, Marechal Foch, and blueberry and ice wines. The winery's rose is also a popular choice among visitors. The winery's website provides a detailed list of the wines currently available, along with descriptions of each wine's flavor profile and suggested food pairings.

Tasting Experiences

Banner Elk Winery offers several tasting experiences to suit different preferences. Visitors can choose from a traditional wine tasting, a sangria tasting, or a wine flight. The traditional wine tasting includes a sampling of six wines, while the sangria tasting includes a sampling of three fruit wines. The wine flight includes a sampling of four wines, allowing visitors to compare and contrast different varieties.

Award-Winning Wines

Banner Elk Winery has received numerous awards and medals for its wines. The winery's 2009 Marechal Foch received the Best of Category-Red Hybrid and a Double Gold Award at the 2011 North Carolina State Fair competition. The winery's blueberry and ice wines have also received awards and recognition. In addition, the winery has won medals at the International Eastern Wine Competition. Visitors can taste these award-winning wines during their visit to the winery.

Vineyard and Production

Grape Cultivation

Banner Elk Winery is a family-owned business that has been producing quality wines since 2005. Their vineyard, located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, is home to several varieties of grapes, including Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, and Riesling. The vineyard is spread across 10 acres and is situated at an elevation of 3,000 feet above sea level, which provides an ideal climate for grape cultivation.

The winery uses locally grown grapes, which are carefully selected and handpicked to ensure the highest quality. The grapes are grown using sustainable farming practices, which help to preserve the natural environment. The vineyard is planted on French-American hybrid rootstock, which is known for its disease-resistant properties and ability to produce high-quality grapes.

Winemaking Process

Banner Elk Winery uses a combination of traditional and modern winemaking techniques to produce their wines. The grapes are harvested by hand and then sorted to remove any unwanted material. The grapes are then crushed and fermented using a combination of stainless steel tanks and oak barrels.

The winery produces several varieties of wine, including red, white, and dessert wines. The wines are aged in oak barrels for varying periods, depending on the variety. The winemakers carefully monitor the aging process to ensure that the wines develop the desired flavors and aromas.

Overall, Banner Elk Winery is committed to producing high-quality wines using locally grown grapes and sustainable farming practices. Their vineyard and winemaking process are a testament to their dedication to producing quality wines that reflect the unique terroir of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Visiting Banner Elk Winery

Banner Elk Winery is a must-visit destination for wine enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. The winery is located in an idyllic setting in the Blue Ridge Mountains and offers visitors a chance to taste some of the best wines in North Carolina while enjoying breathtaking views of the surrounding scenery.

Location and Scenery

The winery is situated at 60 Deer Run Lane, Banner Elk, NC 28604, and is surrounded by lush greenery, rolling hills, and pristine forests. Visitors can take in the stunning views of the mountains and the vineyards from the tasting room or the outdoor patio while sipping on their favorite wine.

Tours and Activities

Banner Elk Winery offers guided tours of the vineyards and the wine-making process, which is a great way to learn about the history and culture of the winery. Visitors can also participate in wine tastings, which are conducted by knowledgeable staff members who can help guests choose the perfect wine to suit their taste.

Live music is also a regular feature at the winery, and visitors can enjoy performances by local musicians while sipping on their favorite wine. The winery also hosts events and festivals throughout the year, making it a popular attraction in the area.

Accommodations and Amenities

For those who want to stay overnight, the winery offers luxurious accommodations at The Villa, which is located on the winery grounds. The Villa features spacious rooms with stunning views of the mountains and the pond, as well as a spa, a fireplace, and other amenities.

The tasting room is open year-round, and visitors can purchase their favorite wines to take home with them. The winery also offers a range of merchandise, including wine glasses, t-shirts, and other souvenirs.

Overall, Banner Elk Winery is an excellent destination for anyone who loves wine and nature. With its stunning views, top-quality wines, and luxurious accommodations, it is a must-visit attraction in North Carolina.

Visitor Experience

Banner Elk Winery offers a delightful experience to its visitors. The winery's staff is friendly and knowledgeable. They are always available to answer questions and provide recommendations.

Customer Service

Visitors appreciate the excellent customer service at the winery. The employees are friendly and welcoming, making guests feel at home. The hostess greets visitors with a smile and guides them through the wine tasting process. The wine pourers are knowledgeable and passionate about the wines they serve. They are happy to share information about the wine-making process and the winery's history.

Atmosphere and Ambience

The winery's atmosphere is warm and inviting. The tasting room is spacious and well-lit, with comfortable seating areas for visitors to relax and enjoy the wine. The outdoor patio offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and vineyards. Visitors can enjoy the fresh air and beautiful scenery while sipping on their favorite wine.

Events and Community Engagement

Banner Elk Winery hosts various events throughout the year, such as live music performances and wine pairing dinners. These events provide visitors with a unique experience and an opportunity to engage with the local community. Visitors can also participate in the winery's wine club, which offers exclusive benefits and discounts.

According to detailed reviews on TripAdvisor, visitors have identified several themes that make the winery stand out. These include the friendly staff, beautiful scenery, and delicious wine. General tips for visitors include arriving early to avoid crowds and taking advantage of the outdoor seating area.

Overall, Banner Elk Winery provides a memorable experience for wine enthusiasts and casual visitors alike.

Additional Offerings

Food and Snacks

Banner Elk Winery offers a range of food and snacks to complement their wines. Visitors can enjoy a selection of cheeses, crackers, and baguettes. The winery also offers a variety of gourmet snacks, including locally sourced chocolates and nuts.

For those who prefer a more substantial meal, Banner Elk Winery has a bar that serves light fare, such as sandwiches and salads. Visitors can enjoy their food and wine in the winery's tasting room or on the outdoor patio, which offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains.

Family and Pet-Friendly Options

Banner Elk Winery is a family-friendly establishment that welcomes children of all ages. The winery offers a range of activities for kids, including grape stomping, scavenger hunts, and arts and crafts. Children can also enjoy non-alcoholic drinks, such as grape juice and soda.

In addition, Banner Elk Winery is pet-friendly, allowing visitors to bring their furry friends along for the fun. Dogs are welcome on the outdoor patio and in the tasting room, as long as they are well-behaved and on a leash. The winery also provides water bowls and treats for four-legged visitors.

Overall, Banner Elk Winery offers a range of additional offerings that cater to visitors of all ages and interests. Whether you're looking for a light snack or a fun activity for the kids, Banner Elk Winery has something for everyone.

Practical Information

Operating Hours and Seasons

Banner Elk Winery is open year-round for visitors to enjoy their wines and beautiful views. The winery has different operating hours depending on the season. From May to October, the winery is open from 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM, while from November to April, it is open from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM. Visitors are advised to check their website for any changes in operating hours.

Contact and Directions

Banner Elk Winery is located at 60 Deer Run Lane, Banner Elk, NC 28604. Visitors can easily find the winery by taking the following directions:

  • From Boone, take NC-105 S to Banner Elk. Turn right onto NC-184 S and then left onto Deer Run Lane.
  • From Linville, take NC-105 S to Banner Elk. Turn left onto NC-184 S and then left onto Deer Run Lane.

For more detailed directions, visitors can check the winery's website. Visitors can also contact the winery at 828-898-9090 or send an email to for any inquiries.

Visitors are advised that a typical visit to Banner Elk Winery lasts about 45 minutes to an hour. They can enjoy a wine tasting, tour the winery, and buy wines to take home. The winery also offers a wine club membership that includes special access to discounts, special events, and pre-release wines.

Reviews and Testimonials

Banner Elk Winery has received numerous positive reviews and testimonials from visitors. According to TripAdvisor, the winery is rated #3 out of 18 things to do in Banner Elk, North Carolina. Visitors have praised the winery for its excellent wine and beautiful views. Many people have also noted the winery's use of North Carolina grapes, which adds to the local charm of the establishment.

Detailed reviews on TripAdvisor and other sites have identified several themes that visitors appreciate about Banner Elk Winery. One common theme is the stunning views of the surrounding mountains and vineyards. Many visitors have mentioned the beauty of the winery's Tuscan-inspired villa, which features seven luxuriously appointed suites, two with fireplaces. Others have praised the elegant settings and award-winning wines, making it the perfect venue for weddings and receptions of all sizes and styles.

In addition to positive reviews, Banner Elk Winery has also received glowing testimonials from satisfied customers. According to the winery's website, the staff worked tirelessly to make sure that events ran smoothly and were a total success. The event coordinator, Kali, is praised for going above and beyond the regular call of duty to make sure that customers always had everything they needed.

Overall, Banner Elk Winery is a highly-rated establishment that offers excellent wine, stunning views, and top-notch service. Visitors can expect a memorable experience at this winery that captures the essence of North Carolina's wine country.