Banner Elk Winery in Banner Elk, NC is revered for being the highest elevation vineyard on the East Coast, a very brave move and a very unique setting for this industry. Something many thought could not be done. At 4,800 feet, the views of the property and surrounding area are stellar. Rolling hills of green pasture, a pond, and wooded areas. This is where some vintage award winning wines and recipes are created. Luxury wines with a casual, country flare is the number one motto of the Banner Elk Winery, between its grounds, the exquisite wine tasting room with fine art and locally crafted works, and the local natural soaps sold inside. This all came to be back in 2006 when Angelo Accetturo, Pete and Michelle Gerukos, and Richard Wolfe came into a partnership in the Banner Elk Winery. As an engineer, Wolfe came to the high country to take a position at App State University in the Applied Science and Research Program where he taught people to grow grapes. His thoughts of innovation landed him a grant from the Department of Agriculture to open the first ever high elevation vineyard at 4,800 feet elevation. Though the growing season may be different or even shortened, they took the chance. This idea used to be considered impossible and even foolish by others but now, with Wolfe’s opening of the lofty Banner Elk Winery, it has spurred a chain of local farmers opening vineyards all over the high country! The trend is spreading throughout the mountains and becoming increasingly prosperous, which no one had such high expectations for it. So much so, that it in fact is beginning to break down the tobacco industry, something that was once considered the crop of the area. As for the Banner Elk Winery at its finest, the reward of this industry has proven itself in more than just cash flow. The Winery has rightfully earned and received a multitude of awards such as appreciation from the North Carolina State Fair, the 2013 International Eastern Wine Competition out of California, the 2012 NextGen Wine Competition, and much more! They truly produce a one of a kind wine and staff to match! Any given day at the winery you can hear of events being held such as music nights, fires, and even weddings! The property also offers an Italian style Villa where people can stay the night or more and enjoy the views, the luxurious sweets, and home cooked breakfast! Banner Elk Winery at its Finest! Regulars frequent here and feel right at home. You can’t beat sitting by the pond (protected by conservationists) and watching the fish and frogs enjoy the water. Across the way from the pond on the hill you can see a large blueberry patch for which the berries can be picked simply by dropping $10 in the box as you go, and can also be used on the Banner Elk Winery at its finest signature blueberry wines. Behind that is the historic and seemingly preserved barns where many phenomenal wedding ceremonies and parties are held! Grapes were once hand-smashed in this quaint vessel of history.