Banner Elk Winery and Villa
What We Love
- Rate includes daily gourmet breakfast
- Sipping on award-winning wines beside the tasting room’s large stone fireplace
- The extensive in-room spa treatment menu
- The deluxe concierge services, such as a private bonfire and s’mores picnic
- The dramatic backdrop of the lush mountain range
- Sweet-scented Molton Brown bath products, including a handy mini lip balm
What To Know
- Between North Carolina’s Beech and Sugar Mountains, it’s a winding 90-minute drive on mountain roads from the nearest city or airport
- The winery is a short walk from the villa
- Although well-appointed, some rooms are small
- No on-site restaurant; a private chef prepares daily breakfast and can cook private lunches and dinners with advance reservations
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
Opened in 2006 by co-owners Dick Wolfe and Angelo Accetturo, Banner Elk Winery and Villa uncorks rustic romance that can be enjoyed year-round. In a rustic Tuscan-style barn, the Banner Elk Winery is the estate’s main draw with multiple vineyards, a pick-your-own blueberry orchard and a tasting room that’s open almost daily. There’s also a catch-and-release pond with a firepit that’s perfect for evening bonfires and seasonal marshmallow roasts.
Bed and Bath
Up in the hilltop villa, the eight lavishly appointed rooms are named for the owner’s favorite wines, from the Bourdeaux Suite to the Pinot Grigio. Starting at a petite 156 square feet, the cozy rooms have wooden four-poster beds, luxe white linens and elegant country decor that mixes well with the mountain views. Bright bathrooms are equipped with plush towels, bathrobes, travertine marble tubs and high-end toiletries that smell like sugar cookies. Need room to spread out? Opt for the basement-level Fireplace Suites, which have living areas with gas fireplaces and doors that lead to charming outdoor patios.
Although the property lacks an on-site restaurant, daily gourmet breakfasts and monthly farm-to-table dinners are served by the firepit on the outdoor deck, and there are inviting common rooms and living areas for afternoon lounging. A large kitchen is always open for light snacks and drinks, and, should the mood strike, you can pick up a bottle of wine anytime to enjoy in the privacy of your suite. Whether you plan to schuss down snowy Blue Ridge terrain, kayak calm rivers or traverse a wildflower-freckled mountainside for a tasting at the winery, there’s no bad time to visit.
In the Area
From arranging private tasting tours and horseback riding to picnic lunches and couples massages, the staff at Banner Elk is quick to customize and prepare any experience. Or go it alone and take the short and scenic 15-minute drive down to nearby Valle Crucis, where the original Mast General Store operates in the same building as it did 130 years ago. Don’t miss the by-the-pound self-serve candy bins or a Pepsi and a Moon-Pie on the back porch, where you might catch locals playing fiddles. On the foodie front, channel your inner chef with a cooking class at the Kitchen at Little Pond Farm. Its Farm Kitchen Program offers weekend cooking classes with local chefs; you’ll learn how to sharpen knifes, can plum butter and prepare an elegant meal like grilled beef tenderloin with espresso sea salt and sun-gold tomatoes. Alternatively, head to the 50-seat Artisanal Restaurant for hearty local fare in a rustic setting.
How to Get There
My wife found this charming bed and breakfast attached to the Banner Elk winery and surprised me with a trip for my birthday. We stayed in the Cabernet suite on the main level. This large room featured its own entrance (although the room key would not lock or unlock that external door-perhaps consider rekeying that lock.) Our room was one of two to include a fireplace with a sitting area which we made use of during the cold nights. The view over the winery was charming. Our hosts were super friendly. Check in was a breeze. We received a text message before our arrival letting us know our room was ready and to pick up an information sheet at the front table and to join our host down at the winery for a complimentary tasting or glass of wine after we had settled into our room. Coffee makers were set to brew coffee each morning before breakfast. Another reviewer mentioned the rooms should have a wine bucket and cork screw and I agree- although those items were available for use in the kitchen.
Loved this quaint and quiet place. Wonderful breakfast with sweet and personable staff. Clean and comfortable room. Winery is amazing and just a few feet from the villa. Hidden gem! Will definitely come back again!
I came to visit a friend and “find fall”. Banner Elk Winery and Villa did not disappoint. The staff in the Villa is just wonderful and Frieda’s breakfasts are absolutely amazing . I was there 4 nights and we were not served the same breakfast menu twice. It’s a great location!