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
- 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
Was vacationing in Banner Elk this fall and decided to go for a wine tasting with friends. Beautiful setting and especially enjoyed the outdoor seating. The staff was very friendly and knowledgeable about their wines and what foods would go well with each one. Their Sangrias are amazing. Grab one after the wine tasting and head outside. Thumbs up from me.
We could not have picked a more picturesque, perfect place to get married this past fall. The staff at Banner Elk Winery worked tirelessly behind-the-scenes to make sure our event ran smoothly and was a total success. The event coordinator Kali is just fantastic! She went above and beyond the regular call of duty to make sure we always had everything we needed. We got married on the lawn just outside the Tuscan-inspired villa onsite, which has eight spacious bedrooms and was large enough to accommodate our wedding party—as well as our rehearsal dinner of 70 people, followed by a large brunch gathering on Sunday morning. We also had a large bonfire just outside the winery's tasting room after our rehearsal dinner, which was a total hit among our guests. Our wedding reception was offsite at The Barn at Cornerstone Cabins, which came highly recommend by the good folks at Banner Elk Winery. The best part about getting married in the High Country is witnessing how all of these talented vendors and purveyors work together as a community and support each other's businesses. We formed real and genuine relationships with these amazing people and cannot wait to go back.
A common theme in my reviews is the concept of balance. The Banner Elk Winery & Villa hit the mark on all points: Location? Amazing and beautiful. Amenities? More like staying in someone's home than a hotel. The room was first rate. We were there to celebrate our anniversary, but didn't plan to tell anyone. Our youngest son called the Innkeeper, Lisa, and revealed the reason for the visit. Lisa upgraded our room as a way to make the experience more memorable. Check in was fairly late due to a prior commitment at home, but it didn't matter. We were greeted with smiles and two glasses of wine. Although brief, our visit was memorable and punctuated by the answer "Yes" to any request we made. Thanks to Lisa, Jansen (sp?) and Steve in the Winery.
We were visiting Banner Elk for a long weekend to look at property and get a feel for the area. We had heard of Banner Elk Winery and decided to drive out to it, even though it was getting late and we knew it would likely be closed. Sure enough, we pulled in, walked to the entrance and found their closing time had passed. We could see staff inside cleaning up, so decided to come back the next day. Before we could turn around, Jansen opened the door and welcomed us in. We ended up staying for about an hour sampling a few wines and chatting with the staff as they cleaned up. They were all so gracious and knowledgeable about their wines. The red and white blends are wonderful! We made our purchase and came back the next day for their outdoor entertainment. Fabulous!! We have found a new favorite winery to visit, and This experience has tipped the scales for us to locate to Banner Elk!!
We enjoyed a weekend stay at the Villa and took full advantage of the Winery. The accommodations were nice. The bed was comfy, the room was spacious and our view was the winery and vineyards. Breakfast both mornings was home cooked and included a delicious quiche and peach cobbler. Even though the Villa was fully booked the rooms were practically sound proof. We only heard the other guests opening their doors or when they were talking outside on the porch,(weather was so nice, we left our windows open).
The staff at the Villa and Winery were very gracious. A special thank you to Lisa and Chase for great restaurant and wine recommendations.
The wines are a nice variety and I highly recommend trying the Jalapeno Sangria!
We will definitely be visiting again.