By Caitlyn Randall

If you’re anything like me, during the winter you have a difficult time finding entertainment and social activities, especially outdoor activities. Thankfully living in North Carolina, you get an occasional warm day in winter that teases you for the spring that is to come.

A little while ago I spent a winter weekend in the Boone area with some friends and my husband. We decided to go to Grandfather Vineyard & Winery. As we pulled up, before the experience, the parking lot was bustling, and we knew that was a good sign. We walked over a water bridge toward the winery and saw people sitting by the river and sipping wine below.

As we arrived, we took our spot in line to order. There was a Girl Scout cookie booth setup next to the line… how genius! Grandfather Vineyard has flight options, single glass options, as well as local cheeses, crackers, peanuts and other snacks to enjoy. My friend ordered one glass of sweet creek red and one glass of NC merlot. I ordered Appalachia bubbles… delicious! We also ordered Ashe County Cheese garlic & herb spread, an Ashe County cheese brick and The Twisted Branch Crackers for a snack.

We got lucky and grabbed some seats by a firepit and the seats were in view of the live band. This was something different for me and a great way to spend time with special people outdoors in the winter but also stay warm, as well as enjoy some local goodness!

Visit, download the Visit NC Farms app, or follow the NC Wines Instagram to find a winery near you. Cozy up with something different this winter!

Recipes found on this page are from Got to Be NC members, staff, industry partners and Stove Side Chats. Stove Side Chats is Got to Be NC’s cooking show hosted by restaurant marketing specialist Chad Blackwelder. This series invites chefs and home cooks from around the state to teach you how to cook with in-season North Carolina deliciousness.