by Madison V. Fisler
Aug. 28, 2013. The High Country’s very own local Grandfather Vineyard and Winery won the title for best in show for a dry red wine at the 2013 Mid-Atlantic Southeastern Wine Competition at the Dixie Classic Fair, as well as the overall Best of Show for the entire event.
The winners were announced on Aug. 26, and also includes other category winners, all from North Carolina.
More than 560 wines were submitted for consideration at the competition this year, and Grandfather Vineyard and Winery came out on top. Now in its 14th year, the Mid-Atlantic Southeastern Wine Competition is open to any commercial vineyard, winery or amateur winemaker in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia or West Virginia.
Grandfather Vineyard and Winery, located in Banner Elk, is a family-run vineyard and winery owned by Steve and Sally Tatum which began when the very first grapes were planted in 2003. Their son, and winemaker, Dylan, helped to develop the wine that won the Best in Show Award.
“The thing about it is that or winning wine was bottled just a few months ago, so it’s still a very young wine,” said Dylan Tatum.
“We expect it to get even better as it ages.”
The winning wine was a blend of 25 percent cabernet sauvignon, 25 percent cabernet franc, 25 percent merlot and 25 percent zinfandel.
“It’s kind of a shock really,” Tatum said. “We are only two years old and did not expect such a huge win.”
Grandfather Vineyard and Winery entered about seven wines into the competition. Right now, 15 wines are available at the Winery and Vineyards in Banner Elk, including a few bottles left of the Best in Show wine.
“I am honored to get this award and we will continue to do out best. It’s great to get this kind of award so early in our existence.”