Aug 24, 2012. A locally-made wine produced by Steve and Sally Tatum and their winemaker son Dylan earned high honors at an international high-elevation wine competition in Italy during July. Grandfather Vineyard was the first U.S. winery to ever enter the prestigious competition in the event’s 20-year history.
Grandfather Vineyard’s “Terraced Gold” wine was awarded 85 out of 100 points at Europe’s annual International Mountain Wine Competition held in Aosta, Italy in July, missing a silver medal by fewer than three points.
Equally exciting was the interest this wine generated among European judges and wine industry press. “Terraced Gold” held its own with other European mountain wines and according to Dr. Gianluca Macchi, director of the event’s sponsor CERVIM, everyone wanted to taste “the American wine.”
“Terraced Gold” is a blend of Chardonnay, Viognier and Pinot Gris grapes. The European judges had very positive things to say about the wine, indicating that the only challenge was the wine started strong on the pallet but tended to fall off a little at the end.
“Being as young as we are as a winery, and the number of great wines we were competing against, we are very pleased the results first time out,” said Steve Tatum, owner of Grandfather Vineyard.
The name Grandfather Vineyard comes from the popular regional tourist destination, Grandfather Mountain, which can be seen from the winery’s front door. Having opened in May 2011, the winery and terraced vineyard operation is one of the most picturesque wine destinations in the High Country, commanding a spectacular view of the surrounding mountains and streams – all very reminiscent of the type of topography found in the mountain wine regions of Switzerland, France and Italy.
The Tatums already have another wine in mind for next year’s mountain wine competition, and with it could come more high praise and recognition for the small but steadily growing U.S. mountain wine industry.
Grandfather Vineyards is located at 225 Vineyard Lane, nine miles from Boone on N.C. 105 or three-and-a-half miles from the intersection of N.C. 105 and N.C. 184 toward Banner Elk. The tasting room is open 12 to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
For more information, call 828-963-2400 or visit grandfathervineyard.com.