By Elly Murray
Daily Tunes will be bringing you live music performances in the High Country area for every day of the week. Get out there and enjoy the cool breezes and relaxing music of summer before it’s over!
On a radiant summer day down a country road in Banner Elk, excited music lovers begin to arrive for Grandfather Vineyard and Winery’s Music in the Vineyard. The band begins to play out of a small wooden pavilion attached to the winery, and the crowd gathers at tables both under and outside the pavilion. A few people sit on the grass around the winery, enjoying the immense volume of green surrounding them.
The sloshing of the Watauga river running alongside the vineyard doesn’t interrupt the music, but the sound of children laughing as they dip their toes in it, or weave their way through the rows of grapes at breathtaking speed comes close.
The Grandfather Vineyard and Winery has two performances every weekend, one on Saturday from 2 to 5 p.m., and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. They also just began this year to have occasional concerts on Fridays as well; the next Friday concert is June 22, and Mike Preslar will be performing.
Nicole Tatum, the marketing manager of the Vineyard, says the atmosphere of the concerts is completely different depending on whether it’s Saturday or Sunday. She describes this, and says, “Saturdays we get more of the younger crowd, I would say in their twenties to thirties…It’s kind of a more lively crowd, more interested in trying new stuff and open minded.”
She went on to describe the Sunday scene, a completely different crowd, “Sundays are our older crowd, because they come every week to listen to the music. They don’t really do tastings because they’ve been here so often. They get a few bottles, sit outside, and kind of just park themselves for 3 hours, and listen to the music.”
Performing this Saturday is local favorite, Don Vallarta. He’s well known and well liked in the High Country because he performs at places like the Peddlin’ Pig and Bella’s, getting to know people on a personal level. In addition, his music is truly incredible, and Tatum says that, “He does covers of country, bluegrass, southern rock, classic rock, that kind of stuff.”
On Sunday, the fantastic band Beacon Heights will perform. They have several members that they alternate occasionally, and quite a few of the members are part of another local band, the Collective. Tatum describes them and says, “They’re a pretty big band around this area, so they usually draw a pretty big crowd. I would say that they’re kind of similar genres to Don; it’s more of like a get up and dance, little bit louder kind of music.”
Betty’s Biscuits, a food truck based out of Reid’s Cafe and Catering in Banner Elk, will also be at the Vineyard on Sunday, serving heavenly Southern biscuits.
The performances are free, and patrons are encouraged to bring a chair, just to be on the safe side in case provided seating runs out. The Vineyard also has people directing parking this year, which Tatum says makes it, “a lot easier to get to us now, even on a busier day, because you’ll be helped through the whole process.”
The performances are family friendly, dogs are welcome on leashes, and wine is purchasable. Could there be a better evening than sitting in a gorgeous vineyard with your family and/or dog, sipping wine and listening to wonderful music? I think not!
Grandfather Vineyard and Winery is located at 255 Vineyard Lane in Banner Elk. For more information on their Music in the Vineyard series, please call them at (828) 963-2400 or visit them at https://www.grandfathervineyard.com/events/