Blowing Rock has long been a culinary destination with restaurants boasting extensive wine lists and shops with unique, hard-to-find wines. It’s the natural marriage of fine wine and creative cuisine, set against the backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Please check with each individual business about COVID precautions and hours.
Located in downtown Blowing Rock, Sunset and Vine features unique wines and also offers boutique, high-quality olive oils, artisan cheeses, chocolates, wine accessories, and picnic supplies. Be sure to check their website for a schedule of wine tasting flights, specialty classes, and demonstrations. It’s a great place to find that “unicorn” wine or discover your new favorite.
Also located downtown, Blowing Rock Market has a great selection of wines, in addition to a deli, coffee bar and more. If you are heading to the Blue Ridge Parkway for a picnic, Blowing Rock Market is a great place to get a picnic lunch and a bottle of the perfect complimentary wine to drink as you survey the views.
Restaurants & Inns
Established in 1975, the original location of The Best Cellar was a basement on Main Street, where the previous owners served soups, sandwiches and sold books. The restaurant is now located inside The Inn at Ragged Gardens in downtown Blowing Rock and you will dine in the wine cellar. Over the years the menu has evolved from soups and sandwiches to creative dishes featuring the freshest meats and seafood. The 11-page wine list at The Best Cellar is extensive and offers the perfect sip to go with amazing bites.
Just off the beaten path in downtown Blowing Rock, Bistro Roca features a wood-fired oven created from bricks recovered from the landmark Antler’s Bar, the oldest continuously serving bar in North Carolina. Bistro Roca features American bistro fare, Neapolitan style pizzas, French-influenced comfort food, and a carefully cultivated wine selection, craft beer, and cocktails. Half glasses are available, which makes pairing multiple courses a breeze.
Locally-sourced, house-made French Mediterranean cuisine including focaccia, baguettes, desserts, and vegetarian options. Menu changes as foods/ingredients may not always be available. Featuring an eclectic wine list and a selection of classic French cocktails.
Using fresh ingredients available from local farms and small-batch purveyors located in the Blue Ridge, The Restaurant at Gideon Ridge Inn offers a creative, ever-changing menu with an extensive wine selection. Dine al fresco on the terrace with mountain views or in the European-styled dining room.
Part bottle shop and part restaurant, The Speckled Trout offers elevated Appalachian cuisine along with “home-grown” beers and ciders and wines highlighting small producers from old world to new. Enjoy fresh mountain trout, soup beans, and hoe cakes complemented by the perfect beverage. Also, enjoy live music on Thursdays from 6-8 PM.
Overlooking Chetola Lake, Timberlake’s Restaurant is a collaboration between artist Bob Timberlake and Chetola Resort. Enjoy the finest wines paired with dishes that include savory shrimp and salads of mountain-grown spinach, pan-seared duck, roasted Carolina quail, mouth-watering Angus bistro filets, and house made desserts. Dine outside on the patio or in the elegant, rustic dining room.
Offering fine dining in a rustic atmosphere, Twigs boasts a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence wine list featuring over 200 bottle selections and 14 wines by the glass in addition to 35 beer options, many of which are NC craft beers, and artisan cocktails. Enjoy live music on Friday and Saturday nights.
High Country Wine Trail
Just a short drive away, the wineries on the High Country Wine Trail is a must-experience for any wine enthusiast. These wineries are part of the Appalachian High Country American Viticultural Area (AVA), a fairly new AVA, and one of only five in North Carolina.
Banner Elk Winery is the first commercial winery built in the area, debuting in 2006. The Winery was awarded Gold Medals at the 2013 International Eastern Wine Competition for the 2011 Banner Elk Red and 2011 Marechal Foch, in addition to several other awards for the 2011 and 2012 Banner Elk White. Other popular wines include the The Banner Elk Blueberry and Ice Wines. Overlooking the vineyards, The Tuscan-inspired villa on the grounds is available for overnight stays and events.
Located at an elevation of 3,300 feet in Foscoe, the vineyards and tasting room at Grandfather Vineyard & Winery are in the shadow of Grandfather Mountain. Hybrids grow extremely well in the cooler climate and wines often end up with high acidity and bold fruit flavors. Enjoy wines like “Whiskey Barrel White” and “Appalachia Red” on their patio or at the edge of the Watauga River.
Located just north of the Blue Ridge Parkway and Linville Gorge, the 40-acre Linville Falls Winery offers grape varieties that include Seyval Blanc, Vidal Blanc, Noiret, Marquette, Petit Verdot, Marechal Foch, and their flagship grape, Riesling. In addition to grapes, you’ll also find blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, heirloom apples, pumpkins, corn, and Christmas Trees.