Henderson County – Henderson County wineries and cideries have picked this weekend to celebrate their agricultural heritage. From the 15th through the 18th of April, new wine and cider releases, together with music, vineyard tours, bonfires and games will be happening throughout the county. It is a time to celebrate that Henderson County’s wine region has achieved the prestigious federal designation known as an American Viticultural Area (AVA). In July of 2019, the area was designated the Crest of the Blue Ridge Henderson County AVA. Only regions that have distinctive soil, climate and elevation earn this designation.
The apple trees will be in bloom to welcome visitors to the area as they drive through Henderson County. Nearly 60 festive events will take place throughout the weekend including tastings, tours, live music, special wine releases and more. St. Paul Mountain Vineyards (at both locations in Hendersonville and Flat Rock), Point Lookout Vineyard, Appalachian Ridge Artisan Hard Cider, Bold Rock Hard Cider, and Burntshirt Vineyards (both locations in Hendersonville and Chimney Rock are all participating in a variety of events. Three new vineyards in the area, Marked Tree Vineyards, Sawyer Springs, and Stone Ashe Vineyards, are joining in the festivities for the first time.
Cider – Appalachian Ridge & Bold Rock
“Cider, Wine & Dine Weekend helps bring attention to the cider industry here in Henderson County,” says Lindsay Dorrier of Bold Rock. “With the abundance of apples, crafting hard cider here makes sense and honors the area’s agricultural heritage.”
Over the weekend Appalachian Ridge Artisan Hard Cider will be serving breakfast in the orchard with freshly ground Sharewell Coffee and hot donuts, as you sit overlooking the trees imported from Normandy, France, specifically to make European-style cider. Throughout the day, there will be wine tastings in the restored barn, orchard tours, a fire pit with a warming bonfire with smores kits and bluegrass music. In addition, Appalachian will be holding a challenging Apple Sling, where visitors (all ages) can shoot apples at a target.
Bold Rock Mills River Cidery will be having their first-ever Stand-Up Comedy Night from 7 pm to 9 pm on Thursday, the 15th with stand-up jokes and puns being told. A Lavender Rose Sangria Steal the Pint event will take place the next evening. This refreshing drink is the first cocktail Bold Rock ever released. It has a sprig of lavender, squeezed lemon, diced strawberries, vanilla extract and garnished with fresh fruit—limit one glass per guest while supplies last. Music from Flashback playing your favorite ’80’s tunes and food bites from the Bold Kitchen Food Truck will all start at 6 pm on Friday, April 16th.
Amy Boswell, with Henderson County Tourism, said: “We have three new wineries that haven’t been a part of this event before, so it’s a great way to introduce people to these new spots,”
Stone Ashe Vineyards specializes in Bordeaux-based grape varieties, and as such sourced their grapevines from various regions in France with similar environmental and climatic conditions. On Saturday they will be hosting a winemaker-led barrel tasting of its two red blends, which will be released for the first time this winter. Guided by winemaker Chris Denesha on April 17th, 1 pm & 3 pm with tickets costing $50/person (plus tax)— Ticket includes early barrel tasting, 1 Stone Ashe Vineyard glass, and a charcuterie box.
Marked Tree Vineyard on Saturday will combine its expansive outdoor setting with its wines for Yoga and Rosé in the afternoon. Saturday from 12:00-1:00 PM Yoga and Wine. Resting your mat on the ground, feel the sun, breath in the fresh warm breeze of the Blue Ridge, you will be able to focus your energy on the peak of Mount Pisgah in front of you. Reservations required. One hour yoga class and a beautiful glass of wine are $20. Then, from 5 pm – 8:30 pm there is a Sunset Soiree! Marked Tree will be staying open late so the public can enjoy the beautiful sunset at 8 pm over Mt. Pisgah.
Throughout the Cider, Wine & Dine weekend, Sawyer Springs Vineyard, which is located off Howard Gap Rd, convenient to I-26, at 124 Sandy Hill Lane, in Hendersonville is showcasing their newer introductions and offering a free glass as a souvenir with purchase: ‘828 Sawyers Spring Reserve,’ a wonderfully blended red wine; ‘Alexis 32,’ an unbaked Chardonnay; and ‘Sipping Sunset,’ their Number 1 bestseller. Indoor and outdoor seating is available near the vineyards.
As Covid-19 restrictions need to be carefully followed, crowd size is limited and regular cleaning must take place. Many events are being held outside to help with social distancing. For more information on this weekend be sure to look at the brochure found on the Hendersonville visitor center online.