Grape Stomps and Harvest Festivals

Grape Stomps and Harvest Festivals

Raffaldini Vineyards & Winery

Whether it’s a traditional harvest festival, a grape stomp, bustling production activities, special tastings, or simply a crisp and colorful day in the countryside, fall is a great time of year to visit North Carolina vineyards and wineries. Here are some “grape” events happening around the state this fall.

September

Duplin Winery Grape Stomp
Sept. 13, Rose Hill
Celebrating its 38th Grape Stomp, this year’s events at this eastern North Carolina winery include music from Gary Lowder & Smokin' Hot Band, grape stomping, wine tasting and vineyard tours. The onsite Bistro Restaurant will also be open for lunch and dinner and is a great complement to the muscadine grape celebration.

Cypress Bend Vineyards Annual Fall Harvest Festival & Grape Stomp
Sept. 13, Wagram
Cypress Bend Vineyards kicks off fall grape harvest season at its Annual Fall Harvest Festival & Grape Stomp. Events at this 10th annual celebration include live music, crafts, food vendors from traditional fair fare (think funnel cakes) to North Carolina barbecue to traditional Native American cuisine, wine tastings, and, of course, the ever–popular grape stomp. And to spice it up a bit, the grape stomp is a competition where judges carefully record the amount of juice produced from each individual’s stomp and crown a winner at the end of the day.

Childress Vineyards Grape Stomp Party
Sept. 19, Lexington
This popular grape stomp party in Lexington celebrates the fall’s harvest by savoring award-winning wine tastings, as well as the fun annual grape stomp and live music from Walrus. Food and wine are available for purchase. Or upgrade the festivities with premier seating including admission and a table for either four or six people, souvenir glasses, wine tastings, a glass of wine for each guest, and a goodie basket to enjoy throughout the night.

Shine to Wine Festival
Sept. 20, North Wilkesboro
In addition to giving local and regional brewers, distillers and producers a chance to display and publicize their craft, this fun festival in Historic Downtown North Wilkesboro traces the historical development of Wilkes County liquor from moonshine to wine. Buy a tasting ticket, and you can taste all wine, beers and spirits.

Raffaldini Vineyards Festa Italiana
Sept. 20, Ronda
Celebrate all things Italian during this Yadkin Valley annual fall festival featuring Raffaldini Vineyards award-winning Tuscan-style wines, Italian cucina, brick-oven pizzas, gelato, olive oils and vinegars, Italian-flavored cheeses, and traditional Italian sweets. There’s even live Italian music, a wandering violinist, a living statue and the dance of the traditional tarantella. Salute!

North Carolina Grape Stomp Festival
Sept. 21, Angier
You’re invited to “squish, sip and stomp” at this family-friendly festival celebrating the grape at Gregory Vineyards. In addition to wine and juice tastings, there are games, vendors, a barbecue sauce contest and even a Lucille Ball look-alike contest.

North Carolina Muscadine Harvest Festival
Sept. 26 – 27, Kenansville
The North Carolina Muscadine Harvest Festival celebrates the heritage – and health benefits – of North Carolina’s state fruit. With more than 25 wineries scheduled to participate, highlights of this popular Kenansville festival include tastings, live music (including a shag contest), food, crafts, winemaking and cooking contests, and a unique “tailgating” package that includes four tasting tickets, a bottle of wine and tailgating space near the bandstand.

October

Bald Head Island Grapes & Hops Month
Oct. 1 – 31, Bald Head Island
Throughout the month of October, Bald Head Island on the coast of North Carolina will be celebrating all things wine, beer and food through wine tastings at various island venues, wine dinners and pairings and dining events featuring beer, oysters and Oktoberfest food.

Great Grapes! Wine & Food Festival
Oct. 4, Charlotte
Though it’s not a specific vineyard, Charlotte’s Great Grapes! Wine & Food Festival features more than 220 wines from 20-plus wineries, food, crafts, art, music, and other uncorked grape fun for all in the fall. Splurge on a VIP package with unlimited wine samples and access to the Olive Oil Pavilion and the VIP Pavilion which features cheeses and specialty wines.

Shelton Vineyards Harvest Festival
Oct. 10 – 12, Dobson
The 9th Annual Harvest Festival at Yadkin Valley’s Shelton Vineyards continues to grow, thanks to face painting, hayrides, bluegrass music, food (including tasty items from Harvest Grill Express), winery tours, and – of course – world-class Shelton wines. Nearby, it’s easy to make a weekend of it by staying at the innovative Hampton Inn & Suites Shelton Vineyards, which features the popular chain’s only property with a wine bar.

Yadkin Valley Grape Festival
Oct. 18, Yadkinville
The annual Yadkin Valley Grape Festival celebrates what is perhaps North Carolina’s most famous wine region. Appropriately situated in Yadkinville, there are more than 20 Yadkin Valley wineries offering tastes (tickets come with a souvenir glass), as well as food vendors, specialty vendors and artisans and live music. The Yadkin Valley Chamber of Commerce offers shuttle service from hotels in Yadkinville, Jonesville and Boonville.

Lynn and Cele Seldon are Oak Island-based travel writers who love covering their home state.

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