Tasting Rooms Roll Out the Red Carpet for Cider, Wine & Dine

Hendersonville’s third annual Cider, Wine & Dine Weekend showcases some of Western North Carolina’s top cider and wine makers, April 16-19.

The weekend involves tastings, new releases, orchard and vineyard tours, food events, music, and more. This year’s event — named a Top 20 April event by the Southeastern Tourism Society — marks the first Cider, Wine & Dine Weekend since Henderson County received federal designation as Crest of the Blue Ridge American Viticultural Area.

The festivities begin Thursday, April 16, with the Mad Hatter Opening Celebration at Horse Shoe Farm. This sunset event pops a cork on the weekend with tastings from all participating wineries and cideries, as well as area breweries. Food offerings include delectable bites from local chefs and food trucks, followed by dancing to three bands.

“It’s a highlight of the weekend because you have everybody there at once and can pick your favorites,” says Amy Boswell, events coordinator for Henderson County Tourism.

A total of seven wineries, cideries and tasting rooms host more than 30 events from Thursday through Sunday. Participating venues are: Appalachian Ridge Artisan Cider, Bold Rock Hard Cider, Burntshirt Vineyards, Burntshirt’s tasting room & bistro in Chimney Rock, Point Lookout Vineyards, Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards and Saint Paul’s tasting room in Flat Rock.

The events lineup includes a Twist and Shout Dance Party Friday evening at Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards, a Saturday morning orchard breakfast and farm tour at Appalachian Ridge, Bold Rock’s third annual Food Truck Palooza, with live music, all day Saturday, daily tours and music at Burntshirt Vineyards and a three-day Celtic festival at Point Lookout.

“This celebration is timed to apple blossom season in Henderson County and showcases just how important agritourism is to our area,” Boswell says. “Last year we saw people from across the Southeast, while some flew in from other parts of the United States. It’s growing each year.”

Events are both free and ticketed. For a complete schedule and lodging options, call 800-828-4244 or go to www.VisitHendersonvilleNC.org/Cider-Wine-Dine-Weekend.