Finding Peace and Relaxation in the OBX at Sanctuary Vineyards

by | Jun 15, 2023

#EscapeWithNCAg is a year-long series that will focus on agritourism across North Carolina. Many farms, wineries and other agricultural businesses in our state offer events such as tours, yoga, educational classes, pick-your-own events and festivals, to entertain the public and teach them about our state’s number one industry. Each Thursday, we will feature a new site for you to visit with friends or family. Stay tuned and learn how to escape the stresses of life by diving into agriculture! 

Agritourism is the heart and soul behind Sanctuary Vineyards in Jarvisburg because owner John Wright fully believes in hospitality. Throughout the years, the property that the vineyard now sits on has transitioned between many different crops, including corn, wheat, potatoes and cotton. After attending college at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, John decided to change direction with the farm and focus on growing grapes for wine making. “I learned to love wine throughout my time at Chapel Hill, and not just the taste of wine but the unique quality it holds to bring individuals from all aspects of life together,” he said. “I wanted the farm to be a place where people could come to relax with their friends and family and enjoy a quality product. So, wine was the most sensible option.” Today the vineyard is home to 15 European varieties of grapes, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Syrah and Albarino.

Wine tastings are provided every week at the vineyard and are a great way to get involved, learn about the wine and find your new favorite. Tastings are offered between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. each day of the week and can be as short as 15 minutes or as long as thirty minutes. Visitors can also enjoy a tasting while touring the vineyard or attending another event hosted on-site. To figure out which tasting is right for you, visit their website and reserve your spot today!

In addition to tastings, the vineyard hosts a variety of events throughout the year to entice people from all across the state and beyond to visit, relax and enjoy a locally made beverage. Every week between May and September, the vineyard offers Acoustic Sunset Wine Down on Thursday nights and Sundays in the Country on Sunday afternoons. Both events feature wine from Sanctuary Vineyards, food trucks and live music and admission is free. The only cost to you is the wine that you choose to drink and the food that you purchase from a food truck. The Thursday evening events typically rotate between a variety of food trucks in the area so that you can experience many types of food, whereas the Sunday events are normally catered by the same company. Whichever one you choose to attend, John and his family promise a great time! “Our weekly events are a great way for people to get involved with the vineyard, try a variety of wines and support local businesses/artists,” he said. “It’s peaceful and we enjoy seeing the groups that make coming here a summer tradition.” They also offer many tailored events throughout the year based on the season, including an adult Easter Egg Hunt, Oyster Roast, Hikes in the Vineyard and Mardi Gras celebrations.

Sanctuary Vineyards also partners with Kitty Hawk Kites to offer a unique event that allows individuals to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the area as well as the wine offered at the vineyard. Vineyard Voyages can be booked through the Kitty Hawk Kites website, and last for approximately 2.5 hours. “A beautiful boat arrives to bring you to our private water access at Sanctuary Vineyards,” John said. “Then, upon arrival at the vineyard, you will enjoy a private wine tasting with our staff where you will learn about the different varieties and have a chance to discover your new favorite. This experience is a great one day get away for residents or the perfect site-seeing adventure for tourists.” Reservations for this experience are required and tickets are $89 for adults. Learn more, including how to book your experience, on the Kitty Hawk Kites website.

A lot can be learned about the NC wine and NC Agriculture industry by visiting Sanctuary Vineyards, especially the more time you spend on-site. “We have people that come for an hour to try a few wines and we also have people who come out for half a day to explore the vineyard and learn about our process,” John said. “People can learn a variety of things here, from what makes the Outer Banks a special and unique wine growing area to an in-depth explanation on how to make wine. We try to tailor each experience to the wants and needs of the customer.” For interested customers, the vineyard offers a three-hour winter tour that takes a deep dive into the wine making process and even allows the customer a hands-on experience at making their own. Stay tuned on their website and social media outlets for more information later this year!

“The best part about owning and operating this vineyard is the ability that we have to keep it sustainable and utilize practices that worked in the old days and still work today,” John said. “Our community supports that, which means more than we can possibly put into words. That’s why we are able to offer these events and produce quality wine because of the extremely hard work of our team and constant support of our customers. It’s a community effort.” Although the days can be long and the work can be grueling, John wouldn’t trade anything in the world for the pride that he feels in producing a unique product that people across the state enjoy. Keep an eye on their events page for what’s coming up throughout the year and start planning your trip to experience the vineyard for yourself. It’s an experience you don’t want to miss!