A Breath of Fresh Air at Sanctuary Vineyards

By Hannah Lee Leidy | Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Experience the great outdoors any day of the week by visiting Sanctuary Vineyards winery. Owned and operated by the Wright family, the same folks behind The Cotton Gin, this winery put Currituck on the map with its award-winning wines. In the grassy fields surrounding the vineyards, sample wines al fresco while overlooking the vineyards where syrah, albarino, chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon and other grape varietals grow. You can stop by any day for a tasting (either of a featured line up or reserve wines), no appointment required, and sip at the shaded picnic tables. 

Deepen your appreciation for the wines and the growing process (or just explore a gem of North Carolina’s countryside) by taking a tour of Sanctuary Vineyards. Offered June through August daily at 1 p.m. (weekdays only), tour goers are led around the vineyards and inside the winery. There, they’ll see the wine aging in massive barrels and maybe even glimpse the bottling process. The tour culminates with an outdoor tasting and sends guests off with a commemorative wineglass. 

Beyond the wine, Kitty Hawk Kites operates hang gliding trips from The Cotton Gin/Sanctuary Vineyards location. Fliers reach heights of about 2,000-feet – a small airplane tows gliders up and then releases them to soar. From high above, you get a birds-eye view of the countryside, the Currituck Sound and the Outer Banks across the water. 

Depending on the day, you might catch one of Sanctuary Vineyards’ regular outdoor events. These weekly summer activities span from fitness to food to music. Saturday is particularly good for swinging by the winery, especially if you’re heading to or from the beach. Start the day with morning Yoga in the Vineyards. If your timing is a little later, Truckin’ Saturdays (truckin’: if you know, you know) brings a live band and rotation of regional food trucks to Sanctuary Vineyards during the afternoons. Stop by to grab a bite, or stay for a glass of wine and the music. 

Every Thursday evening through September, you can spend the evening hours unwinding while local musicians perform live at the Acoustic Sunset events. The event is free to attend, so bring a blanket or lawn chair, purchase a glass or bottle of Sanctuary Vineyards wine and kick back as the sun sinks beneath the horizon. 

“We’re a viable daytrip option for anyone on the beach,” Sanctuary Vineyards owner John Wright says. “They can come to Currituck and make a day of it. They can visit the winery for a tasting or tour and go next door to Tarheel Market to pick up fresh local produce and seafood. Or check out Weeping Radish Brewery and Grave Digger’s Monster Trucks while they’re here.” This cultural tour of Currituck feels completely removed from the beach – not just a simple 15-minute drive from the bridge. 

Even if you don’t make it to the mainland, you can still taste and shop Sanctuary Vineyards’ products at The Cotton Gin’s locations on the beach. At these stores in Nags Head, Duck and Corolla, you can shop The Cotton Gin’s signature collection of beach house-inspired decor and furnishings along with brands from Southern Tide, Vineyard Vines, Simply Southern, Brighton, Pandora and more.

But if you do have a morning or afternoon free and an itch to get outside, a change of scenery from the beach awaits in Currituck. Whether you want a leisurely wine tasting or a hang gliding adventure, The Cotton Gin and Sanctuary Vineyards is your destination to sip, shop or soar. 

Summer Events at Sanctuary Vineyards 

Acoustic Sunset
5:30-8:30 p.m. Thursdays | through September

Yoga in the Vineyards
9 a.m. Saturdays | June through August

Truckin’ Saturdays
12-3 p.m. Saturdays | June through August

Annual Crabdaddy Festival
September 18

(252) 491-2387 | 7005 Caratoke Highway, Jarvisburg, NC

Sanctuary Vineyards Logo


About the Author Hannah Lee Leidy
Hannah Lee is a fiction and creative nonfiction writer living on the Outer Banks. She graduated from Kenyon College in Ohio with a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. Traveling is her passion, but nowhere ever feels as much like home as the Outer Banks. When not planning her next trip or adventure, Hannah Lee loves aimless drives down the Beach Road, spending copious amounts of time in coffee shops and reading every short story collection she gets her hands on.