By: Paula Walter
In a scene reminiscent of an old I Love Lucy episode where Lucille Ball was hard at work helping to make wine the old-fashioned way, visitors to the Watauga Lake Winery took a shot this past weekend in a grape stomp event. Approximately 300 visitors, young and old, from all around the region, had the chance to climb in a giant tub, get their feet covered in grapes and juice to make memories that included laughter and friends. They also had the opportunity to create personalized t-shirts with their very own footprints. It was the busiest day we have ever had, said owner Linda Gay. The event, scheduled to end at 4:00 pm, continued on for several more hours.
When Linda and Wayne Gay moved to Johnson County, they discovered it was a great location to plant grapevines on their property in what has now become Villa Nove Vineyards. They now have over 4,000 grape vines. With plenty of renovations, the Gays decided to purchase the old Dry Run School and turn it into a winery. They first opened their doors in November of 2012. The winery is not only famous for their award-winning wines, but has become a venue for weddings, fundraisers, cooking lessons and even sock hops. Actively involved in the community, Watauga Lake Winery has held fundraisers for Fisher House for the past two years whose purpose is to raise monies to help provide housing for military and veteran families at no cost while service members receive medical treatment. With a selection of wines that run from sweet to dry, Watauga Lake Winery has been the recipient of multiple awards.
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