Hendersonville, N.C. – Enjoy Hendersonville’s wineries and cideries, along with a mix of culinary delights, during the seventh annual Cider, Wine & Dine Weekend, April 19-21.

The popular weekend involves tastings, vineyard tours, wine releases, food events, live music and other activities at 11 tasting rooms in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

New this year are scenic helicopter tours over the seven vineyards of Hendersonville’s Crest of the Blue Ridge wine region. Helicopter tours depart from Souther Williams Vineyard at 30-minute intervals throughout the day Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

“It’s a great way to celebrate spring, tantalize your taste buds, and explore our vineyards and orchards, all in one weekend,” says Michelle Owens, executive director of Visit Hendersonville. “Sip hard cider straight from the orchard at Appalachian Ridge Artisan Cider, and experience the newest vintages at the wineries. And don’t forget the array of food pairings and food trucks.”

A signature culinary event is the Spring Vintner’s Dinner at Marked Tree Vineyard, where guests enjoy a four-course meal at sunset paired with wines from the vineyard. At Sawyer Springs Vineyard, wine flights are paired with personal charcuterie cups, and Stone Ashe Vineyards has a wine and chocolate event. A food truck and s’mores satisfy cravings at Appalachian Ridge.

Walking tours provide opportunities to burn calories at Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards and Marked Tree Vineyard. Meanwhile, Bold Rock Hard Cider hosts a morning of mindfulness with a yoga class open to all levels.

“The nice thing about Cider, Wine & Dine Weekend is the variety. Not only events, but also food options and drink options,” says Ken Parker of Souther Williams Vineyard, which will offer wine and gourmet popcorn pairings. “Many of the wineries serve local beers and local ciders in addition to their wines.”

The weekend corresponds with apple blossom season in Henderson County, where thousands of acres of apple trees welcome spring with a tapestry of pink and white blooms.

The same soil and climate that have produced apples for generations now prove fertile for grapes. The area recently received federal designation as an American Viticultural Area, making Crest of the Blue Ridge a bona fide wine region on par with more well-known U.S. wine regions.

“Cider, Wine & Dine gives us an opportunity to educate people about our emerging wine country, including the classic varietals we grow as well as some unique varietals,” Parker says.

For a schedule of events, both free and ticketed, and lodging info, call (828) 693-9708 or go to: www.VisitHendersonvilleNC.org/cider-wine-dine-weekend.