After a long workweek, there are few things finer than a glass of white wine (or four) by the lake. One Friday afternoon, I decided to unwind at Old Homeplace Vineyard with a flight of four two-ounce pours of various wines of my choosing. As a growing wine enthusiast, Old Homeplace turned out to be the perfect venue to kick my feet up and relax on a back porch while treating my palate to brand new blends.
Shortly after I got cozy in my wooden lounge chair with my wine flight, I witnessed Old Homeplace Vineyard’s owner, David Stone, greeting each patron outside. It was obvious that one of the most important goals of the Old Homeplace team is making its patrons feel like family. In fact, family is so deep-rooted in the vineyard’s blood that its most popular wine among customers is the Henry Lee, named after the great-grandfather of David’s wife and fellow owner, Jill. As the first wine in my flight, I was pleasantly surprised by the refreshing and crisp taste of the Henry Lee, a white blend of Viognier, Pinot Gris, and Chardonnay.
If sweet wines are what satisfy your palate, they have you covered with a wide variety of muscadine and fruit wines that will surely be pleasing. Be sure to try the best-selling Skinny Dippin’ (and to hear the story behind this one, too).
Nestled along 1,200-acre Lake Thom-a-Lex, Old Homeplace Vineyard is more than just a tasting room with a view. Although it’s currently the only lakefront vineyard in North Carolina, wine tasters from all areas of the state visit the vineyard to learn about the history of the vineyard’s farm, which has been standing strong since 1947. Jill’s father and vineyard co-owner, Bud Kennedy, grew up on the farm and has witnessed its transformation from growing tobacco, small grain, and corn to becoming the Davidson County staple it is today. Ever since the vineyard was first planted in 2016, Bud and his wife, Dee, have worked closely alongside David and Jill to keep the atmosphere at Old Homeplace true to its name.
Open year-round, Old Homeplace’s live music, food trucks, and picturesque space for weddings and private events keep the tasting room bustling with patrons. Guests and planners of private events can take advantage of the vineyard’s versatility, with the charming onsite barn doubling as an event center when the weather doesn’t cooperate. May through October are the vineyard’s liveliest months of the year, so those looking to book an event at Old Homeplace should look to secure the space far in advance.
When it comes to Old Homeplace’s selection of 22 unique wines, each wine is made with North Carolina-grown grapes, including nearby grapes from Chart’s Hill Vineyard in Wallburg. What really piqued my interest, however, was Old Homeplace’s New Moon wine, a Sauvignon Blanc aged in bourbon barrels. As the second wine in my flight, I immediately noticed the aromatic notes of bourbon in the glass. If you happen to prefer red wine over white, the vineyard’s Full Moon is a Cabernet Sauvignon also aged in bourbon barrels. As a somewhat inexperienced wine drinker, I’m typically wary of most red wines, but I will definitely make an exception for the Full Moon – although the 15.9% ALC of both bourbon barrel-aged blends might have influenced my decision by my third pour.
I finished off my flight with the lovely Tire Swing, a rosé blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc. In my opinion, you can never go wrong with a rosé wine – and the Tire Swing did not disappoint. While I was tempted to add a glass of 2017 Riesling to the mix after hearing that it won a double gold medal at the 2017 NC State Fair, I instead decided to call it a night and purchased a bottle of the vineyard’s classic Sauvignon Blanc to savor at home in my complimentary tasting glass. When you can’t take in the beauty of the vineyard’s rolling hills, horses, and southern charm in your busy Downtown apartment, having a bottle of Old Homeplace Vineyard wine waiting in your fridge will do the trick.
To stay tuned in to the latest live music, food trucks, and events happening at Old Homeplace Vineyard, follow the Old Homeplace family on Instagram at @oldhomeplacevineyard, or check out the team’s Facebook page for updates. Read more about the vineyard’s wine selection or contact David and his team to book a private event at oldhomeplacevineyard.com.