Enjoying All That Local Vineyards Have to Offer

If you think that a prerequisite to visiting a local vineyard or winery is that you drink wine, you are missing out on great mini-adventures. The 1.4 million-acre Yadkin Valley, just west of Winston-Salem, NC, is home to more than 45 exquisite vineyards, and our state has over 525 vineyards either within driving distance or close enough to be a good destination for a long weekend. While the wine and tastings are the major draws to vineyards for most people, the beautiful settings and scenery make it worth your while to venture out and discover the beauty of our state that is within our many vineyards.

A Good Time Amongst the Vines

North Carolina is the home of America’s first grape, and our state is the only place in the world where every major type of grape is grown. If you do like to partake of the vino, there’s nothing quite like tasting wine where it was made and hearing the story behind each wine and the vineyards themselves. But if you are a teetotaler, or just prefer not to drink, vineyards are wonderful places to visit, and many have a little something extra that sets them apart.

Because of where our state’s vineyards are located, specifically the ones in the Yadkin Valley, no matter when you visit, the views of the mountains are amazing. If you want to pack a picnic, most have areas to eat and walking through the vineyards is an amazing experience. To see how the rows of vines are planted and walk amongst the vines, well, it’s just a peaceful time. The care that goes into each vineyard, from planting to pruning and harvest, harkens back to the days when crops were manually tended. Beyond the strolls through the vines and the areas to see all our state has to offer, a few vineyards have additional things that set them apart.

A Little Something for Everyone

If you want to stay a little closer to home, Medaloni Cellars, located in Lewisville, NC, on 22 acres of land, is a great place to spend an afternoon. Medaloni Cellars has walking trails and a sunset deck with a spectacular view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Should you want a sip of the vines, tastings are available, and you can bring food and have a little picnic.

Westbend Winery and Brewery is not far from Medaloni Cellars and is one of the oldest wineries in North Carolina. Established in 1972, the vineyard includes 40 acres of grape vines, which produce a variety of red and white wines, including a Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. A brewery was added to this already appealing vineyard and this past January, the Grapevine Grille opened to guests, serving lunch and dinner. With open, grassy areas and tables, the grounds lend themselves to gatherings, and often food trucks are on site, making this a perfect place to bring the kids and family.

Venturing a little farther out, you’ll find Divine Llama Vineyards in East Bend, NC. Along with wine, you will find a llama farm nestled amongst the vineyard and a view of Pilot Mountain that is truly a little slice of heaven. The tasting room has a spacious deck and seating area where you can sit down and enjoy a little time to yourself or with friends. You can walk down to the pastures and visit the ‘divine’ llamas and enjoy some of the most beautiful land you’ve ever seen.

Raffaldini Vineyards and Winery has a Tuscan villa look and feel, right in the middle of Ronda, NC, and if you didn’t know better, you’d swear you were in Italy. Like many other vineyards, a large patio is available, and you can pull up a chair and enjoy a little something from the deli case, or maybe red wine infused brownies, which are amazing! Raffaldini often has food trucks or feature their brick oven pizzas.

Shelton Vineyards is not only known for its award-winning wines, but for sprawling areas perfect for walking the grounds, and their restaurant, the Harvest Grill. You can take a tour of the winery and learn about brothers Ed and Charlie Shelton and how they came to the winemaking business in 1999.

So while vineyards are known for their wine, they are also beautiful places to just take in all that nature has to offer. You can choose to have a glass of wine or walk with a bottle of water. Either way, the experience will leave you having enjoyed the perfect afternoon in the most beautiful area around.



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