Five hours west of North Carolina’s beaches, wine estates reminiscent of Napa Valley or Northern Spain dot the Appalachian foothills. Yadkin Valley, which became an American Viticultural Area (AVA) in 2003, is home to 47 wineries, and more are on the way. Let’s explore three of the region’s wineries.
Nestled beside Pilot Mountain, JOLO Winery and Vineyards is one of North Carolina’s most acclaimed vineyards, offering a unique dining experience and award-winning wines. In addition to several different tasting experiences, the veteran-owned, family-run winery offers sophisticated dining experiences at their nationally acclaimed End Posts Restaurant. Enjoy outdoor seating for dining and tastings with breath-taking views of Pilot Mountain. Or opt to dine in End Posts’ chic dining room beside a cozy fireplace.
Wine Tip: Don’t miss Happy Endings, JOLO’s dessert wine, paired with a Triple Chocolate Brownie.
This 13-acre winery is the northernmost vineyard in the Yadkin Valley AVA. Located at 1,300 feet elevation you can enjoy its spectacular views, especially at sunset. Specializing in French and Italian estate wines, Round Peak Vineyards makes 1,000 to 2,000 cases per year. The pet-friendly winery invites you to bring your own picnics and even provides grills on summer weekends. Once a year you can experience the vineyard under the stars at the Skull Camp Out, which features camping in the vineyard, live music, dinner from the Skull Camp Smokehouse, s’mores, and tons of fun!
Wine Tip: Try the Dry Rosé, a blend of Nebbiolo, Cabernet Sauvignon and Montepulciano, with cherry and red fruit notes and a refreshing tart finish.
Opened in 2014, Adagio Vineyards is owned by a married couple who practice dentistry in Winston-Salem. Jan and Tim Wahl are involved with every aspect of the winery operation and produce white, red and rosé wines. As you taste wines inside the cozy tasting room, you may hear Jan, a classical violinist, play some music. She’s also a violinmaker, and studied the art of lutherie under a German master. You can sample wines on the covered porch or in comfy chairs by the fire pit outside.
Wine Tip: You’ll love the Petit Verdot, a bold, fruit-forward wine with flavors of blueberry and blackberry and hints of lavender and violet.
By Peggy Sijswerda