The welcome sign and tasting room at Childress Vineyards.

July Tour of Five Yadkin Valley Wineries

The first weekend in July, we decided to make our way to a few Yadkin Valley wineries.  Although we didn’t get to wine each day of the weekend, we were able to make it on Friday and Saturday. Read on for a recap of our visits to Hanover Park Vineyards, Childress Vineyards, Junius Lindsay Vineyards, RayLen Vineyards, and Misty Creek Vineyards.

Empty bottles at Hanover Park

After an evening of tasting library wines, there’s bound to be a few empty bottles.

Friday started with a very special event at Hanover Park Vineyards. Sixteen years ago, Hanover Park Vineyards opened their doors to the public. As the oldest bonded winery in Yadkin County, they are one of the most tenured wineries in the state. Amy and Michael Helton typically hold an event to celebrate (it was also Amy’s birthday, another reason to celebrate). The event took place in The Studio at Hanover where two long tables greeted us as we arrived. On each table were several bottles of wine from various vintages; some dating back to 2000! Events such as these show the aging potential of North Carolina wines, and give the general idea of how the current vintages will show later in life. Highlights of the evening were the 2001 Mourvèdre and the 2005 Chambourcin. Both were smooth and even, showing subtle earthy notes and well-rounded red fruits.

Saturday was the main event. We started  at Childress Vineyards.  Out back in the vineyard they had live music and the restaurant was full of hungry visitors. We headed to the registers to check in and browse the tasting options for the day. After we selected our tasting option (we recommend the Barrel Select option), we headed to Olga’s tasting bar and prepared for our tasting.

Olga took us through a detailed tasting of their higher end and reserve wines. The wealth of knowledge Olga had about each wine she poured was incredible.  She was able to successfully manage a full bar of visitors all while keeping a everyone happy with just the right amount of detail. Highlights here included the 2014 Petit Verdot, which was big and bold with a supple plum mid-palate; and the 2014 Reserve Cabernet Franc, which showed a slight coffee nose with a full flavor and nice dry finish.

Our next stop took us to Junius Lindsay Vineyards. While we were there, we enjoyed La Vie en Rose, a French Food Truck based out of Winston-Salem. We ended up with two crepes to share and grabbed a bottle of the 2013 Special Delivery Rosé. The bright strawberry nose and subtle citrus mid-palate paired nicely with the crepes. It was a perfect pairing, creating a wonderful experience for a Saturday afternoon.

[su_carousel source=”media: 1316,1314,1318,669,1318,1319,1221,1312″ limit=”30″ link=”lightbox” target=”blank” height=”300″]

After we fixed our hunger needs, we headed off to our next destination, RayLen Vineyards. It had been a while since our last visit, so we tasted our way through the new releases. Since it was a bit later in the day, we were able to take our time and savor each wine. We especially liked the 2015 SMV Chardonnay which was deliciously creamy with a mild acid profile. Also on the must list was the 2013 Eagle’s Select showing delicate floral notes and a well-rounded flavor. We also had a sneak peek of the next vintage of Petit Verdot. While still young, it showed great potential with ample flavors and a decent tannic backbone.

We arrived at our last stop for the day; Misty Creek Vineyards. After a long day of travels, we were ready to relax and unwind. As soon as we walked in, we were greeted by Marge, Kathy and Barry. We talked, we sipped, and we enjoyed our tasting of their current offerings. While there, we picked up two bottles. One was the  2014 Syrah, always a popular option as it is fruit forward with a gentle spicy finish. The other was the Traminette, a soft white with a floral nose and a tingle of clove spice at the end.

Looking back on it, the weekend was a success. We enjoyed five great wineries and tasted some very delicious wine; some from over a decade ago, some not yet released. As we’ve said before, it’s an exciting time for North Carolina Wine. Weather you’re headed to the Yadkin Valley wineries or elsewhere, there’s no better time than now to discover NC Wine.


Posted by Matt Kemberling

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.