Central North Carolina Winery Tour
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The nearby Yadkin Valley is designated as the first viticultural appellation in North Carolina. There are 150 appellations in United States, including 14 in the southern region. A region can gain an appellation if its soil, growing season, climate and amount of rainfall vary from the surrounding areas. The Yadkin Valley is very distinct with soil that is clayey, well-drained and moderately fertile, which are excellent qualities for grape growing. In the past five years, the number of wineries in North Carolina has leaped from 15 to 40.
Many of the North Carolina wineries are within a 90 minute drive of the O.Henry Hotel. Here are a few you may want to tour during your visit with us:
Richard Childress, a well-known NASCAR figure, recently opened a 35,000-square-foot winery in Lexington. Varietals of Chardonnay, Viognier, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Syrah and Sangiovese can be seen hanging from the vines spread over their 65 acres. Their state-of-the-art wine production center is open Monday-Saturday 10-6 and Sunday 12-6. Directions from Greensboro: Take 40 West to Highway 52 South. Exit 89 at Highway 64 West. Turn right. Winery is on the right about 100 yards. Approximately 45 minutes from Greensboro.
Grove Winery and Vineyards in Guilford County is open daily till 5 PM for tours, tastings or simply a glass of wine on their patio. The 44-acre farm features a small, artisan winery and the estate vineyards which are located on sloping, mineral rich land in the Haw River Valley wine country. The estate vineyards feature wine grapes that thrive in this microclimate: Merlot, Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Cab Franc, Traminette and Tempranillo. They also own a mountain vineyard 65 miles north of the winery near Smith Mountain, VA where they grow grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon and Norton which benefit from cooler weather. They are about 12 miles from the O.Henry.
An award-winning winery that offers the complete wine experience in an accessible and romantic setting just north of Greensboro. On-site tasting room, tours, wine, and gifts. 8220 NC Hwy 68 N., Stokesdale. 16 miles from Greensboro.
Founded in 1999, Shelton Vineyards is the largest family-owned estate winery in North Carolina. The winery features a spacious visitor center with a tasting bar and gift shop with tours and tastings, a cheese shop and deli. Shelton Vineyards’ grounds are beautifully landscaped, and picnicking is encouraged. Their predominant varieties include Chardonnay, Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. During the summer months, enjoy concerts on an outdoor stage. Take I-40 West to Highway 421 North. Take I-77 North to Exit 93 (Dobson). Follow the signs to the vineyard. Approximately 90 minutes from Greensboro.
Westbend Vineyards features 60 acres of prime vinifera vineyards, neatly tucked into the gently rolling countryside. The first vineyard at Westbend was planted in 1972, against the advice of some rather heavy agricultural authorities. Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, Merlot, and Sauvignon Blanc are now thriving along the banks of the Yadkin. The winery is open 11-6 on Tuesday-Saturday and 1-6 on Sunday. Directions from Greensboro: Take I-40 to US 421 N. to Shallowford Rd. (exit 246). Turn left, go 2.4 miles. Turn left onto Williams Rd. Westbend is the fourth drive on the left. Approximately 50 minutes from Greensboro.
RayLen Vineyards & Winery
RayLen Vineyards opened in 2001 and include Chardonnay, Viognier, Pinot Grigio, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Shiraz. Their winery is open 11-6 on Monday-Saturday. Directions from Greensboro: I-40 West to exit 180. Turn left on 801 South. Turn right on 158 West. Winery entrance is 4 miles on the right. Approximately 50 minutes from Greensboro.
RagApple Lassie Vineyards
RagApple Lassie has enough acreage to allow site-specific plantings for several varieties. Beginning with a ten acre plot of Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, the RagApple Lassie has recently planted more Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, plus plantings of Merlot and Viognier. Open 12-6 on Tuesday-Sunday. Directions from Greensboro: I-40 to Highway 421 West. Take second exit after crossing the Yadkin River, Speer Bridge Road Exit. Turn right at top of ramp and travel approximately 1000 feet to "T" intersection. Turn left on Old 421. Go approximately 3 miles. Turn right on Pilot View Church Road and go 3 miles to stop sign (intersection Union Cross Church Road). Go through stop sign, road name changes to Sugartown Road. Go approximately 3 miles to stop sign at "T" intersection. Turn right on Rockford Road. Go approximately 2.5 miles and RagApple Lassie Winery will be on your right. Approximately 90 minutes from Greensboro.
For more info about nearby wineries, go to the North Carolina Winery Guide.