Little grapes have started appearing on vines across the state, with some in the east a little ahead of those in the central and western regions of North Carolina. Vineyard owners and their employees will be working diligently this summer and into early fall to keep those fruits healthy, mold-free and perfect for yielding the best juices to produce award-winning wines later in the year.
As wine drinkers patiently await a new harvest of grapes, they can enjoy beverages on hand at wineries and wine shops from North Carolina producers’ past vintages. The warm weather makes it a prime time to relax on the porch or patio of one of the state’s unique wineries.
Each winery has its own flair, some overlooking rivers and streams, or sitting at the base of the beautiful mountains. Others, like this month’s featured Divine Llama Vineyards in East Bend, provide an experience like no other. Not only are the llamas nice to look at and visit with, but they also provide transportation for those wishing to have a llama walk and picnic.
RagApple Lassie Vineyards is one of many wineries in the state collaborating with the hopping craft beer industry to provide visitors to the tasting room with yet another option for a beverage to enjoy. And what better way to take in the vineyards of the Yadkin Valley than from a helicopter hovering high above the trees and vines.
For those looking for a place to relax, learn about Maggy’s Place in downtown Elkin and its tie to the strong railroad heritage in the area. Originally a spot to purchase rail line tickets in Elkin, it sits just yards from the still-active Yadkin Valley Railroad tracks.
Then as the warm weather begins to cool, one of the last wine festivals of the year, the Yadkin Valley Grape Festival, will allow guests to sip and muse on what is their favorite, while listening to live music and munching on good food.
These stories, along with a long calendar of upcoming wine-related activities and a winemaker’s take on how the 2017 growing season is going so far, fill the pages of this edition of On The Vine.
So grab a copy of the magazine, or visit its new website at onthevinecarolina.com, pour a glass of wine and enjoy some reading.
Until next time,
Wendy Byerly Wood