When traveling the Yadkin Valley Wine Country, many places have perfect choices for wine lovers and their friends.
“A bottle of wine accompanying some other gift like bottle art or coasters would be a very nice gesture for a coworker or a friend,” said Adagio Vineyards Tasting Room Manager Douglas Sanders.
“Just something at Christmas to say, ‘thank you for being my friend this year’ would be nice,” said Sanders. “If I was buying for a family member I would probably get them a case.”
Acquiring a case is not a bad idea, especially for those who have a favorite. Most wineries and even grocery stores offer a discounted rate for purchases that are by the case which can be distributed as multiple gifts.
The clever buyer might not only present a few favorite bottles as a holiday gift, but will save some for when that friend visits allowing them to seem considerate as well as generous.
This is also true for those who chose wine as a gift for those who host events. By providing wine, the giver shows their appreciation in a practical way often helping to off-set the cost of the occasion.
There are other wine-related gifts which are useful for those who hold holiday happenings as well as others.
Many local wineries have gifts available from practical items such as coolers and corkscrews to fun things such as T-shirts and quirky towels.
“The things that I get are usually because of who I’m with and who I’ve been with,” said Boonville resident Judy Walker.
“I know their tastes. I know what they want and the things that they like. Like the first time that I came here [to Slightly Askew in Elkin], they had Appalachian [State University paraphernalia] because they go to all of the football games and things like that,” so Walker purchased an App State gift for a friend while she was at Slightly Askew.
Often the items are specific to the winery, such as the variety of items made from the screen-printed bottles at RagApple Lassie.
“One of our most popular items is our tea glass,” said co-owner Lenna Hobson, sharing how the unique bottles became a variety of dishes including serving trays and drinking glasses.
“Most of the time when you have cut glass like this it won’t cut you but it still has a rough edge,” said Hobson, who enjoys telling stories of unique purchases such as one made by a Saudi ambassador. “These are nice and smooth and the logo is screen printed so it won’t even scratch off with a razor blade.”
While the unique items from the wineries are fun gifts, many local retailers also have wine-related gifts.
At Wanderlust Studio in downtown Elkin, artist Candice Brown has applied her unusual style to capturing scenes and moments reminiscent of a tasting at Laurel Gray Vineyards or Raffaldini where guests enjoy the views as much as the wines themselves.
“We live in such a beautiful setting,” said Brown, who wanted her work to help to support the local industry. “It seemed natural to at least paint some of the scenes people talk about so often when they are sitting here enjoying live music with a glass of Apple Pie from Carolina Heritage for example.”
Like Wanderlust, many resident artists tap into the local vines for inspiration, often inviting wineries to pour on weekends as visitors peruse paintings, pottery and other pieces that enhance the local vintages.
Throughout the holiday season such gifts may be purchased at the Foothills Arts Council, but those who attend the Holiday Craft and Gift Market the first weekend in December are likely to find a plethora of wine-related gifts including items made from bottles and corks as well as other hand-crafted items.
Taking place from Dec. 1-3 in Coley Hall of The Liberty building in downtown Elkin, this festive event will take place in conjunction with the town’s Light Up Night with some of the proceeds going to help the Foothills Arts Council continue the inspiration. Go to www.foothillsartscouncil.org for more information.
One of the programs the FAC has had are “Paint and Pour” events where participants are able to enjoy a glass or two of a local wine while creating their own work of art. These activities not only allow a gift giver to create something personal, but can lead to a gift of time for those who share the moment.
Other gifts also can be made while enjoying a glass of wine and the company of a friend. Through the holiday season some wineries have a variety of craft classes such as Adagio’s cork art, bottle art and Christmas ornament classes where artistic skill is not the main reason to attend.
For those who prefer to give the gift of experience without glue or glitter, the Surry County Wineries Winter Passport is an excellent alternative.
One price allows the passport holder to tastings at more than 10 local wineries as well as other events such as food pairings and discounts at a variety of locations. Good from November through March this gift is long lasting and provides locals and visitors the variety of the valley.
More information on this opportunity to explore the Surry Wineries can be found at www.surrywineries.com.
Wine tastings can provide the opportunity to discover favorites, but those who attend the tasting rooms also can help the gift giver who is not sure what to purchase.
“Generally if somebody doesn’t drink wine very often they are probably going to gravitate to a sweeter style of wine,” said Sanders.
“I would offer our Coda, which is a desert-style wine, which is a semi-sweet. A rosé would be a good choice [for those who are not sure what wine to buy]. It’s also perfect to pair with so many different foods over the holiday season as well.”
Whether purchasing wine or some other gift for a wine lover, the Yadkin Valley has several options and many individuals eager to assist.
Beanie Taylor is a staff reporter for On The Vine and The Tribune. She can be reached at 336-258-4058 or on Twitter @TBeanieTaylor.