Continuing the qualities that made Childress a quality name in racing, Childress Vineyard welcomes visitors for tastings of wine, food and fantastic views.
Located at 1000 Childress Vineyards Road in Lexington, the vineyard was born of the NASCAR experience of team owner Richard Childress while traveling for the sport.
“He just lives right down the road,” said Peggy Moncrief as she poured a variety of wines including the 2015 Reserve Cabernet Franc, which received Best In Show at the 2017 Mid-Atlantic Southeastern Wine Competition out of more than 300 entries.
Childress opened the vineyard in 2004 and now has vines spreading over 72 acres on two properties.
More than 30 different wines for both unseasoned and discriminating palates are made from the Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Malbec, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah and Viognier grapes.
“The Muscadine Blush is very sweet,” said Moncrief, noting the recognizable flavor of the grape.
“This is what the south is known for — a Sweet Southern Sipping wine. I tell all the northerners when they come here this is what they need to sit with on the front porch.
“The Riesling is a favorite of a lot of people who like the sweet but don’t like the Muscadine sweet,” said Moncrief as she knowledgeably guided tasters through eight choices of either predominately dry cellar select or dry and full-bodied wines in the barrel select group from souvenir glasses.
Open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m., the tasting room is complemented by a bistro that serves lunch each day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. featuring desserts so decadent reservations are suggested.
To make reservations, call 336-236-946.
Menu items appreciated by guests can be repeated at home through recipes found at www.childressvineyards.com, where information on weddings, banquets and events also can be found.
The generosity of Childress Vineyards does not stop with customers, however.
Childress winemaker Mark Friszolowski is known for assistance in helping other local vineyards bottle their product.
“Mark and I have worked together 14 years,” said Junius Lindsay Vineyard owner Michael Zimmerman.
This spirit of cooperation between vineyards not only provides more local products from local produce, but influences potential customers.
“I didn’t know they did that,” said a surprised Barry Blackwood upon discovering the extent of the aid given to what might be considered competitors.
“I was very impressed with Childress,” said Blackwood’s wife, Carol.
The sprawling property features spectacular views from the patio and can often be seen as the back drop for photos.
To discover the vintages and views at Childress Vineyards, take exit 89 off U.S. 52 in Lexington.
Beanie Taylor can be reached at 336-258-4058 or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TBeanieTaylor.