While it may not be as well known as the famous wine country out in California, the Yadkin Valley of North Carolina has become an amazing place for growing grapes and producing wine. Fortunately, this area of the state is able to grow a wide array of wine varietals.
I recently visited one of the most famous vineyards and wineries in the state, Childress Vineyards, on my birthday and it definitely didn’t disappoint! The vineyard is home to a suprisingly large variety of wines, including Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Malbec, Merlot, Chardonnay, Viognier, Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc.
The Tasting Room is probably the largest I’ve ever been in. It’s really more of a gift shop/tasting room since probably three-fourths of the space is taken up by bottles of wine and other merchandise for sale, such as food and other items made in North Carolina. There’s now a second tasting room they open up across the foyer when it gets really busy, in other words, on the weekends.
For wine tastings at Childress Vineyards, you get the choice of doing a Cellar Select Tasting for $12 or the Barrel Select Tasting for $15. The Cellar Select Tasting features more of the sweeter wines, including the Classic and Muscadine wines.
While I’m not a huge fan of sweet wines, I do recommend the Riesling from that tasting. The Barrel Select wines are more on the semi-dry and dry side, such as the Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Merlot. You also get to taste a few of the reserve wines. I can definitely say that the Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is better quality and better tasting. (I bought a bottle of the reserve.)
Childress Vineyard takes wine to another level past the reserve with their signature wines. If there’s a particular varietal you really like, I suggest mentioning it to the person guiding your wine tasting. Sometimes they’ll let you sample something not on the list if they think you may like it or give you a choice to switch one out than what’s typically offered.
I was also able to take a tour of the winery during my visit to Childress Vineyards. The tour is complimentary and offered twice a day during the week and every hour, on the hour on Saturdays and Sundays. The tour last around 30 minutes and takes you through where the wine is fermented, aged, and bottled, along with a few other rooms.
The Bistro at Childress Vineyards also happens to serve pretty good food if you want to grab a bite to eat before or after your wine tasting.
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