Winston Salem Visitor Guide - 2018 - 39
FROM THE VINE
WINSTON-SALEM IS THE GATEWAY TO THE YADKIN VALLEY
BY: LEAH HUGHES
n the western edge of WinstonSalem, more than 45 wineries spread
throughout the Yadkin Valley, the
state's first and largest American
Viticultural Area (AVA) since 2003.
Covering more than 1.4 million acres, the region has
distinct features, such as the mineral makeup of the
clay soil and the temperate climate, which make it
well-suited to Vitis vinifera, or European-style, grapes.
Westbend Winery, the first to open in the Yadkin
Valley, established its first vineyard in 1972 and began
growing European-style grapes, such as Chardonnay
and Merlot. Only 20 minutes west of Winston-Salem,
Westbend unveiled a new production facility and
tasting room in 2016.
Shelton Vineyards is the largest family-owned
estate winery in North Carolina. Brothers Charlie and
Ed Shelton, who are natives of the area, identified
early on the economic potential of the wine industry
and championed the push for the AVA designation.
Each Yadkin Valley winery establishes its own
winemaking style and sense of place. Raffaldini
Vineyards transports visitors to Italy with its Tuscanstyle villa serving Sangiovese and Montepulciano. At
McRitchie Winery & Ciderworks, Sean and Patricia
McRitchie draw from their California and Oregon roots
to craft award-winning wines in an peaceful setting.
McRitchie also produces a dry, sparkling cider - the first
hard cider in North Carolina - from heirloom apples.
Want to make a day of it? Yadkin Valley's activities
and amenities complement its wines. Divine Llama
Vineyards pairs grapevines with a pasture of llamas.
With advance registration, guests take part in a guided
llama trek around the property. At Adagio Vineyards, Tim
and Jan Wahl, both practicing dentists in Winston-Salem,
combine their passions for wine and classical music. Tim
makes the wine, and Jan performs concerts on violins
she crafts by hand. Carolina Balloon Adventures has
morning and evening hot-air balloon rides that float up
above the Yadkin Valley and its vineyards, then conclude
with a bubbly toast upon return.
Continue to explore the flavors of the Yadkin
Valley back in Winston-Salem. Unwind on the patio
at Carolina's Vineyards & Hops, where the wine list is
exclusively sourced from North Carolina. Have a seat
at the bar at Quanto Basta, the downtown Italian hot
spot, and enjoy a bottle of Raffaldini house wine made
specifically to complement the homemade pastas and
pizzette. Or, stay in, and order a bottle to your door
through Dogwood Hops & Crops' delivery service.
Find wine hotel getaway packages at
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